Netflix

Netflix to lower streaming quality for 30 Days

Netflix cuts streaming bitrates which shouldn't affect resolution

Netflix is to reduce the video quality on its services in Europe for the next 30 days in an attempt to alleviate the strain on internet service providers.

The streaming platform has seen a significant increase in demand in recent days, after containment measures forced people to stay at home and self-isolate to prevent the spread of the virus. Netflix said the reduction in picture quality will only affect users in Europe, including the UK.

The move follows a call from European Union commissioner Thierry Breton for streaming services to lower the resolution of their content to help ease the strain on overloaded networks.

“To secure internet access for all, let’s switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary,” he tweeted on Wednesday.

Following a phone call between Mr Breton and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the streaming giant agreed to a reduction in streaming quality that will lower data consumption by 25 per cent.

“Following the discussion between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings, and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus, Netflix has decided to begin reducing bitrates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days,” Netflix said.

Netflix issued the following statement:

“Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings, and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus, Netflix has decided to begin reducing bitrates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days.”

Netflix has confirmed that this will not affect resolution. Those who subscribe to its 4K Ultra HD Premium service will continue to receive 4K video, Dolby Atmos and surround sound, for example.

Instead, Netflix will lower the transmission bitrate that might result in a slight drop in picture quality:

“This is a technical change that shouldn’t affect the quality of the streaming – you will continue to see content in the quality of your plan (always depending on the connection and the device, as before), so your experience should be the same,”

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