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Netflix & YouTube Decrease Video Quality In Europe Due To Coronavirus
By Mikelle Leow, 23 Mar 2020
Images via Luca Lorenzelli / Shutterstock.com and Twin Design / Shutterstock.com
It looks like viewers locked in at home in Europe will have to find something else to keep them sane, if they’re highly particular about video quality. Both Netflix and YouTube have declared that they will lower the resolution of their content in Europe to accommodate high-traffic internet networks during the coronavirus lockdown.
Netflix shared with Entertainment Weekly that its CEO Reed Hastings and EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton had discussed an expected strain on network bandwidth, and thus began “reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe” as of 19 March. The throttling is scheduled to last for 30 days.
According to a report by Reuters, YouTube was next to agree to downsize video quality after Breton spoke to CEO Susan Wojcicki and Google-owned Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai in hopes of preventing a crash on Europe’s networks.
Although YouTube has yet to witness a substantial spike in visitorship, it confirmed that it will throttle streaming quality to help keep Europe’s networks running steadily. “We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default,” the company reaffirmed.
While the extent to which YouTube has decreased video quality in the continent is unclear, Netflix estimated that its efforts will help lighten the stress on Europe’s networks by “around 25 percent,” though it assured that customers will still enjoy “a good quality service.”
Aside from YouTube and Netflix, Amazon Prime has vowed to manage its streaming quality “to help mitigate any network congestion,” a spokesperson addressed.
Reuters revealed that streaming video can take up over 60-percent of traffic in fixed and mobile networks. Possibly adding to the burden considerably is Disney+ when it debuts in Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland on 24 March.
[via TNW, images via Luca Lorenzelli / Shutterstock.com and Twin Design / Shutterstock.com]
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