Coronavirus lockdown: Netflix, Hotstar, others temporarily disable HD video default option for phones until April 14 | HT Tech

Coronavirus lockdown: Netflix, Hotstar, others temporarily disable HD video default option for phones until April 14

The list of participants include Sony, Google, Facebook, Viacom18, MX Player, Hotstar, Zee, Tiktok, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

By: HT CORRESPONDENT
| Updated on: Mar 25 2020, 17:09 IST
The list of participants include Sony, Google, Facebook, Viacom18, MX Player, Hotstar, Zee, Tiktok, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
The list of participants include Sony, Google, Facebook, Viacom18, MX Player, Hotstar, Zee, Tiktok, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. (Pixabay)

Video streaming apps like Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video and Tiktok have decided to remove high definition (HD) and ultra high definition (UHD) video options as a default when streaming on smartphones during the 21-day lockdown period.

The list of participants include Sony, Google, Facebook, Viacom18, MX Player, Hotstar, Zee, Tiktok, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The aim here is to reduce the internet usage pressure since most people are now operating from home and are hence, streaming more than before.

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"The digital industry has decided to act immediately in the larger national and consumer interest and to ensure the robustness of the cellular network," digital companies said in a joint statement. "It was unanimously agreed that as an exceptional measure, all companies will immediately adopt measures, including temporarily defaulting HD and ultra-HD streaming to SD content or offering only SD content, at bitrates not higher than 480p on cellular networks."

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Also read: Netflix India video streaming quality lowered: How it will affect you

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has reportedly urged mobile consumers to use data networks responsibly, so critical services can run smoothly on communications infrastructure.

It is recommended for mobile users to time some of their online activities during off-peak hours, which means early morning or late evening.

"The Prime Minister's call for social distancing and a now total lockdown has led to people staying at their homes. This has caused an unprecedented surge in mobile internet consumption. "As a result, the government and the telecom operators are concerned about its potential impact on the cellular network infrastructure," the statement added.

Also read: YouTube to reduce video quality around the world for a month

It has been reported that there has been a 20-30% increase in data demand in the last few days, as per COAI. "The digital industry is acutely aware of this challenge and is committed to ensuring that all citizens are able to access mobile networks wherever and whenever they want," the joint statement said.

With inputs from PTI.

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First Published Date: 25 Mar, 15:24 IST
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