Netflix reduces streaming quality for Indian users amid Covid-19 lockdown
Netflix has reduced streaming quality for Indian users after making a similar change for users in Europe. The change, however, doesn’t mean users won’t get access to HD or higher content.
Netflix is reducing streaming quality in India in a bid to reduce network congestion as millions of users are staying home or working remotely amid Covid-19 outbreak. The company has already made similar changes in Europe.
Netflix says the move will help reduce its traffic on the telecommunication networks in India by 25%. It's worth noting that the change in streaming quality doesn't mean users will be deprived of HD or higher resolution. Netflix essentially has removed the highest bandwidth streams for different titles. In theory, the content will be high resolution but not in the best of quality that the company earlier provided. Gadgets360 first reported the change in the streaming quality for the Indian users.
"Given the crisis, we've developed a way to reduce Netflix's traffic on telecommunications networks by 25% while also maintaining the quality of our service. So consumers should continue to get the quality that comes with their plan - whether it's Ultra-High, High or Standard Definition. We believe that this will provide significant relief to congested networks and will be deploying it in India for the next 30 days," said Ken Florance, VP Content Delivery, Netflix in a statement.
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Netflix's move comes shortly after the industry body COAI asked the OTT players such as Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon, and YouTube among others to change the streaming quality in a bid to reduce the burden on telecommunication infrastructure. It also recommended changing HD streaming to SD.
"It is pertinent to note that the need of the hour is that companies offering streaming platform service and TSPs take joint responsibility to take steps to ensure smooth functioning of the data communication networks to align with other measures being taken in this battle to curb the propagation of the virus," COAI said in a letter to the OTT platforms.
As said earlier, Netflix has already changed streaming quality in Europe. It's worth noting that Disney+ and Facebook have also joined the bandwagon to make similar changes.
"To help alleviate any potential network congestion, we will temporarily reduce bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in Europe," a Facebook spokesperson said.