Are you planning on binge watching all week? We have bad news! YouTube and Netflix users in Europe will see a massive drop in the streaming quality as Netflix plans on cutting their bit rate. So how will the drop in Netflix quality affect you? And what should you do?
Why Is Netflix Cutting Its Video Quality?
Netflix is cutting its bit rate to help ease the bandwidth load. This is because as more people are working from home or in self-isolation as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies.
For the days ahead, users will see small and possibly unnoticeable decline in the streaming quality as Netflix scales back on data usage by a quarter. YouTube is also taking the same course with the media reporting that all traffic will switch to standard definition by default.
Netflix has said that given the challenges caused by coronavirus,it has decided to take action through cutting down bit rates across all its streams in Europe for the next 30 days.
How Will the Decrease in Netflix Quality Affect You?
First of all, bit rate refers to the amount of bits in data that can be processed within a certain amount of time. Internet speeds mostly vary from 20 Mbs to 100 Mbs depending on the broadband package you’re on.
Have you ever noticed how on certain occasions the video you are streaming gets pixelated when the internet speed goes down? It is the same thing that’s happening with Netflix. The higher the number of people using it, the lower the picture quality.
That however, is likely not going to affect a lot of people. In fact, if you have the standard HD streaming package ,you won’t notice the difference. But those with ultra HD/4K packages will be hit worse by the cut off.
The 4K package in particular, requires high speed data which might not be available during the cut off. Users of this package are therefore advised to downgrade for the next month or so, given that lower packages won’t be affected massively.
Other Possible Effects
Will the cut off lead to a hike in Netflix prices? This is the question most Netflix users are asking now that the site is experiencing massive traffic. “We understand that the coronavirus pandemic has caused a halt in the usual business,” said Henry Dacha, a Netflix director. “The pandemic will not affect our services in terms of pricing, we will instead make it much more affordable to those in self isolation and those working from home,” he added.
Netflix insists that the cut in bit rate shouldn’t be criticized. However, be encouraged because it seeks to accommodate everyone in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
YouTube on the other hand, has put in place measures to help ease the traffic. With the platform having over 3 billion users globally, traffic is expected to increase. This is because most people are working from home.
Users won’t be able to view high quality videos as YouTube introduces a cut in bit rate. “The initiative will be put into force within the next 30 days. Users will notice a slight drop in the video quality,” read their statement. The highest level of quality in video will be unavailable within the period. Netflix advices its users to brace for the impending changes.
What Should You Do?
With the cutting of Netflix quality inevitable, what should you do as a Netflix user? The best thing to do especially if you have a HD/4K package is to downgrade. The bit rate cut off will not have a huge impact on average packages. Actually very few will notice the difference.
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