Netflix has announced that it will reduce the streaming quality of its service in Europe to standard definition for the next 30 days in order to reduce bandwidth and help infrastructure providers keep systems running during the quarantine period.
This will result in a lower video quality for viewers, compared to what they’re used to with HD or 4K.
The move is aimed at reducing the strain on internet service providers and was something that was requested by the EU directly to Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings yesterday.
With large sections of Europe confined to their homes because of the coronavirus outbreak, demand for streaming has increased and EU officials are looking for ways to help reduce that.
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A Netflix spokesperson told Reclaim The Net that lowering the picture quality would reduce Netflix data consumption by around 25% in Europe.
“We estimate this will reduce Netflix traffic by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members,” the company said.
Video streaming takes up a vast amount of bandwidth compared to other types of content online.
“Streaming platforms, telecom operators and users, we all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation,” Brussels’ Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said.
Amazon’s video streaming platform Twitch has also caused a vast increase in numbers of viewership during the last few weeks as people stay at home and are more likely to casually consume video.