Netflix to cut streaming quality in Europe for 30 days


Netflix will slightly reduce the video quality on its service in Europe for the next 30 days, to reduce the strain on internet service providers. Demand for streaming has increased because large parts of Europe are self-isolating at home due to the coronavirus outbreak. The video-streaming provider said lowering the picture quality would reduce Netflix data consumption by 25%. But movies will still be high-definition or ultra-high definition 4K. The change will apply to the UK as well as other European countries.

Several factors influence how much data is used when streaming a movie online. One of them is video resolution, including whether a video is high-definition (HD) or ultra-high definition 4K. Another is bitrate, which influences how clear and smooth videos look when streamed online. Videos with a higher bitrate tend to look less “blocky” or pixelated, but use more data. Out of these two, Netflix says it will cut its streaming bitrates.

Customers who pay for ultra-high definition 4K movies as part of their subscription will still be able to watch 4K films. The announcement came after a phone call with European officials.(BBC)…[+]