Video streaming sites are lowering qualities to help free up Internet bandwidth
Sorry streamers, binge-watching in high definition may not be possible for now
Mar 28, 2020
Due to most of us staying at home due to the lockdowns enforced nationwide, Internet usage in the country over the past few days had spiked up which made it even reasonably slower. Adding to this is the fact that companies are using telecommuting measures for their employees instead to keep businesses going despite the COVID-19 quarantine.
With this, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) called on video streaming companies to manage their streaming bitrates in order to free up bandwidth and ease data congestion.
Netflix earlier heeded the call and announced that they are placing caps on video quality in the Philippines for 30 days. With this, the streaming site shared that users “may notice a very slight decrease in quality within each resolution.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic being worldwide, the company has also implemented these similar measures to countries in Europe as well as Australia.
— Inquirer Business (@InquirerBiz) March 28, 2020
Google, which YouTube is under, also said that it is shifting the video platform’s default definition setting from high definition (HD) to standard definition (SD) on all types of network connections. This shift is already in effect globally and will carry on for the next few days.
“In cases where HD makes an important difference to users like use in some learning contexts (reading text written on a whiteboard), Google will allow users to switch to HD,” the press release from NTC said.
The free and subscription video-on-demand service iFlix has also set a cap in its streaming service, and no content on the platform is available to be streamed at 4k resolution at the moment.
Local video-on-demand platform iWant also said that it is reducing its streaming bitrate by 33 percent starting Mar. 27.
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