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Netflix to downgrade video quality to combat huge demand from self-isolators

By  Mar 20, 2020

The world’s most popular online streaming service plans to downgrade their video quality in Europe for the next thirty days to reduce the massive demand from people in self-isolation. The increasing number of people in self-isolation across Europe has led to a massive load on the popular streaming site Netflix.

Not only are more and more people actually watching Netflix but the signups for new users has increased in many parts of Europe, writes the BBC. Netflix explained that reducing image quality would reduce data consumption by 25 percent, but that nevertheless, the image quality would still be good.

The company will reduce bitrates, which affects how clear the image is. Videos with higher upload speeds use more data. Thierry Breton, Chief of the European Internal Market, suggested that users "switch to standard resolution when HD resolution is not needed". HD resolution consumes up to three GB per hour, compared to one GB at standard resolution.

Breton praised the company's decision and swift response, saying it "will preserve the smooth functioning of the Internet during the COVID-19 crisis." Netflix has not yet stated whether changes will occur in other areas, specifically in North America.

Internet usage has increased in recent weeks due to the fact that more and more people are working from home and avoiding leaving home. Telecommunications giant Vodafone reported a 50 percent increase in internet usage in Europe earlier in the week. Facebook's social networking director Mark Zuckerberg has also confirmed major leaps in using the popular platform through which people seek to stay connected with friends.


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