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Update will allow Netflix users to select the quality of the stream they are watching

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Update will allow Netflix users to select the quality of the stream they are watching
Yesterday, we told you that Netflix itself is taking responsibility for throttling the streaming quality of the video it sends to AT&T and Verizon customers. We also alluded to an upcoming mobile data saver option that Netflix said it would be offering to its subscribers. Now, we have some more information about Netflix's plan.

The feature will be offered in May and will allow those with low data caps to watch Netflix using a lower quality stream that will allow them to save their precious data. Those receiving a large amount of data each month will be able to watch movies and television shows with a higher quality feed. And those who won't watch streaming video unless they have a Wi-Fi connection will also be able to choose a high-quality stream.

Anne Marie Squeo, a member of the Netflix executive team said, "It's about striking a balance that ensures a good streaming experience while avoiding unplanned fines from mobile providers." Squeo said that Netflix had set the default bitrate at 600 Kbps.

The bottom line will be that Netflix, which had been unilaterally reducing the quality of its feeds to Verizon and AT&T customers without their knowledge, will be putting control back into the hands of its own subscribers. Ironically, this is what T-Mobile has been doing with Binge On. Compatible T-Mobile subscribers who want to watch Netflix without using their own data, can agree to watch the video stream at DVD resolution (480p). If they want a higher quality feed, Binge On users can disable the feature with the understanding that the data used for a high-quality stream will be taken out of the customer's data bucket.

"We believe restrictive data caps are bad for consumers and the Internet in general, creating a dilemma for those who increasingly rely on their mobile devices for entertainment, work and more. So in an effort to protect our members from overage charges when they exceed mobile data caps, our default bitrate for viewing over mobile networks has been capped globally at 600 kilobits per second. It’s about striking a balance that ensures a good streaming experience while avoiding unplanned fines from mobile providers."-Anne Marie Squeo, Executive Team, Netflix

Speaking of T-Mobile, outspoken CEO John Legere criticized Verizon and AT&T for not alerting their customers that Netflix was streaming video to them at a low-quality rate. Netflix had self-throttled the data thinking that it was doing a favor to AT&T and Verizon customers. Now there is a possibility that by not disclosing the throttling, Netflix, AT&T and Verizon could face class-action lawsuits from customers who paid for what they thought was high quality streaming video.

source: Netflix

9 Comments
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posted on 25 Mar 2016, 18:35 7

1. LionStone (Posts: 730; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


Yea, this should've been implemented a long time ago...finally.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 19:07 2

2. AppleVersusAndroid (unregistered)


This will be good for those on limited data plans who don't want to expend their entire month's allowance on a single film.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 21:09 2

3. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2193; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Just give the whiners what they want so they can burn through their data in 2 hours smh.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 22:06 3

5. phonehome (Posts: 504; Member since: 19 Dec 2014)


I always select the highest quality possible. This is not VHS where one may want to prevent worn ribbon tape.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 22:54

7. tetote1180 (Posts: 6; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


I keep reading about netflix upating their app so you can choose to use more data or use less data. Blah blah blah. Ive had this feature on my netflix app for about 4-5 months already. Which allows me to disable or enable HD on netflix. Im not sure why no one has noticed.

posted on 27 Mar 2016, 09:52

14. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)


Yeah, i thought this was already available

posted on 26 Mar 2016, 12:52

11. jroc74 (Posts: 5994; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


But no...lets keep blaming the carriers for Netflix throttling....

While in practice it sounded like a good idea...choice is always better. This is better.

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