Yesterday Netflix announced that it will answer the EU's call to reduce streaming quality in order to prevent internet outages and reduce load on the ISPs. Now YouTube says that it will follow suit and also reduce its streaming quality in Europe.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, more and more people find themselves confined to their homes – resulting in heavier internet reliance. As a result, European Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted a call to action aimed at Netflix and other teleworking & streaming services, that they should work together to secure internet access for all.
Teleworking & streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain.
To secure Internet access for all, let’s #SwitchToStandard definition when HD is not necessary.
— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) March 18, 2020
Reuters reports that YouTube now follows the example of Netflix, albeit in a somewhat different fashion. Netflix will go down the path of lowering its bit rate to reduce data consumption, where YouTube prefers to change the initial resolution at the start of each video.
Before the outbreak the usual setting was to start playing a video in HD-resolution – either in 720p or 1080p. Now this will change so that each video will start playing in standard definition (480p). It's important to add that the user still is given the choice whether or not they want to change back to HD-resolution once the video has started.
KitGuru Says: Different companies are working on securing internet access for all. Now YouTube also takes measures to help out. What do you think of YouTube's initiative?