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Corona crisis: Netflix throttles the streaming quality initially for 30 days

In times of Corona, the events turn over hourly. In the meantime, the virus no longer only attacks people’s health, but also increasingly other areas of social life. While at the beginning of the crisis, streaming providers were considered a pastime for the “stay-at-home”, they are now increasingly becoming a burden. After all, the network is increasingly burdened by these providers. Now Netflix is reacting by throttling the streaming quality to relieve the network.

Changed pastime through corona

While some unreasonable people disregard the advice of experts and politicians and still meet outside, most of them stay in their own homes if possible. But how do you spend your time in your own home? Fortunately, streaming providers offer the opportunity to get your mind off the voluntary “social distancing”. However, the changed behaviour does not pass the net without a trace. This now applies to many countries in the EU.

EU commission contacted Netflix

In order to contain the problem of the congested network, politicians turned to Netflix as the largest streaming provider. EU Commissioner Thierry Breton spoke with Reed Hastings, the head of the streaming portal. In the process, possibilities were developed which would relieve the European network. In this context, a shutdown of the entire service was probably only a last resort. It was rather discussed that a reduction of the streaming quality could be sufficient to relieve the network.

A sharper picture consumes more network capacity

The sharp picture, which is partly even reproduced in 4K, is not accidental. In order to reproduce the many pixels adequately, a lot of data must be processed. For example, the standard resolution on Netflix already consumes 3 megabits per second. Those who stream in high definition need 5 megabits per second. Ultra HD (4K) consumes a particularly large amount of data. This resolution is 25 megabits per second.

Netflix reacted promptly

Just one day after the conversation between the Netflix CEO and the EU Commissioner, the streaming provider took action. Thus, Netflix will reduce the streaming quality for the next 30 days. This should relieve the networks in Europe that are being battered by corona. However, Netflix is still alone in the field. Whether other providers like Amazon Prime Video or iTunes will also react is still in the stars. The launch of Disney+, scheduled for March 24, also seems questionable in view of the already overloaded network.

Netflix calms its customers

Lowering the streaming quality will by no means result in poorly resolved content. Netflix emphasized this once again in a statement. Users of the streaming provider should still be offered “good quality” content. The slight reduction in quality should, however, be very effective. For example, the EU and the company expect 25% less data traffic than with normal use.

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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Berlin.

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