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Get Set To Watch Movies In Full HD As Netflix Moves To Throttle Back Streaming

As Australian broadband gets a pounding due to millions now working from home calls have been made for streaming Companies to throttle back 4K Ultra High Definition streaming of content.

Netflix has already started to reduce the quality of their video content in several Countries with Australia tipped to join the list of Countries where content will be streamed as Full HD instead of 4K.

The US streaming Company said that services in Europe will be throttled back over the next 30 days due to people self-isolating at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The video-streaming provider said lowering the picture quality would reduce Netflix data consumption by 25%.

But it said viewers would still find the picture quality good.

How streaming Companies do this is by reducing its streaming bitrates, this can affect the quality of content however it will still “look good” said Netflix officials.

Videos with a higher bitrate tend to look less “blocky” or pixelated but use more data.

Thierry Breton, an EU Commissioner has called on people to “switch to standard definition when HD [high-definition] is not necessary”.

An hour of standard definition video uses about 1GB of data, while HD can use up to 3GB an hour.

Netflix also offers ultra-high definition 4K video for some of its programmes.

“Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and [Netflix chief executive] Reed Hastings, and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus, Netflix has decided to begin reducing bitrates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days,” the company said.

Commissioner Breton praised the “very prompt action” Netflix took just hours after the phone call, saying it would “preserve the smooth functioning of the internet during the Covid-19 crisis”.

Currently Telstra and Optus are reporting a 30% lift in demand for streaming from households. Telstra is also operating without a call centre due to the Company deciding to cut costs by locating their support operation in the Philippines.

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