Netflix will cut the video-streaming quality on its service in Europe for the next one month, to reduce the strain on internet service providers.
As a result of coronavirus outbreak, demand for streaming has surged because many Europeans are self-isolating at home.
Internet usage has been heightened in the last few weeks as more people work from home and avoid going out.
Netflix said, in a statement on Thursday, lowering the picture quality would reduce data consumption by 25 per cent.
Viewers would still find the picture quality good, the video-streaming provider added.
The company said it would cut its streaming bitrates, which influence how clear and smooth videos look when streamed online.
Videos with a higher bitrate tend to look less “blocky” or pixelated, but use more data.
The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, had, in a BBC report, said people should “switch to standard definition when HD (high-definition) is not necessary.”
Normally, standard definition video uses about 1GB of data in an hour while HD can use up to 3GB an hour.
“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.
The video-streaming provider also offers ultra-high definition 4K video.
Meanwhile, Netflix has not yet said whether the bitrate reduction will be applied to other areas such as North America and the UK.
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