Technology 2 min read

YouTube to Limit Video Quality to Standard Definition

JuliusKielaitis / Shutterstock.com

JuliusKielaitis / Shutterstock.com

According to reports, YouTube is reducing its default video quality around the world to standard definition for the next month.

YouTube has announced its plan to limit video quality to standard definition for users around the globe.

In the coming weeks, more individuals may have to stay at home to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

That means billions of people across the globe will depend on their home internet for online education, work, video streaming, etc. Expectedly, this unprecedented data usage places a toll on broadband.

As a result, regulators in Europe asked the major streaming services to reduce their bandwidth usage. At the time, YouTube announced that it would reduce streaming quality in the region for a limited period.

That was a week ago. Now YouTube is extending the restriction to the rest of the world.

In a statement to Bloomberg, the video streaming giant said:

“We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation.”

Here’s the breakdown of the announcement.

Reducing Video Quality Around the World for a Month

Over the coming weeks, YouTube videos will start playing in standard definition (480p). While users can still watch in high definition if they want, the company says they must manually select the option.

Reports suggest that YouTube viewing historically spikes in the evenings when people are off work. However, video consumption on the platform has become more study as more people work from home.

Video streaming transmits a massive amount of data, requiring more internet bandwidth than messaging, maps, or even music. As such, other streaming companies could impose a similar video quality restriction soon.

Netflix has already cut its bitrates in Europe to reduce its platform’s impact on broadband by 25 percent. Likewise, Apple and Amazon have taken reduced their video streaming quality too.

According to The Verge, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, suggested that the company could do the same thing around the world. But, it depends on the local authorities’ request.

Read More: YouTube to Rely More on AI Moderation in the Coming Weeks

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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