Wednesday, March 25th 2020

YouTube and Netflix Begin Rationing Their Bandwidth as Lockdowns Surge Online Traffic

Popular video streaming sites YouTube and Netflix have reportedly started rationing their bandwidth by limiting video quality, as online traffic to their services surge to record levels. With COVID-19 lockdowns forcing people to take to online entertainment, the sites are reporting an unprecedented strain on their finite Internet bandwidth. In Europe, the two sites have capped their video quality to 480p, or slightly worse than DVD quality.

Despite the mighty backing of AWS, the world's largest CDN, Amazon's Prime Video is also finding itself having to cap quality based on regional bandwidth constraints. Google is already engaging with governments and ISPs to minimize strain on available Internet bandwidth. Streaming video remains the number one bandwidth consumer. Governments would want to prioritize bandwidth for companies operating remote- or virtual desktops for their employees working from home. Perhaps there's no better time to upgrade online video codecs to newer bandwidth-efficient ones like AV1.
Source: Bloomberg
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36 Comments on YouTube and Netflix Begin Rationing Their Bandwidth as Lockdowns Surge Online Traffic

#26
EarthDog
Did anyone else read the source article? Reads different than the OP...

1. It doesn't mention Netflix is doing this, just YT. It says the EU ASKED this of Netflix... has it been confirmed they are complying? No reason not to think so of course, but, this article doesn't mention Netflix.
2. It says this will last for one month (the OP does not mention that at all)
3. This isn't a cap on res... it starts off now at 480p (as people have said) and you can change it... the article says this.

The Bloomberg article and this paint different pictures. Is this an editorial? I'm confused.

@btarunr
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#27
RandallFlagg
Thread full of "first world problems". Lowing quality of streaming video is not a big issue in current circumstances. Standard def is just fine. I would be more critical but I'd probably get banned.
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#28
neatfeatguy
Not sure it really impacts me much. I can't find anything on Netflix that even sparks my attention. I haven't personally ran anything on the service for months aside from Spenser Confidential (which was fairly decent). Mostly the kids watch stuff on it....

Only thing that I'm stoked about was Comcast suspended their data cap for two months due to everything going on.
Link: https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19

The wife and kids are streaming things like crazy.... probably exceed the normal 1TB limit by a few hundred gigs this month
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#29
Mussels
Moderprator
The limits are regional.

Here in Au, netflix isn't dropping resolution, just the bandwidth by 25%
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#30
jigar2speed
Netflix came asking for money, when i upgraded from 1080P to 4K TV and now it wants to downgrade the quality of video without paying me back ? If only i loved lawsuits like my wife.
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#31
hellrazor
Pornhub isn't doing this, are they?
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#32
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
jigar2speed
Netflix came asking for money, when i upgraded from 1080P to 4K TV and now it wants to downgrade the quality of video without paying me back ? If only i loved lawsuits like my wife.
You're still getting the 4K you paid for, so you don't have a leg to stand on.
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#33
Sir Alex Ice
Netflix cut the bitrate by nearly 50% instead of the announced 25%. Liars and idiots.
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#34
R0H1T
Well if it's any solace their latest AV1 (codec) implementation IIRC is 1.5-2.5x more effective, as in better compression with little to no loss in visual quality, than HEVC.
Posted on Reply
#35
Caring1
RandallFlagg
Thread full of "first world problems". Lowing quality of streaming video is not a big issue in current circumstances. Standard def is just fine. I would be more critical but I'd probably get banned.
First rule of Government, keep the masses happy.

Mussels
The limits are regional.

Here in Au, netflix isn't dropping resolution, just the bandwidth by 25%
And Australia's NBN is that good nobody will notice. ;) :roll:
Posted on Reply
#36
bug
R0H1T
Well if it's any solace their latest AV1 (codec) implementation IIRC is 1.5-2.5x more effective, as in better compression with little to no loss in visual quality, than HEVC.
Except Netflix streams AV1 to only select Android devices. If you have one, you can probably just cast to your TV, I guess.
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