Tag Archives: Netflix

Netflix Has Started Reverting Streaming Quality Back To Normal



Date: 13 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


Many users in Europe are reporting that Netflix has reverted streaming quality back to normal with 4K HDR up to 15 Mb/s bitrate. The company says that it is working with ISPs to increase capacity.

NETFLIX STREAMING QUALITY:
In mid-March Netflix lowered its streaming quality in Europe in response to a request from the EU to help ease strain on the internet infrastructure in these times of nationwide lockdowns.

Netflix subscribers in Denmark, Norway, Germany and other European countries have contacted FlatpanelsHD or taken to forums to report that streaming quality has been restored, meaning 4K HDR streaming at up to 15 Mb/s bitrate. HD bitrates are also reverting back to normal.

However, the changes do not apply universally yet. On 2020 TVs that we are currently testing, Netflix’s 4K HDR streaming quality is still capped to maximum 7.62 Mb/s.

In a statement to FlatpanelsHD, Netflix says that it is working with internet service providers to increase capacity. Netflix said that it added four times the normal capacity in April. So depending on your device, ISP, and perhaps other factors, you may not be seeing Netflix’s normal streaming quality just yet. But the process has started. –

Please note, we are working with ISPs to help increase capacity. In the last month alone we have added four times the normal capacity. As conditions improve we will lift these limitations,” Netflix said in a statement to FlatpanelsHD.

Date: 13 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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YouTube and Amazon Prime Video join Netflix in cutting your Streaming Quality

Date: Fri, Mar 20, 2020 –
Written by: David Snelling

YouTube and Amazon have both now confirmed that they will join Netflix by reducing the quality of streams. This change is being put in place in a bid to help networks cope with the increased demand as millions stay home during the coronavirus outbreak.

YouTube and Amazon Prime Video subscribers could see the quality of their boxsets and movies plummet as firms attempt to help networks cope with the millions of people staying at home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus crisis. Both streaming platforms have confirmed plans to join Netflix, which has announced plans to restrict the amount of bandwidth that will be available to those who pay for Ultra HD quality until things return to some form of normality.

This radical change is thought to offer a significant saving, which would reduce data consumption by around 25 percent allowing more people to stream at once during these unprecedented times. To put this into some perspective, an hour of standard definition video uses around 1 GB of data, while HD can use up to 3 GB an hour.

Now YouTube and Amazon have both agreed to follow Netflix with users about to getting lower quality streams sent to their devices. Explaining more about the decision, a spokesperson for YouTube said: “We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default.”

We are in ongoing conversations with the regulators including Ofcom, governments and network operators all over Europe. We will continue our work to minimise stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience.

Amazon prime video netflix
YouTube Has Now Joined Netflix in Dropping Video Quality (Image: GETTY)

And a spokesperson for Amazon confirmed: “Prime Video is working with local authorities and Internet Service Providers where needed to help mitigate any network congestion, including in Europe where we’ve already begun the effort to reduce streaming bitrates whilst maintaining a quality streaming experience for our customers.”

Despite this news of networks coming under increased pressure, it seems the UK’s broadband firms are confident they can cope. BT says its networks are built to support “evening peak” network capacity, which generally equates to at least ten times daytime demand. As a result, the broadband company is confident it can handle mass-scale home-working in response to COVID-19.

Speaking about the challenges ahead, Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division: “Even with a massive increase of people working from home, broadband traffic won’t reach the levels of peak times where millions of people stream HD video at the same time. That’s the kind of traffic we’ve built our networks to support. We’re making sure there’s plenty of capacity in the network and that critical services are supported, and our network has more than ten times the amount of capacity needed for normal everyday use.

Working from home won’t generate significantly more traffic across our network than working in the office, even with more video calling and conferencing. So if more people need to work from home, our network will keep up with demand.”

Date: Fri, Mar 20, 2020 –
Written by: David Snelling
Source: https://www.express.co.uk

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It’s a Terrible Time to Own a 4K TV as Netflix, Sky and YouTube make Radical Changes

4K TV Sky, Netflix Amazon
Why 4K TV Won’t Get as Much Content on its Screen (Image: GETTY)

Date: Sat, Mar 21, 2020 –
Written by: David Snelling

4K TV owners are being hit by some drastic changes with services such as Netflix downgrading the quality of its content and Sky not broadcasting any live 4K sport. These updates have been implemented in a bid to help networks cope with the increased demand as people are told to stay at home.

4K TV owners are being hit by some drastic changes with services such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube downgrading the quality of their content and Sky not broadcasting any live 4K sport. If you own a pin-sharp 4K TV then now is a disappointing time to be sat in front of it.

With the coronavirus forcing millions to stay at home, many of the world’s biggest broadcasters are currently reducing the quality of their content to help broadband networks cope under the increased strain.

Earlier this week, Netflix confirmed that it would now start lowering the standard of its streams in a bid to help reduce data consumption by 25 percent.

Speaking about the changes the streaming company said: “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.”

Netflix has now been joined by YouTube and Amazon Prime Video who also say they are temporarily stopping consumers watching in HD and 4K.

In a statement, YouTube confirmed: “We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default.

And Amazon added: “Prime Video is working with local authorities and internet service providers where needed to help mitigate any network congestion.

As a quick guide, an hour of standard definition video uses around 1GB of data meanwhile, HD can use a staggeringly higher 3GB an hour.

BT recently announced that its networks could cope under the increased pressure with the firm saying, its networks are built to support “evening peak” network capacity, which generally equates to at least ten times daytime demand.

However, it seems streaming services are now trying to help soften the load especially for areas with ageing copper cables.

Along with these streaming services, Sky Sports fans are also seeing a huge drop in the content they can view in 4K.

Sky broadcast a large number of events in this pin-sharp quality including some of its Premier League games and all of the F1 action from every race around the world. With all top-flight sports on hold, there’s less for people to watch in ultra HD.

The satellite TV firm is clearly aware that its offerings are currently much less attractive with the company now allowing subscribers to cancel their Sky Sports packages without facing any extra charges.

Of course, dropping the quality of streams makes perfect sense during these difficult times but your 4K TV certainly won’t offer the same stunning experience until things get back to normal.

Date: Sat, Mar 21, 2020 –
Written by: David Snelling
Source: https://www.express.co.uk

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Netflix Lowers Streaming Quality in Europe in Response to EU Request.

Date: 20 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen

In response to EU’s request to help reduce strain on internet bandwidth, Netflix will reduce its streaming quality in Europe by lowering the bitrate for 30 days.

REDUCED STREAMING QUALITY:

Earlier this week, European Commissioner Thierry Breton urged Netflix and other major streaming services to switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary and said that he had already discussed the initiative with Netflix CEO Reed Hasting.

To beat #COVID19, we stay at home. Teleworking and streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain. To secure Internet access for all, let’s switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary,” Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for internal market, wrote on twitter on March 18.

Netflix has now responded to EU’s request – partially. It says that it will begin reducing bitrates across all streams in Europe for 30 days. Netflix estimates that it will reduce traffic in Europe by approximately 25%.

“Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings – and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus – Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days,” a spokesperson from Netflix said. “We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.”

NOT SD RESOLUTION:

FlatpanelsHD has found that Netflix still offers streaming in HD resolution as well as 4K HDR10 and 4K Dolby Vision for now. The company has not capped its streaming quality to SD resolution.

It appears that Netflix’s approach is rather to cut off the higher bitrate levels. This is possible because Netflix uses adaptive bitrate meaning that all content is encoded and stored at multiple quality levels (bitrate, resolutions etc.). The viewer will automatically get the highest quality level available based on broadband speeds and hardware.

At the time of writing, FlatpanelsHD is seeing a 35-50% reduction in bitrate for some 4K streams while other 4K streams appear to be unaffected. We are seeing a more modest reduction in bitrate for HD streams but there are fluctuations here, too. As Netflix is still rolling out the changes, it is too early to draw conclusions. We refer to the comments section below for more information on how to check streaming quality on your Netflix streams at home.

This means that Netflix streaming in Europe will look more compressed than usual higher levels of artefacts, softer details etc. but still relatively good compared to many other streaming services. Apple, Amazon, Disney, Google and YouTube have not announced plans to reduce their streaming bitrate at his time.

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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Super Bowl LIV will be broadcast in 4K HDR, but there’s a catch.

Written By Caleb Denison

Date: January 23, 2020

There may be thousands of hours of 4K and HDR content available to watch online from Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, and Disney+, but folks still complain there’s no 4K content to watch on their new 4K TVs. As large as the cord-cutter club may be, the vast majority of Americans still get their TV programming from cable and satellite providers like DirecTV, Dish, and Comcast Xfinity, and most broadcasters don’t supply much (if any) 4K content to watch. That’s about to change.

For the first time, 4K TV-owning football fans the nation over will be able to enjoy the biggest game of the year with more detail, better contrast, and more realistic color. Fox Sports has announced Super Bowl LIV will be delivered in Ultra High Definition 4K HDR to a massive audience.

What’s more, I’ll be on the ground in Miami with a crew from Digital Trends to bring you all the behind-the-scenes action as crews buckle up to deliver their biggest broadcast ever.

Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

How can I watch Super Bowl LIV in 4K HDR?

In order to enjoy this year’s game with the best picture quality and sound, you’ll first need a 4K HDR TV. If you don’t already have a 4K HDR-capable set, the good news is that a new one doesn’t have to set you back a small fortune. We’ve got several 4K TV suggestions for under $500. With that said, if you spend a bit more, you’ll get even better picture quality.

With the right TV in place, you’ll need to choose how you’re going to get the 4K HDR program from Fox. The network has told Digital Trends that it will feed the signal to DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast Xfinity X1, Altice Optimum, and Verizon FIOS. If you subscribe to one of these providers, you’ll need to make sure you have a subscription tier that gets you access to the 4K-capable channels that will carry the game.

If you’re not subscribed to one of those services, you’ll need to use a streaming app. Fox has told me that the FOX Sports, FOX NOW, and FuboTV apps will carry the game in 4K HDR. However, you’ll want to make sure that the streaming device you use to access those apps is 4K HDR capable.

If you have purchased a 4K HDR TV in the last few years, there’s a good chance it is a smart TV with apps built right in. For many folks, this is the easiest way to get the game in 4K HDR and the most likely to get you the best quality picture.

If you use a separate streaming box or stick, it seems your results may vary. Fox told me that, for now, the Amazon Fire TV 4K will deliver 4K HDR, while the Apple TV 4K will offer 4K SDR (standard dynamic range). I’ve reached out to Fox for confirmation on whether the Roku platform will be supported, and if so, whether the broadcast will be in HDR or SDR. I’ll update this article when I find out, but for now, I have to wonder if Roku players or Roku TVs will be supported at all. If not, that would leave many 4K TCL TV owners in the dust.

Source: Peter G. Aiken / Getty Images

Will it be that much better?

Those who are able to enjoy Super Bowl in 4K HDR or 4K SDR will enjoy a much-improved picture over prior years, though I will point out that those who get the HDR version will net the most benefit.

Technically speaking, FOX will produce the broadcast natively in 1080p at 60fps (frames per second) in HLG HDR, then upconvert the signal to 2160p (4K UHD) at 60fps with HLG. The fact that the game is being natively produced in 1080p is, alone, a pretty noteworthy factor as far as resolution is concerned, but the HDR mastering that will take place will likely make the biggest difference.

In the past, the best cable and satellite providers could deliver was a 720p/1080i signal. With the game being produced in 1080p, we’ve already taken a leap forward. That it will be professionally upconverted to and delivered in 4K just takes the upconversion work off the shoulders of our TVs.

If your TV doesn’t support HLG HDR (most do) or your streaming box or platform can’t deliver it, not to worry, you’ll still get a better picture than before. But if you can unlock HDR, expect more vibrant colors and much better contrast. The gleam of stadium lights off of helmets should be particularly spectacular, as will the subtle details in the darker shades of the action.

Professional sports broadcasting has always been a gateway to mass adoption in many different TV tech areas. Streaming TV didn’t really take off until pro sports were widely available. Now, with FOX providing Super Bowl LIV in 4K HDR, the floodgates may open, rushing in more and more ultra-high definition, high dynamic range content to feed our fancy new TVs the signal they have been crying out for.

Date: January 23, 2020

Written By Caleb Denison

Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com

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