Netflix just introduced a new update to its app which allows viewers to control their video quality and reduce the amount of data usage while using cellular data. The new feature is currently live, allowing subscribers to control the video quality for their desire and cap the quality for usage issues.
Netflix stood true to its word as it earlier reported in March that the company was in the process of developing a data-saving feature. The cellular data control has been included in the latest update for both Android and iOS.
The updated feature can be activated through the new App Settings in the menu; the subscriber will then come across a toggle switch similar to that of your cellular data activation. Sliding it to the left will then allow you to manually choose the desired quality. The drop down provides you with: Low (4 hours per GB) Medium (2 hours per GB) High (1 hour per GB) and Unlimited (Not suggested without an unlimited data plan) settings.
In a statement Netflix said, “The default setting will enable you to stream about 3 hours of TV shows and movies per gigabyte of data. In terms of bit rates, that currently amounts to about 600 Kilobits per second.”
The smartphone industry is going through a paradigm shift, improving screen and pixel quality, increasing the display size to allow users to enjoy streaming videos on their portable carry on devices. But data packages are expensive, watching TV shows and movies while travelling (with no Wi-Fi) requires more control over your videos just like YouTube. It’s possible that Netflix initially decided to adopt this method analyzing YouTube’s streaming strategy.
Netflix CEO Reed Hasting teased the data control mode last month saying, “We should keep an open mind on this, we’ve been so focused on click-and-watch, and simplicity of streaming. But as we expand around the world, where we see and uneven set of networks, it’s something we should keep an open mind about”.
Netflix’s new plan could be hindered with barriers as the data plan across the world differs. Allowing control over quality could result in issues as caching of a video differs from service providers in countries like India. However, Eddy Wu, director of product innovation at Netflix said, “As we have launched Netflix around the world, we have seen big differences in how much people are streaming on smartphones and what kinds of mobile data plans they have.”
The new update could be to resolve the issue of draining data package. With the new controls, the subscribers can no longer blame the company for losing data for quality.
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