Streaming Services Reduce Video Quality in Europe Following Coronavirus Outbreak

It seems like the coronavirus has started to impact pretty much every single aspect of life these days. This is because of the fact that there are a lot of different things that need to be dealt with in this regard, and the governments of the world are currently struggling to make ends meet and make it so that not that many people would end up suffering, something that is already becoming close to impossible in Europe where a major nation like Italy is finding itself in the midst of a countrywide lockdown.

This means that a lot of people are going to be staying at home, and while this is going to end up having an enormous effects on the economy in general, you might not even realize just how widespread the impact of this sort of thing could potentially end up being. For example, due to the reason that there are going to be so many people that are staying at home and that would not be able to go out and do some of the things that they might have wanted to do, this means that they will be quite bored and looking for ways in which they could pass the time.

The most common thing that people do when they are at home and they don’t really have any other options is to watch something on a streaming platform. However, the fact of the matter is that because of the fact that there are going to be so many people streaming at the same time this is probably going to place quite a bit of strain on the internet infrastructure in Europe, and as a result of the fact that the European Union has asked various streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime as well as YouTube to reduce the standard streaming quality they would be providing.

"We have measures in place to automatically adjust our system to use less network capacity. We’re temporarily defaulting all traffic in the European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), and Switzerland (CH) to Standard Definition.", explained YouTube in a support page.

Similarity Netflix informed media outlets that it will comply with the request of reducing streaming quality. While Amazon Prime Video also confirmed the same.

Lower quality streaming means less data being used which means less of the total bandwidth being utilized. This is important because of the fact that giving everyone high quality streaming at a time where the demand is so high could overload the internet which could be catastrophic because of the fact that the internet is necessary to help people stay in touch and acquire information.

More and more people are working from home as well and this is already have an impact on the economy, making the internet crash could exacerbate this outcome. Hence, at least for the time being, people in Europe will have to make do with somewhat lower quality streams until the crisis has passed and things start to go back to normal in some way.

Photo: Reuters

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