Thursday, May 5, 2016
Netflix will now let you adjust video quality over cellular connection to save data
Netflix will now let you adjust the quality of its TV and movie streams while you're on a cellular connection, giving you the choice of using up more data and getting a higher-quality video or using less data and getting a lower-quality video.
The option comes in response to public complaints in March, after it was revealed that Netflix had been quietly limiting video quality for AT&T and Verizon customers. Its intention was completely reasonable: to "protect consumers from exceeding mobile data caps." The problem was that it failed to tell anyone it was doing this, and it didn't give customers a choice. People with unlimited data plans, for instance, have less of a need to limit their video quality.
Netflix's new tool, which will be available on iOS and Android today, gives viewers a few different options. They're broken down in a pretty straightforward way: by about how many hours worth of video you can stream per gigabyte of data; it's a simple way to explain the feature and should let people easily figure out what works for them based on their current data limits.
By default, Netflix will still continue to limit video quality over cellular connections — it's up to subscribers to dig trough settings and make the change if they want higher (or lower) quality video. And as always, streams will go back to higher quality once a device gets back on Wi-Fi.