Explained: Why Is Netflix’s Move To Reduce Streaming Quality In India Amid COVID-19 Not Justified

Due to Coronavirus, thousands of people around the world are staying at their home under self-quarantine. While many people are working from home, many are enjoying watching OTT platforms with their families and relaxing.

netflix streaming quality

Netflix Reduced Video Streaming Quality In India and Europe

Netflix has reduced the streaming quality from 4K and Full HD (1080p) to SD(480p) in entire Europe. The officials of the EU Government and Netflix says that the step is taken to reduce strain on the Internet when many people are working from home.

Surprisingly, Netflix has also reduced streaming quality in India. Multiple users have reported that Netflix video quality has dropped to 720p on TV and 480p for mobiles and laptops even though their internet is working fine.

After testing this myself, I am sad to confirm that it is true. Netflix has not announced it officially thinking no one will notice this amid virus panic. Even though many people will support Netflix’s move sighting reasons like it is done to ‘reduce strain on the internet’. But that’s not how the Internet works, let me explain why Netflix’s move to drop streaming quality is not justified, especially in India.

How Exactly Does Netflix Work?

First, let’s understand how Netflix works.

Netflix does not store everything in a single place or building otherwise far away places will have a lagging problem. Also, any major problem in that single storage place can disrupt their whole global business.

The streaming giant uses the Content Delivery Network (CDN) to transmit and store digital content like movies and shows. CDN allows them to distribute servers in different countries and different areas in them. So, they can mutually share data and reduce stress even if their user count increases globally.

This also ensures that there will be a backup of data available, in cases if there are problems with servers in any location.

Netflix takes this one step further by working directly with ISPs (Internet Service Providers). Netflix installs its own hardware called Open Connect Appliances (OCA) at ISP facilities. These OCAs are installed at ISP facilities and each OCA can hold 280 Tera-Byte data.

This means that you are connecting to your ISP, that is much closer to your location. It assures that data packets for your content DOES NOT CLASH with data packets of other Internet traffic.

If a lot of users use Netflix at the same time in any area, the devices in ISPs are capable to push data at 90 GB/second. That means 13,000 people can watch Full HD movie at once in that area. Still, they will face no problem at all.

Amazon Web Services Provides Extra Power

If that is not enough in a huge country like India, Netflix can always add more boxes. The OCA only stores and transmits videos to maintain a high speed.

Everything else, like show recommendations, logging information, loading shows exactly from where you left it, is done through Amazon Web Services (AWS). A massive cloud-based service which Netflix can also use for providing temporary virtual servers while they install more OCAs in ISPs.

Why Is Netflix’s Move To Reduce Streaming Quality In India Amid COVID-19 Not Justified

Now, you may say that not for Netflix, but all stress comes to ISP due to work from home policy. Well, when your ISP assures you, for example, 100 Mbps speed at all time then what’s the problem? It does not matter if you use it for Netflix or work, 100 Mbps is not going to put any strain on the Internet no matter how many use the Internet because there are so many different ISP companies in India.

In India, users pay Rs. 800 for Full HD or 4K viewing. There are cheaper plans for 480p and 720p viewing. Why Netflix charges Rs. 800 for SD when they have plans for lower quality, why not drop prices for a month?

The problem with everything here may lie with mobile data providers who fail to provide data and speed when a number of users increases in any area.


So, according to me, Netflix’s claim of reducing streaming quality in COVID-19 hit places like India and Europe to reduce stress on the Internet is not justifiable, at all.

Are you facing the same problems with Netflix too? What do you think about Netflix’s decision about the quality of the video? Do let us know in the comments section.

We hope this article about Netflix streaming quality was helpful to you. Stay tuned to Phones Wiki for all the latest updates on trending technology, OTT platforms, movies, gaming, mobiles, and much more.

Written by Bhaumik Raja

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