Streaming giants switch to standard definition to keep internet alive during coronavirus lockdown

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Mar 25, 2020, 05.53 PM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

Netflix and YouTube Photograph:( Twitter )

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Users will still be able to switch to high definition (HD) manually

Starting today, YouTube will play videos in standard definition (SD) by default for the next 30 days. As coronavirus continues to lock down the globe, streaming giants are looking for ways to cope with demand from people staying at their homes.

Last week, YouTube had downgraded video quality in Europe to minimise the pressure on the internet infrastructure. 

However, users will still be able to switch to high definition (HD) manually.

The policy of limiting streaming quality by default has been taken up by various streaming giants including Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.

“We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimise stress on the system during this unprecedented situation”, Google wrote in a statement.

Also read: Instagram introduces new feature to ease social isolation triggered by coronavirus

This is not arbitrary, for users may still switch to higher quality. However, by setting SD as the default visual, a lot of pressure can be taken off the internet bandwidth.

YouTube apparently has other measures in place to ease the stress on internet providers. “We have measures in place to automatically adjust our system to use less network capacity,” a YouTube representative told TechCrunch last week.

Also read: Coronavirus effect: Netflix, YouTube to reduce streaming quality in Europe

Other platforms like Netflix and the newly launched Disney+ have also decided to cap their bandwidth to deal with the global internet slowdown in the face of increasing demand. Their simple goal is to prevent buffering.

Microsoft and Sony, the leaders in the contemporary video game landscape, are slowing down and delaying updates downloads alongside updates on Xbox and Playstation respectively to avoid overloading during key hours.