Streaming video is an important feature for mobile device users, and as screens get larger and better, video quality is increasingly important. However, many mobile plans don’t include unlimited data caps, especially in Canada, and video consumes a significant amount of bandwidth.
This week, Netflix revealed it has been capping video bitrates on cellular devices at 600 kbps, since at a mobile device’s screen size, the quality difference is minimal. In light of most users’ metered data plans, the streaming giant decided to prioritize bandwidth over providing the highest quality picture.
At the same time, Netflix understands that some of its customers want the best possible video experience and might not have a bandwidth cap to manage.
To satisfy these users, Netflix also announced that starting in May of this year, it will be introducing a new data saver feature. The setting will allow users to choose what video quality they wish to use while streaming over cellular networks, so users who want HD video on the go will have the freedom to get it.