Corona virus response: Amazon reduces the streaming bit rate for Prime Video


Video streaming services are throttling their data volumes in Europe to relieve the networks in the coronavirus crisis. Amazon has started to reduce the streaming bit rate of its video streaming service Prime Video in order to reduce the amount of data to be transferred. Prime Video customers can play content in 4K resolution at no extra charge.

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At Sky in Germany, however, it was said that no change in the bit rate is currently planned. One already goes in the streaming offer "very responsible" with the bandwidth around. Sky Ticket customers have received streams in maximum HD resolution since February 2020 – there is generally no 4K content for this customer group.

Netflix started throttling, then YouTube followed. YouTube will initially deteriorate the image quality for 30 days: videos should always be transmitted in SD resolution instead of HD quality. Netflix plans to reduce data throughput by a quarter during this time.

Netflix also reduces the bit rate

Netflix wants to be more selective than YouTube with the nationwide reduction in resolution. The extent of throttling for each individual user will depend, among other things, on the type of device they use, how busy their network is and what tariff they are paying for, according to Netflix corporate circles.

For example, some may notice poorer image quality, while others may not. In general, Netflix wants to ensure that all users get the quality they paid for – but with the lowest possible data throughput. In the standard subscription, Netflix customers only receive all content in standard resolution. If you want HD resolution, you have to pay more. It gets even more expensive if the content is in 4K resolution.

How does Disney react at Disney +?

EU Commissioner Thierry Breton, who initiated the measures, welcomed the approach of the streaming providers. There is overall concern in Europe that increased homework and entertainment use could clog networks. So far, Internet providers have assured that they could shoulder the increase. However, the bottleneck could be the local network connection at the places of residence. The EU Commission is concerned that network utilization allows working from home and access to educational opportunities.

With the start of the video streaming subscription Disney + (test) on March 24, 2020, the burden on the networks from streaming offers should increase even further. Disney + content can be played in 4K resolution at no extra charge. According to the newspaper Les Echos The French government has already appealed to Disney to postpone the country's debut.

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