YouTube has announced that they are imposing video quality reductions for one month.
Starting today, March 24th, the online video streaming service will use standard definition as a default setting for all videos globally. The news comes as a result of increased internet bandwidth usage in the midst of the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak due to families staying out of work and school.
Although the default setting for videos will be standard definition, the company has stated that those seeking to watch content in high definition will still have the option to do so by changing it to a higher quality. However, with so many people accessing sites like YouTube in the middle of a major pandemic such as COVID-19, reducing the global strain on the internet by keeping your settings at standard definition can make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone over the next few months of the outbreak. It goes without saying that the last thing the world needs right now is for their primary source of available entertainment to collapse.
Netflix has been urged to lower their video quality as well during the pandemic, prompting them to do so in Europe and Latin America. A drop in default quality settings has not yet hit the United States, but it’s probably just a matter of time before the company follows YouTube with a global reduction.
COVID-19 has now infected over 400,000 people worldwide and killed nearly 17,500. Multiple countries and even some US states are experiencing full lockdowns as the speed of the virus’ spread increases rapidly, forcing or urging people to stay indoors in an effort to reduce infection rates and ease the burden of underprepared health systems. In other words, it’s a perfect time to stream movies and videos – just maybe at a lower quality setting so everyone can stay safe at home and enjoy their entertainment, too.
Source: Bloomberg News