Netflix is offering a new option for Canadian users that in a perfect world it wouldn’t have to give to anyone. That is the option to cap the amount of data Netflix uses by limiting the quality of the streams.
Netflix is offering the options to Canadians because of the bandwidth caps imposed on Internet users in the country. To help Netflix has offered three different tiers of video quality: Good, Better and Best, At the lowest, “Good” level you get video streams at 625 kbps and 64 kbps for audio. If you stream 30 hours of content a month that adds up to 9Gb used per month (0.3GB per hour). At “Better you get 1300 kbps for video and192 kbps for audio, which adds to 20GB for 30 hours (0.7GB per hour). “Best” gives you the highest streams Netflix has available which maxes out at 4800 kbps for video and 384 kbps for audio. If all your content is of the highest quality you’l use 67GB for 30 hours. The number can fluctuate, but needless to say you’ll be using a lot of data.
Netflix has started users at “Good,” and they have to bring the quality up if they’re willing to sacrifice their bandwidth to watch movies and TV.
It would be nice to say that Netflix hopefully won’t have to bring this to the US, but that seems unlikely. Let’s hope Netflix gives these options to U-verese subscribers when their bandwidth caps start up. With any luck these bandwidth management options won’t be needed for too long.
Read [Netflix Blog]