Netflix streaming quality returns to normal in Europe

Netflix app running on a Pixel 2
Netflix app running on a Pixel 2 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • In March, Netflix reduced its streaming quality at the behest of the EU.
  • This was done to help ease the load on internet infrastructure due to lockdown and stay-at-home measures.
  • Users across Europe are now seeing that streaming quality is now back up to 15 Mb/s for 4K HDR.

Two months after being asked to reduce streaming quality to help ease the load on internet infrastructure, it looks like Netflix might be back at normal quality for 4K HDR in Europe!

According to FlatpanelsHD:

In mid-March Netflix lowered its streaming quality in Europe in response to a request from the EU to help ease strain on the internet infrastructure in these times of nationwide lockdowns.Netflix subscribers in Denmark, Norway, Germany, and other European countries have contacted FlatpanelsHD or taken to forums to report that streaming quality has been restored, meaning 4K HDR streaming at up to 15 Mb/s bitrate. HD bitrates are also reverting back to normal.

Not everywhere seems to be benefiting just yet, as FlatpanelsHD's own tests showed 4K HDR streaming still capped at 7.62Mbps. Netflix also issued a statement to FlatpanelsHD, confirming the move, stating that it was working to increase capacity, and had added four times the normal capacity so far:

"Please note, we are working with ISPs to help increase capacity. In the last month alone we have added four times the normal capacity. As conditions improve we will lift these limitations"

According to Netflix at the time of the initial reduction to streaming quality, one hour of standard-definition video on the service used about 1 gigabyte of data, as opposed to 3 gigabytes for an hour of HD content.

Stephen Warwick