Netflix Now Offers Slim Bandwidth Videos for Capped Canadian Customers

Posted by at 11:57 am on March 29, 2011

Netflix, in its first signs of addressing a rapidly constricting audience, told Canadian users it was slimming down the bandwidth demands of its video service. By default, streaming in the country will now use a lower 300MB per hour bitrate that consumes two thirds less data but with “minimal impact” on the perceived image quality. The choice would let a viewer watch about 30 hours of Netflix on 9GB of data and still leave room, even under a restrictive cap from Bell, Rogers, or another similar provider.

Watching the same amount of standard definition video could normally take up as much as 30GB of video at 1GB per hour, and 70GB at 2.3GB per hour if it was in 1080P, Netflix said. Those on a provider like TekSavvy that don’t currently face limits, or anyone who has a large enough cap, can ramp the settings back up if they want the best quality.

It’s not known if or when Americans will get the same treatment, although the upcoming AT&T DSL and U-verse caps has prompted some to ask for Netflix to allow lower bitrates in the US.

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