Netflix Offers New Feature To Help Mobile Users Consume Less Data

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News Posted: Wed, Jun 29 2011 12:16 PM

As more and more wireless carriers impose caps on data plans, customers are becoming increasingly aware of how much data they are consuming on their mobile devices. Recognizing that streaming video can quickly gobble up one’s monthly allotment, Netflix is working to help users with a new feature that lets you change video quality.

Although you might not get as good of quality video if you turn the settings down, you will save bandwidth from your mobile data plan. The feature is appropriately called “Manage Video Quality” and is specifically aimed at 3G and 4G users who don’t have an unlimited data plan.

Netflix has rolled out this feature over the last week or so in the United States. Don’t be surprised if you haven’t gotten the feature, however, since it has only been rolled out on a limited test basis. Since March, the feature has been available in Canada where data caps tend to be lower.

To see if you have access to the feature, log in to Netflix and click on Your Account & Help. Look for the section called Watching Instantly On Your TV or Computer and then click on the link to Manage Video Quality. Three video quality settings will be available: Good (up to 0.3GB per hour), Better (up to 0.7GB per hour), and Best (up to 1GB per hour, or up to 2.3GB per hour for HD).

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LBowen replied on Wed, Jun 29 2011 2:21 PM

That is very good thinking from Netflix, responding to the changes in the mobile market by implementing some user-friendly tools to avoid fees. That is what you call great service.

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At 2.3GB per hour I can understand why ISPs are putting caps on their users internet connections. Though I doubt most mobile users could pull more than the Good level anyways. Though I don't really think internet caps are productive and right. I think if there are going to be caps then all internet connection caps should have to work in a similar way to T-Mobiles once you hit the cap they throttle your speed rather than you getting charged extra money.

Also I agree LBowen good customer service on Netflix.

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HHGrrl replied on Wed, Jun 29 2011 4:06 PM

Definitely. This was a good move from Netflix, especially if the quality isn't degraded too much on the lowest option.

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Great idea, I would say Genious.

I always wondered how people afforded data usage when streaming live radio or videos.

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jonation replied on Wed, Jun 29 2011 5:33 PM

well this makes me a very happy netflix customer

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Manduh replied on Wed, Jun 29 2011 5:36 PM

I noticed this feature the same time I logged in to cancel my acct. My reason for cancelling was because of the absolute terrible video quality.. Even the so called HD content. I thought about upping the quality but the possibilty of maxing out my bandwidth by doing so didn't sit well with me. So I did cancel. Downloading HD movies uses way less bandwidth than their streaming the good quality vids. (I watch on a 56" HDTV, so the quality has to be excellent for it to look good)

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