Netflix asked to slow down HD streaming to avoid internet crash during COVID-19

It’s being suggested that users #SwitchToStandard definition when HD is not necessary to keep the internet running smoothly for all

With so many countries forced into lockdown mode to halt the spread of the coronavirus, folks in self-isolation are turning to Netflix and streaming platforms to cure boredom.

But the European Union is urging Netflix, YouTube and other streaming giants to restrict HD viewing to ease the strain on the internet due to unprecedented usage amid the COVID-19 pandemic, CNBC reports.

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EU Commissioner for internal market and services Thierry Breton tweeted Wednesday that he had spoken directly to Netflix CEO Reed Hasting about the concerning matter. He suggested users ”#SwitchToStandard definition when HD is not necessary” to keep the internet running smoothly for all.

“Streaming platforms, telecom operators and users, we all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation,” Breton said in a statement according to Deadline. 

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In addition, the EU is encouraging users to be responsible about their data consumption.

“Commissioner Breton is right to highlight the importance of ensuring that the internet continues to run smoothly during this critical time,” a Netflix spokesperson noted in a statement.

“We’ve been focused on network efficiency for many years, including providing our open connect service for free to telecommunications companies.”

The company already uses “adaptive streaming” technology that adjusts the resolution of a video based on the available bandwidth in the home or local area.

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Meanwhile, users of the platform are spreading the word about social distancing and chill via a handy Google Chrome extension.

As people self-isolate at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “Netflix Party” will let groups of friends stream the same shows/movies remotely via the Google Chrome browser through a shared screen. The extension also comes with a chat room where for the viewing party to talk.

To use it, download the free extension from using your Google Chrome browser via the extension’s website.