YouTube Limits HD Streaming To Maintain Bandwidth

YouTube videos will default to standard definition in an attempt to lessen the platform's impact on internet traffic. As increasing numbers of people are forced to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, the video site is hoping to reduce its bandwidth usage.

Viewers will be able to opt-in to view videos in high definition, but they'll have to choose to do so. The scheme is being rolled out worldwide, having been introduced in Europe after EU regulators asked streaming services including Netflix and Amazon to help reduce stress on Internet Service Providers, who have seen major spikes in usage since the implementation of lockdowns and home-working procedures due to the virus.

According to Bloomberg, YouTube says that traffic, which usually surges in the evenings, is now remaining steady throughout the day, but is now even higher than normal.

"We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimise stress on the system during this unprecedented situation," a YouTube spokesperson said.

Video streaming uses far more bandwidth than both music and games, and while platform owner Google says that it believes global bandwidth is not at risk, it is working closely "with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimise stress on the system during this unprecedented situation."

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    If only we had that option for a certain video player that now keeps popping up in the middle of stories on this website...

      You can just block them completely. Add "Brightcove" to your adblocker's filter.

      The fact that it auto-plays is the real kick in the shins.

        The fact that when viewing on mobile, the button to expand the article to read is exactly one pixel below the video so that frequently due to lag, the user accidentally taps the video instead of the button, is also a big kick in the shins, and probably quite intentional.

    I refuse to go back to SD on YT unless it's pre-2008.


    I wish whatever streaming service my housemate is using implemented this so that theres more than 2-3kb/s bandwidth spared for anyone else to use the internet...

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