Last updated: March 30, 2011 - 4:03pm
Netflix is lowering the quality of its streaming movie service in Canada by default to deal with bandwidth caps introduced by Internet service providers there.
Ironically, this came just hours after Netflix gave Canadians more reasons to sign up, with the addition of new movie titles from Paramount Pictures. Now customers who want to watch those films in HD quality might be disappointed, given that Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt said the company would lower the default bit rate of video delivered to Canadian subscribers in an effort to reduce bandwidth. With the new settings, Netflix is moving from a max bit rate of 5 Mbps HD video to a 700 kbps standard-definition stream. According to Hunt, the decision would reduce bandwidth by up to two-thirds, and enable viewers in Canada that watch 30 hours of streaming while using only 9 GB of data.
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