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Streaming in the time of Covid-19: YouTube follows Netflix, limits quality to SD for beating bandwidth stress

YouTube changes come into effect across the world today.

ET Online|
Last Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 01.52 PM IST
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Reuters
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Last week, Google had announced that it was temporarily defaulting all videos on YouTube to standard definition in the EU.
Move over, HD. It’s back to SD - or Standard Definition for YouTube users across the world. Videos on the global platform will now play in the default standard definition template for all users across latitudes and geographies.

The move comes as an effort to ease the burden on internet infrastructure as countries grapple with lockdowns and other emergency policies in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic outbreak has led to millions being cooped up at home, and using the Internet more than ever: for work, utility, and entertainment that includes watching streaming TV (and most bingeing on it).

Last week, Google had announced that it was temporarily defaulting all videos on YouTube to standard definition in the EU.

However, on Wednesday, that change has been incorporated universally, even as an official statement from Google said that the tech major will ‘continue to work closely with governments and network operators to do our part to minimise stress on the system during this unprecedented situation.
Reuters
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Earlier, Netflix, too, decided to lower video quality in India for the next month to reduce traffic on mobile and broadband networks.

“Given the global nature of this crisis, we will expand that change globally starting today,” a Google statement said.

By default, videos will start playing in standard definition (480p) quality. Those who want to watch videos in HD can still do so, but they must manually select that option, and this stays in effect until April 14, the statement added.

Earlier, Netflix, too, decided to lower video quality in India for the next month to reduce traffic on mobile and broadband networks. The move comes in the wake of increased need for Internet services, with more people at home due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


The War Against Coronavirus: Ambani, Mrs Nadella, Mahindra & Other Top Bosses Show The Way

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Ma’s The Word

25 Mar, 2020
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma (C) showed his benevolent side as he pitched in to help the world fight the novel coronavirus. The founder of e-commerce major, Alibaba, Ma became the most talked about business figure after he said that he would marshall all available resources at his disposal to take on Covid-19. From donating emergency supplies (1.8M masks, 210K test kits, 36K protective suits, plus ventilators & thermometers) to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka in Asia to donating 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits in each of the 54 African countries, the 55-year-old proved that he was a good Samaritan whose charity was not mapped by geographical boundaries. And even as the business magnate didn’t have India in his list of beneficiaries, there was much talk in the country about his act of generosity. And what followed were natural questions: who among India’s rich was doing a Jack Ma?And it’s not just one individual, but a bunch of lion-hearted boardroom tycoons who have taken the pledge to help fight the virus that has thrown life off-track, in India and across the world.
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