Netflix should maybe change its name to Santa, because they just keep dishing out the gifts this year! First, they announced that they plan on doubling up on their ah-mazing Netflix original programming for next year. Now they have news that will not only up your Internet speeds, but also the video quality on your next TV binge as well.
Netflix has something up their sleeves — the video streaming company has been pioneering a bandwidth-saving technology for over four years now, and they’re getting ready to reveal it to the world. According to Variety, not only will the tech save your Internet data by up to 20 percent (giving you more speed to listen to your fave new Pandora channel or play some more of your fave mobile games, perhaps?), but the video quality will also be kicked up a notch.
Previously, Netflix’s policy on video quality had only been based on the consumer’s Internet capabilities. What that means is, depending on if you have super slow DSL or hyper speed fiber, Netflix’s algorithms would determine what type of resolution you got — from the speeds of a bitrate of 235 kbps for 320 by 240 pixel resolution to 5800 kbps for 1080 pixel resolution. In other words, they had a wide range.
The only problem, though, is not all content deserves equal quality. “You shouldn’t allocate the same amount of bits for My Little Pony as for The Avengers,” Netflix video algorithms manager Anne Aaron told Variety. And so they’ve been working on a new product that uses a different algorithm to determine how many bits different content requires — sometimes even from episode to episode within the same TV show — but it’s tedious work. Netflix essentially has to reprogram their entire catalogue to follow these new rules.
Thank for putting in the extra work, Netflix. We’ll be sitting here playing Shooty Skies in the meantime.
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