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COVID-19: Netflix Malaysia now streaming in reduced quality

As the world fights against the COVID-19 pandemic, severely impacted regions have implemented lockdown measures to varying degrees in a bid to “flatten the curve” of the spread. Remote working situations have become the norm for many, and the demand on networks has been heavier than ever.

As such, Netflix has developed, and deployed an update that reduces the strain placed on networks by 25%—the on-demand provider says that customers will still be able to access the same range of resolutions (up to 4K) that they are subscribed to.

SOURCE: Malay Mail

Is quality on Netflix Malaysia affected?

In many titles on the platform, multiple streams are contained within each resolution—each with different bandwidth requirements. Netflix explains that the reduction in bandwidth load is achieved by removing the highest bandwidth streams.

This means that there will be a “very slight” decrease in quality for all resolutions supported, although Netflix argues that only those that are “particularly tuned to video quality” will notice the drop.

Initially, the update was developed in response to a request from the European Union (EU) to help telecom companies in the region handle “unprecedented demand” on networks, with initial rollout in Italy and Spain. Following that, the same update was deployed to the rest of Europe and the UK.

At 12am this morning (31 March 2020), Netfix Malaysia has begun deployment of the new update, with Ken Florance, VP of Content Delivery for Netflix, explaining:

Given the crisis, we’ve developed a way to reduce Netflix’s traffic on telecommunications networks by 25% while also maintaining the quality of our service. So consumers should continue to get the quality that comes with their plan – whether it’s Ultra-High, High or Standard Definition. We believe that this will provide significant relief to congested networks and will be deploying it in Malaysia for the next 30 days”.

Netflix promises that this bandwidth relief will continue to be offered to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who experience network issues of their own, with the aim of maintaining the “quality of service” for Netflix users.

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If you are a Netflix user in Malaysia, let us know if you’ve noticed a perceivable drop in quality for your streams—or not—in the comments section below.