YouTube has announced that it will reduce the default streaming quality for users worldwide to 480p to help ease the congestion online during these uncertain times. YouTube originally revealed that they would be putting this order in place in Europe but this morning the action was rolled out across the globe.
By default, YouTube videos will automatically start playing in standard definition (480p) quality. Don’t be alarmed though. YouTube has not locked out the other options and you can switch to HD and 4K if you wish. Users will just have to select these manually if they want to watch a video on that resolution.
According to Bloomberg, YouTube is working with governments and network operators around the globe in order to minimize the stress on the system during this unprecedented situation.
YouTube is also not the first company to announce a drop in streaming quality. Last week Netflix revealed that they would also begin streaming in SD for the next month in order to free up to 25% of the network in Europe. Apple followed in their footsteps and Amazon too. Netflix revealed that they will implement the same across the globe should government authorities request it.
In an even bigger turn of events, Sony announced that they would be decreasing the PlayStation download speeds in Europe too in an effort to preserve internet access for the entire community. This means that PS4 owners in Europe will have to download their games at a slower rate than usual. However, it is unclear what this rate has been reduced to.
If you are on YouTube today and your videos load up at 480p don’t be alarmed. You can either watch them at that quality or increase it manually.