Apple is reducing the video quality of its streaming service, Apple TV Plus, in order to avoid broadband network difficulties. Usage surges, caused by the coronavirus outbreak, led several other platforms to do the same thing last week.
All Apple TV Plus content is usually available in 4K, but streaming quality will be reduced, as companies do their bit to ensure that networks remain reliable. Growing user numbers have been caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, which has caused many users to self-isolate or work from home.
Apple is late to the party in reducing its stream quality, with Netflix, Amazon and YouTube having made the move last week.
However, BT has already argued that the precautions taken by Apple, Netflix, Amazon and YouTube may not be necessary. The company reportedly said there is plenty of “headroom” to deal with growing network usage, and that streaming platforms don’t necessarily need to reduce stream quality at the moment (via BBC).
Last week, following an “important phone conversation” with Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, the European Commissioner, Thierry Breton, sent out the tweet below. He called on people to stay at home and for streaming platforms to switch to standard definition.
Following the news that YouTube would reduce its streaming quality, a spokesperson said: “People are coming to YouTube to find authoritative news, learning content and make connections during these uncertain times… While we have seen only a few usage peaks, we have measures in place to automatically adjust our system to use less network capacity.
“We are in ongoing conversations with the regulators (including Ofcom), governments and network operators all over Europe, and are making a commitment to temporarily default all traffic in the UK and the EU to standard definition. We will continue our work to minimise stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience.”