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Netflix streams returning to full 4K HDR quality in Europe – report

Some Netflix streams are reportedly reverting to full quality, following measures taken by the company in order to protect service providers coming under strain during the coronavirus lockdown.

FlatpanelsHD is reporting Netflix subscribers in various European nations are once again experiencing 4K HDR streams at 15Mbps bitrates, for the first time since Netflix willingly dropped the quality of streams two months ago.

High definition bitrates are also returning to normal in countries like Denmark, Germany and Norway, although it doesn’t appear as if the changes are universal across Europe yet. It appears Netflix is returning to full quality at different rates around the continent.

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Netflix says it has done a lot of work with ISPs to help them improve capacity in the last few weeks and, much like other parts of society, will lift limitations when it is deemed safe to do so.

In a statement, the company said: “Please note, we are working with ISPs to help increase capacity. In the last month alone we have added four times the normal capacity. As conditions improve we will lift these limitations.”

Just yesterday we brought word of a report from Ofcom citing the impact of Netflix’s restrictions on keeping the UK’s broadband infrastructure widely unaffected despite a massive uptick in traffic demands. On average, speeds only dropped around 2% on pre-lockdown data, despite large portions of society working/schooling from home and making more use of streaming services.

Netflix’s own speeds were down 3% on average Ofcom’s report notes, which probably wasn’t enough for anyone to notice. At the point Netflix placed its own restrictions on bitrate, the rate of decline in UK broadband speeds was halted and things picked back up again.

“Almost all broadband providers saw a fall in the rate at which download speeds were declining on 23 March 2020, when Netflix started to reduce the streaming quality of its video content, a move that was aimed at reducing the pressure on broadband networks,” the report added.