While broadband data caps have yet to hit all service providers it is a growing concerns, especially amongst Canadians.  As a result, Netflix today announced that “watching movies and TV shows streaming from Netflix will use 2/3 less data on average, with minimal impact to video quality.”  In other words, CA Netflix users can watch 30 hours of streaming and only consume 9GB of data, compared to 70GB if it were all in HD.  Sure, the picture clairyt will be diminished, but Netflix says that quality will continue to be great, and if the customer so chooses they can opt to switch back to a higher bit rate, though at their own risk of paying overages on their bandwidth.

The three settings are as follows:

  1. “Good” – The default setting with good picture quality and lowest data use per hour (about 0.3 GBytes/hour)
  2. “Better” – Better picture quality and medium data use per hour (about 0.7 GBytes/hour)
  3. “Best” – Best picture quality and highest date use per hour (generally about 1.0 GBytes/hour – or up to 2.3 GBytes/hour when streaming HD content)

It’s our best guess that Netflix has decided to test this feature in Canada since the customer base is probably relatively small compared to the US.  But in light of AT&T’s bandwidth caps on Uverse and DSL, which we recently told you about, we expect this feature to roll out State side in the some what near future.


Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."