Two days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation for the second time in the same week, and announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days. Now that the lockdown is in place, everyone’s working from home, or streaming shows on OTT platforms, or watching YouTube videos. Internet is the only solace for a lot of people, and it’s not surprising that the consumption of videos on Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and other apps have surged after the 21-day lockdown.
Now, in the wake of 21-day lockdown, Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and other platforms have temporarily suspended high definition (HD) as well as ultra-HD content on cellular networks in India. The streaming giants have restricted the video quality to SD (standard definition) content until April 14. Digital players have also lowered the bitrates to 480p. This has been done to reduce the stress on telecom networks, after the surge in mobile Internet consumption.
It is to be noted that this move is not for broadband, but only for the cellular networks.
All companies from the digital industry have decided upon temporarily defaulting HD & ultra-HD streaming to SD content or offering only SD content, at bitrates no higher than 480p on cellular networks until April 14: Prasar Bharati— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2020
This decision was taken in a virtual meeting organized by Uday Shankar, chairman of Star and Disney India, and was attended by many leaders from the digital industry. According to a statement in a press release, the government and telecom operators were concerned about the impact that the lockdown would have on the cellular network infrastructure. “The digital industry is acutely aware of this challenge, and is committed to ensuring that all citizens are able to access mobile networks whenever and wherever they want,” the statement read.
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