Netflix Has Good News For Users With a Data Cap


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netflix-movies-expiring-jan-2014Have a data cap? We have good news for you. Recently Netflix updated its streaming to use less data!

Netflix did this by adapting a new encoding method called VP9, which is a huge step up from the older and still widely used H.264/AVC. So what does this mean for you? It means Netflix will use 36% less data vs the old system. Great news for anyone with a data cap.

But there are still some catches… Not every device supports the new standard, but a growing list of them do. VP9 is backed by Google, so Chrome and Android support it; iPhones and Apple products do not and have not announced plans to support it.

Not only did Netflix change the encoding, but it also adjusts usage based on what is happening on the show. An action scene with a lot of visual noise contains much more visual information than a scenic shot of a blue sky, and animated movies—in general—are much easier to encode than live-action films.

Now Netflix will account for these differences in an effort to deliver better pictures as they reduce data usage by 20%. Even with the old H.264/AVC standard users should see a savings of 19% less data used per hour.

Put these two new systems together and the data reduction is huge. At the same time Netflix is improving the picture quality of its streams.

Hopefully more devices will start to support this new encoding allowing more people to stay under their data caps even as they watch more.

Source: Variety 

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