Netflix and Disney+ to reduce video quality in Europe as viewership spikes amid pandemic – SYFY WIRE

Stranger Things
The coronavirus pandemic continues to yield unexpected issues for the world of entertainment. With no theaters open (and that means no box-office numbers), people can still get their cinematic fix at home, right? Well, it's not that simple for people trying to stream films and shows across the pond. As more and more people make the wise decision to stay home amid the health scare, European internet providers are facing a bandwidth "crunch." To help combat this problem (which has affected Italy and Spain the hardest),  streaming platforms like Netflix,  Disney+, Amazon, Apple, and YouTube will be reducing video quality by at least 25 percent in the EU and United Kingdom. Per Variety, Netflix is promising customers that they can still stream HD and Ultra-HD content. Despite being somewhat paradoxical, this strategy goes into effect for the next 30 days. "The action we’ve taken maintains the full range of video resolutions, " wrote Ken Florance, Netflix’s VP of content delivery, in a blog post Saturday night. "So whether you paid for Ultra-High Definition (UHD), High Definition (HD), or Standard Definition (SD), that is what you should continue to get (depending on the device you are using).” Disney+ plans to do the same thing, as it launches in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, ....

We look forward to the launch of Disney+ and hope it will provide a much-needed respite for families in these challenging and trying times." Streaming has certainly made it easier to weather the pandemic, but the global malaise has shut down all active productions for popular shows like Stranger Things and Big Mouth. During an appearance on CNN's Reliable Sources (via Deadline), Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos offered an update on how the current health situation affects the company's timetable. “It’s been a massive disruption. Every of one of our productions around the world are shut down. It’s unprecedented in history, ” he said. “What’s happening now is we work pretty far ahead with delivering all the episodes of our shows at once, so [there is] no disruption over the next few months. Maybe later in the year as physical production is not operational." Sarandos mentioned that Big Mouth (the coming-of-age animated comedy co-created by Nick Kroll) recently hosted a 40-person table read over the internet. "People are getting geared up for a time they can get back to work, " he explained. With shoots not taking place and people working from home, Netflix is still paying its employees for a two-week period. A $100 ....

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