Online streaming services like Netflix and Sling TV know that Comcast is trying to put the squeeze on them by implementing data caps for Internet users and then offering its own IP-based online streaming service that’s sent over a different network and is thus exempt from its own caps. One solution that Netflix has been testing out could significantly reduce the amount of data that every stream requires.
As Variety reports, Netflix is re-encoding its entire library of movies and TV shows with bandwidth-saving technology that its own tests have shown will reduce the data consumed per stream by up to 20%. This would not only make it easier for Netflix users to avoid going over their data caps, but it also helps Netflix expand into markets that have slower Internet services that have trouble handling high-quality video streams.
Netflix has apparently realized that they can get away with using different encoding techniques on different movies and shows without compromising their overall video quality. For example, Netflix’s engineers have realized that you don’t need to put an episode of My Little Pony through the same rigorous process that you’d use with Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Netflix is hoping to have over a thousand titles re-encoded by the end of the year and to have its full library re-encoded in the first quarter of 2016. All told, it’s a hugely ambitious project that will hopefully save users some headaches from worrying about going over their monthly usage limits.