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I just got this email from Netflix.

Starting today, watching movies & TV shows in Canada will use 2/3 less data on average with minimal impact to video quality. For example, watching 30 hours of Netflix movies & TV shows will only use 9 GB of data, well below most Canadian ISP data caps. Previously, 30 hours from Netflix typically used 31 GB.

Why the change? We know that many of our Canadian members have monthly Internet data caps. This new default account setting will significantly reduce the amount of data Netflix delivers to you each month.

You now also have the ability to manage how much data Netflix delivers to you. Visit Your Account to adjust your settings anytime you want. Regardless of which setting you choose –– Netflix is still only $7.99 a month.

As always, we will continue to innovate and try new things to ensure Netflix is a great experience without high data use. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-866-923-1277.

–Your friends at Netflix
Seems like they are taking Canada seriously.
 

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Manage Video Quality

We know that some of you have internet data caps and we want to make it easier for you to manage how much data you use.
We offer 3 video quality settings to help you manage your data usage. No matter what level you choose, your Netflix membership price will remain the same.

Good quality (up to 0.3 GB per hour)

Better quality (up to 0.7 GB per hour)

Best quality (up to 1 GB per hour, or up to 2.3 GB per hour for HD)
Wow, just checked again in my settings and it now shows as above with the 3 options.
 

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They defaulted everyone to the lower data stream at least a few days before they sent the email out. I just about went crazy over the weekend trying to figure out why my PS3 would no longer stream HD in Netflix or do 5.1 for certain titles. I stumbled upon this new setting by fluke yesterday, which fixed my problem.
 

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That should help settle the "it'll break my download cap" complains.
Which I never thought was a problem for most users in the first place.
 

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Me too. I thought that my PQ degradation on the weekend was due to some settings on my TV. And until derek80 pointed this out I couldn't work out why I couldn't get DD5.1.

Interesting that 2 hours ago my options were "SD or HD" and in the last two hours it's changed to "Good/Better/Best".

I also don't think the letter makes it clear enough to the non-techie what they've done. If I didn't know better I'd read that as they've come up with some new compression or transfer method.
 

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I got this email this morning. Great news for those with lower caps on their internet use. I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know if the picture quality is drastically reduced or not.

"Starting today, watching movies & TV shows in Canada will use 2/3 less data on average with minimal impact to video quality. For example, watching 30 hours of Netflix movies & TV shows will only use 9 GB of data, well below most Canadian ISP data caps. Previously, 30 hours from Netflix typically used 31 GB.

Why the change? We know that many of our Canadian members have monthly Internet data caps. This new default account setting will significantly reduce the amount of data Netflix delivers to you each month.

You now also have the ability to manage how much data Netflix delivers to you. Visit Your Account to adjust your settings anytime you want. Regardless of which setting you choose –– Netflix is still only $7.99 a month.

As always, we will continue to innovate and try new things to ensure Netflix is a great experience without high data use. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-866-923-1277."

–Your friends at Netflix
 

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Netflix' New Default Quality for Canadians: Good

Apparently Netflix has changed the default for Canadian users. It's dropping from 2.3GB/hour down to 0.3GB/hour.

Honestly, I think Netflix should take an opportunity to kick sand in the face of ISPs who are implementing caps. Specifically, they should have links to ISPs in your area (if there are any) that aren't charging for bandwidth overages.
 

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That should help settle the "it'll break my download cap" complains.
Which I never thought was a problem for most users in the first place.
How do you figure that? Since I signed up for Netflix I have blown through my 60GB cap on Cogeco each and every month. I would not consider myself a heavy user. 20-30GB or so for normal internet use per month was the norm. Now I am at 70-80GB per month with Netflix useage. It is a problem for me and sure was for many others. Now at least I have a choice.
 

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How do you figure that? Since I signed up for Netflix I have blown through my 60GB cap on Cogeco each and every month. I would not consider myself a heavy user. 20-30GB or so for normal internet use per month was the norm. Now I am at 70-80GB per month with Netflix useage. It is a problem for me and sure was for many others. Now at least I have a choice.
I figured, "for most users", based on my own proprietary method which I wrote down earlier in the bigger Netflix thread which assumed this as a movie rental Movie Network equivalent that it would not be a problem. Of course some are heavier users like you.

You can tell they got ready in case ubb got in effect, this was a good plan on their part.
 

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The funny thing here is that I signed up for the free trial on what must've been the first day of the change. I was shocked at the poor quality of HD content and didn't read about the reason until two days later.
 

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Can anyone answer, is the stream the same regardless of device or can you default to a different setting for one.

I'm thinking HD stream for my tv and Lower quality SD stream for my iPad.
 

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Last I checked there is only one setting, and it sets a upper bound for the stream quality. If you set it to max, it will of course only go as high as the device is capable of (e.g. you don't get HD on your Wii).
 

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Is it very easy to change the settings, so that it is practical to change it depending on what program you are watching?
 

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Thanks for the post. I thought I was being throttled as even HD streams looked horrible. This explains it.
 
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