Netflix lowers 4k bitrate, that is Netflix is going to work on recoding all 4k, hdr and hfr titles. The company says it can deliver the same quality content, but at half the bitrate.
Earlier this year, the bitrate was already lowered due to the Corona virus. To prevent network overload due to the many people working from home throughout Europe, the quality was changed in March scaled back. However, this was reversed in May and video streams were returned to the old level reduced. This time, the change has nothing to do with the Corona virus. According to Netflix, it is simply about optimizing and users will not notice the lower quality.
The premium streams that were launched a few years ago had a fixed 4k resolution bitrate with 8, 10, 12 and 16 Mbps. This was independent of the content. Since then, the company has continued to work on the algorithm and come up with improvements that the company calls ‘per-title encode optimazations’ and ‘per-shot dynamic optimization’. However, these improvements never made it to the 4k content.
Great impact on the network as Netflix lowers 4k bitrate
Since the number of 4k titles is growing strongly on Netflix, the number of members is increasing and more and more devices can also play this high-quality content, these streams have a major impact on the underlying network. New innovations such as shot-based encoding, dynamic optimization (DO) and improved settings for encoders must now ensure that the quality is maintained, while the bitrate can be halved. Those who want to read the entire technical story can go to the Netflixtech blog.