I don’t know about the rest of you but lately I have been totally freaked out about Bandwith and going over my set bandwith on my plan and being punished by the gods of telecom that control the internet waves. We have quite a few Netflix editorials on our site since Netflix came to Canada and on them there are a pile of great comments about Netflix, the Bandwith issue and the CRTC. Hidden amongst them was a real gem of a tip that I had no idea about that I am calling ‘Operation Lower Bandwith Bill’
One of our readers and I apologize I wrote down his comment but not their name had a great tip on how you can save bandwith with Netflix by making one super easy change in your account. He writes;
I’m not sure if this was already mentioned but, here is a tip to keep you bandwidth in check. On the nextflix.ca website you can limit your streaming quality to 480p (preventing it from going HD). This will save you a lot of bandwidth. For those not in the know, 480 refers to the amount of vertical lines of video sent. Netflix is capable of a maximum of 720p. On my 1080p capable TV, Mad Men in 480 looks nearly indistinguishable from 720. By the way, the p stands for progressive, which also means it is much better at enlarging than than the other common format, 480i (interlaced).
With netflix Canada not really having a lot blockbusters, and specialing in documentaries, older TV and brainy movies, it makes good sense to switch to 480 and save yourself some money.
In a nutshell this means now when you load Netflix on your Xbox or laptop, whatever it will no longer try to find the HD stream it will give you the SD stream. HD vs SD streams is a big deal since a movie that could be a gig or less in 480P could also be 8gigs in 1080P. This great tip could help alot of you knock a big chunk of your internet bills. Netflix might give us unlimited movies for $7.99 a month but the internet telecom companies which in many cases own the cable company are not happy and are trying to ding us in our pocket book.
If you have your own Netflix tips please post and share them with us all. Below are two screenshots of my Netflix account to show you how easy it is to turn off the HD streaming option on Netflix.