YouTube will now default all video playback to 480p, because y’all are streaming too much


Streaming services have been capping video playback resolution left and right since the virus struck the globe. South Africans happily scraped by the new regulations that mostly effected Europe (on both Netflix and YouTube). Well, it seems we aren’t as lucky anymore. 

YouTube announced it will lower the default streaming resolution in Europe a few days ago to reduce strain on the continent’s internet infrastructure. Now the streaming giant is rolling out the limitation across the globe. We’ll only be able to stream at a maximum of 480p, which isn’t… very good. 

The new default will be implemented regardless of your connection. It’ll roll out gradually to various countries (and we don’t know where SA is on this schedule), and will apparently only last 30 days. But the service can extend it. Because, well, it’s their service and they can do what they want. 

This is happening mainly due to increased humans working from home, which is putting strain on servers and other infrastructure. “First, it was Netflix, and then YouTube, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and others promptly followed suit. So far, only YouTube has expanded these measures globally,” TNW reports. 

Don’t worry just yet though, because this rollout will only default to 480p, meaning you’ll still have the ability to up the quality manually. It makes sense, as many users don’t necessarily care much about the number of pixels on their screens. And you still have the ability to increase it. 


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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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