Netflix has announced new software that it hopes could save you cash while improving your viewing experience.
The firm has been working on an improved method of delivering its content, which it hopes will be released in the next few months.
The Dynamic Optimiser compression system will improve overall video quality while also reducing the amount of data used to access it – potentially presenting substantial savings on mobile data bills.
The Dynamic Optimiser uses artificial intelligence to work out the complexity of the image being presented.
The system then varies the compression rate it applies depending on what is happening on screen.
For example, this could mean that a busy action scene full or explosions, bright colours or complex images would receive less compression than an interview on a plain background in a documentary.
Netflix started streaming TV in the United States nearly a decade ago and has now launched in almost every country. It ended 2016 with nearly 94 million subscribers, adding five million outside the United States in the last three months of the year.Nearly half (47 per cent) of Netflix users are now outside the United States, a proportion expected to increase as it adds more customers.Mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 50 per cent annually through 2022, to account for nearly three quarters of all mobile data traffic, according to a forecast by Sweden-based telecommunications operator Ericsson.
When a streaming service detects that you are on a slow connection, either due to low speed broadband at home or fluctuating mobile reception levels, it will increase the compression accordingly.
The software used to determine this process are known as codecs.
The new Dynamic Optimiser codec will be released ‘in a couple of months’, according to Netflix vice president of product innovation Todd Yellin.
In a speech given to journalists at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week, reported by News.com.au, Todd Yellin, vice president of innovation at Netflix, said: ‘Whatever the best picture we can give you with whatever your bit rate is, that’s what we’re going for. An HD picture for a lot less.’
Netflix head Reed Hastings predicted on Monday that mobile carriers will soon offer data plans that give users unlimited video streaming to meet the rising popularity of watching TV and movies on mobile devices.
Also speaking at the MWC, he said: ‘Ten to twenty years from now all the video you view is going to be on the Internet.
‘I think screens today are really stunning, you can see all the depth right in front of you. The beautiful thing is you can watch it on the move.
‘What we are going to see I think is a number of companies pioneering new ways of offering services to the consumers where it is unlimited video data but it is limited to say one megabit speed.
‘So it is a slower speed but you get unlimited data on that and that turns out to be very efficient on network so an operator can offer unlimited viewing.’
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