Europeans quarantined at home will be riding out the coronavirus pandemic in low-res.
Apple TV+ has joined the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming giants this week in downgrading streaming video quality across the continent in an apparent effort to reduce strain on the internet.
We reached out to Apple, which confirmed the move, in an attempt to determine when the decision was made, how long it will last, which specific countries or regions are affected, and how degraded the streaming quality is. The company did not respond to any of our specific questions.
9to5Mac reported that European customers are seeing resolutions “as low as 670 pixels tall” — a far cry from the service’s oft-touted 4K. Mashable is unable to independently confirm 9to5Mac’s reporting, however, there are Twitter accounts echoing the low-resolution claims.
“I’m Italian and I was watching ‘Truth’ on the Apple TV 4K and it seemed to me in SD but I didn’t want to believe it,” reads one such tweet. “So I took the Fire Stick 4K activated the developer tool and these are the results, 670×308 resolution, and average bitrate 300/400 kbps. RIDICULOUS”
Oi @AppleTV – why have you stopped streaming in UHD? Are you throttling the bitrate down?
I’m Italian and I was watching “Truth” on the Apple TV 4K and it seemed to me in SD but I didn’t want to believe it. So I took the Fire Stick 4K activated the developer tool and these are the results, 670×308 resolution, and average bitrate 300/400 kbps. RIDICULOUS
The least expensive AppleTV 4K device the company currently sells is listed on its site for $179. “HDMI cable,” unfortunately, “sold separately.”
While there are certainly more important things to worry about than streaming quality as the coronavirus sweeps the globe, customers may be forgiven for wondering if one of the wealthiest companies in the world will offer them some sort of refund after failing to provide a promised service.