Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is planning to reduce its data consumption by a 20 percent in the U.S with the usage of new algorithms, which will also permit higher quality streamings that will be adapted to each kind of content, reported Variety.

In the last four years the company has been developing an algorithm alongside the University of Southern California, the University of Nantes and the UT Austin, that would examine each movie or episode to define its complexity in order to reduce its data usage while maintaining exactly the same quality as before.

Photo: Netflix/Digital Trends
Netflix keeps improving their streaming service to continue to be on top. Photo: Netflix/Digital Trends

Situating Netflix into the Internet traffic patterns of the U.S.

Netflix, the most popular streaming service of video in North America, occupies about 36.5% of all downstream Internet bandwidth during peak periods, which is more than the consumption of Youtube, Amazon and Hulu combined together in the same period, Sandvine reported.

During the same period of comparison Youtube usually occupies 15.6% of downstream Internet traffic, web browsing a modest 6%, Facebook 2.7% and Amazon Instant Video 2.0%.

According to a company statement there are 40 million Netflix Subscribers in the U.S. who spend around 10 billion hours per month using the service when counted together and about 63% of those users are extremely satisfied or very satisfied with the service.

New algorithms

Previously the company delivered several versions of videos depending on users needs according to the speed of their connections. This means files could be seen from resolutions of 320 by 240 pixels to 1080p.

Netflix stated this had no sense, Anne Aaron, the video algorithms manager from the company, explained to Variety My Little Pony does not work with the same amount of bits as The Avengers because the encoding of animated shows is not that complex.

As a consequence, engineers noted the same encoding methods should not be used for very different videos. Aaron said a one-size-fits-all model doesn’t give users the most optimal quality. For example videos which have big amounts of visual details could receive an extreme compression that could generate noise in the image.  

With the new set of algorithms video is going to be streamed in full HD while consuming less data than before, even with slow connections or mobile internet connections. The company assured the quality of the image won’t be affected and it will work on all devices.

“Our continuous innovation on this front recognizes the importance of providing an optimal viewing experience for our members while simultaneously using less bandwidth and being better stewards of the Internet”. Wrote the company in a statement.

Source: Variety