YouTube Lowering Video Quality Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Google has announced it will be defaulting YouTube videos to standard definition for the next month worldwide due to the stress of added viewership.
youtube streaming quality

As we know, COVID-19 has taken the entertainment industry by storm. Films and TV shows have had production halted, many films are going to digital months earlier, and even YouTube appears affected.

Naturally, YouTube is one of the places people have been going for their entertainment fix. However, video quality seems to have changed for the streaming platform right now.


youtube quality lowered

What’s Up With YouTube?

To break it down: videos that are in 1080p will still be played in 1080pHD, But anything that is usually played in 720pHD will default to play in 720p. Below are a few examples of videos that would usually play in 720pHD:

Usually, for content from Kinda Funny Games, Kinda Funny, and even Critical Role, one can play it in 720pHD and the quality is really good. With content not just playing in 720p and no HD, it still looks decent, but it doesn’t look super crisp like it does with the HD turned on.

Google gave their explanation for limiting streaming quality worldwide in an earlier statement, and expressed the following:

“We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation.”

Personality, I would’ve like to still be able to play videos in 720pHD, but with the amount of people using YouTube to watch content right now, that might not happen for a while – or at least it might not happen until after the COVID-19 crisis has ended.

So if you do decide to use YouTube, be prepared for certain videos to not play in super high-quality HD. And for the latest nerdy news, you can check out The Illuminerdi.


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I am a massive fan of a lot of nerdy things including Power Rangers, D&D, Marvel, and even Disney.