Netflix now allows users to control how much data is being streamed from their smartphones.
Cellular data rates can go through the roof when users stream shows or movies on the go without a Wi-Fi connection. It doesn’t offer the option for users to download and save shows and movies, which can cause many to stack up their monthly data charges.
According to the company, users are able to stream up to three hours of shows and movies for each gigabyte of data used. They discovered the idea for their new data friendly option after testing on a variety of cellular networks, and finding that they could offer a happy medium that provided strong video quality that didn’t cause users to exceed their data usage.
In response to the overwhelming backlash of heightened cell phone bills, Netflix has created data controls that are available with the latest update to Android and iOS. The controls allow the user to turn off the original default settings by choosing between either a high or low data usage setting.
To access the new options, head to “App Settings” from the main menu dropdown. Then find and select “Turn off Set Automatically,” after which you can pick from five different video-quality settings. The option for unlimited data usage is also available in the “App Settings” menu. Creators say that the feature will only be available when you’re streaming without a Wi-Fi connection.
“We are always working on ways to improve picture quality while streaming more efficiently, so bitrates could change over time. As with all streaming, actual data usage can vary based on your device capabilities and network conditions. Your mobile carrier also may impact the actual data usage even if you elect a higher setting in the Netflix app,” according to Eddy Wu, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix.