No, your eyesight hasn’t suddenly deteriorated.
Starting today, YouTube began shifting the default play settings on all its videos to standard definition. The decision, confirmed to Mashable over email, is in response to possible bandwidth strain as more and more people self-isolate to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The move follows a similar announcement late last week focused solely on Europe. As was the case then, this change does not prevent people from watching YouTube videos in higher definition, but rather simply alters the setting on which they autoplay.
“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,” a Google spokesperson told Mashable over email.
Notably, you may not notice the change immediately. YouTube is rolling it out over the next few days, so there’s a chance your Sterling Grade A Content is still autoplaying in hi-def.
On Friday of last week, Apple TV+ hopped on the definition-reduction bandwagon — joining Netflix in reducing streaming quality in Europe.
While YouTube’s change may be slightly annoying to some people (and if you’re one of those people, please find something else to stress about), no one will have to be put out by the indignity of manually changing playback settings to a higher quality for long. Google confirmed that, for now, this will only last around 30 days.
So sit back, hit play, and chill.
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