Here’s why YouTube videos are maxing out at 480p in India right now

Last week, YouTube said that it’s defaulting video quality to 480p worldwide to save bandwidth, because more people are watching videos during lockdowns in various countries. Videos will start playing at 480p, but could change it manually to higher streaming resolution.

However, in India, the company is capping streaming quality at 480p on your phone — while using WiFi and mobile data. The development, first noticed by XDA Developer comes as the country is amidst a 21-day lockdown period.

YouTube limiting streaming quality in India

This move was in line with the digital industry’s decision last week to cap video quality to standard definition (SD) on cellular networks. However, Google said that the restriction is by device type. So, you won’t be able to see videos high definition on any network.

The company said it has also  “temporarily removed the option for users to manually select a resolution above 480p on mobile phones in India.”

India is arguably YouTube‘s largest consumer base, with more than 285 million monthly active users. With more people confined to their homes, internet usage has spiked in the country– especially on social media and video streaming apps.

To that end, WhatsApp now restricts videos in Status updates to 15 seconds in India to save bandwidth.

Streaming companies such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have also throttled their video quality in several countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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