In a recent development, Spectrum has informed its wireless customers about an upcoming change that will affect how video is handled on mobile devices.
Beginning December 12, 2023, Spectrum will default the video quality on mobiles from 720p to 480p for customers subscribed to its Unlimited Plus Mobile plan.
The decision, aimed at mitigating network load, was revealed after Spectrum began reaching out to customers last week.
This alteration means that when streaming on mobile devices connected to Spectrum’s network, videos will automatically start at 480p.
However, customers streaming on WiFi will retain the ability to default to the resolution their device supports.
While users can manually adjust the video quality to a higher resolution, the default setting reflects a strategic move by Spectrum to reduce strain on its network.
The change is anticipated to particularly benefit Spectrum’s partnership with Verizon, the provider of its wireless network.
The specifics of Spectrum’s contract with Verizon remain undisclosed, but the adjustment could potentially lead to reduced costs, especially if Spectrum incurs charges based on data usage.
It’s worth noting that this practice of limiting video quality on mobile devices is not entirely new, especially within the realm of prepaid wireless services.
Comcast, for instance, restricts customers on its Intro Unlimited plans to 480p, requiring a Plus or higher plan for 720p video streaming on Xfinity Mobile.
As of December 12, Spectrum users on the Unlimited Plus Mobile plan should be prepared for the default video quality change to 480p when streaming on mobile, with the option to manually adjust settings as needed.
The move underscores the ongoing efforts by telecom providers to balance service quality and network efficiency.