Disney+ to Launch Across Europe This Week With Reduced Streaming Quality, Launch in France Delayed

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Disney's premium streaming service, Disney+, will launch across Europe on Tuesday with temporarily degraded video quality, according to Reuters. The measure aims to reduce the burden on the continent's data networks as millions of people switch to working from home.


In a company statement, Disney said it had agreed to a European Union request for streaming-video providers to "ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure."
Anticipating higher consumer demand, the company is instituting measures to "lower our overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25 percent in all of the markets launching Disney+ on March 24th," said Kevin Mayer, head of Disney's Direct-to-consumer and International business.
In addition, the launch of Disney+ has been delayed in France by two weeks on request of the French government. Disney+ will now launch in the country the week of April 7.

Facebook yesterday also committed to downgrade video streaming quality across its social media platforms, including Instagram.

Last week, the European Union asked streaming services to consider temporary reductions in streaming quality due to the abnormally large number of people working from home and taking advantage of streaming services amid the viral outbreak. Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV+, and Amazon all responded to the call.
Currently, streaming content providers have only been asked to lower streaming quality in Europe, so the lower streaming rates do not affect the United States and other countries. The United States has not called on streaming content providers to implement data reduction measures.

It's not clear how long Disney plans to stream with reduced quality and whether tweaks will be made for a better compromise between quality and data usage. Netflix said that it will continue using the lower quality stream for the next 30 days.

Article Link: Disney+ to Launch Across Europe This Week With Reduced Streaming Quality, Launch in France Delayed
 

Appleman3546

macrumors regular
May 13, 2019
128
145
The EU is saying that it is not ok to throttle quantity, just quality. Whereas the USA allows throttling quantity, not quality. Unlimited of bad service v short bursts of greatness
 

Frign

macrumors regular
Aug 19, 2011
110
374
And so it begins. As far as I'm concerned, I think Disney will crush any competition in the coming years. Regulators should have stopped Disney from aquiring Hulu, ESPN and Fox, now we must live with the consequences.

Online streaming was invented to stop cable bundles, but now it seems we will see streaming bundles for the same high prices very soon.
 

millar876

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2004
689
28
Kilmarnock, Scotland UK
At least here in the UK, most ISPs have released statements that they have plenty of overhead left, even some mobile phone providers, including openreach who owns/operates the majority of the DSL/ADSL/FTTC infrastructure . With BT even staying usage is still below its highest ever figures. There’s me with 384MBps down and stuck with lower quality streams because someone in the EU parliament had a panic attack and instead of consulting ISPs to see if it would actually be an issue, went ahead and used his position to force content providers to lower quality
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,691
3,381
At least here in the UK, most ISPs have released statements that they have plenty of overhead left, even some mobile phone providers, including openreach who owns/operates the majority of the DSL/ADSL/FTTC infrastructure . With BT even staying usage is still below its highest ever figures. There’s me with 384MBps down and stuck with lower quality streams because someone in the EU parliament had a panic attack and instead of consulting ISPs to see if it would actually be an issue, went ahead and used his position to force content providers to lower quality
And there's my trying to do a job working from home, and I couldn't give a damn about some millennials who can't live without 4k video.
 

Mighuel

macrumors member
Aug 27, 2008
96
70
Finland
And there's my trying to do a job working from home, and I couldn't give a damn about some millennials who can't live without 4k video.
I think the problem is that Netflix and other companies offer subpar image quality (not even that great to begin with) while asking the same prices as before. If Netflix (and others) don’t want to lower prices they could move everybody to SD subscription for a month (or longer if needed) and charge accordingly. Now it seems like they’re just saving some bandwith costs in their end while making the same amount of money (=more profit) :).

There is also other discussion whether any of this really helps as someone stated earlier.
 
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millar876

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2004
689
28
Kilmarnock, Scotland UK
And there's my trying to do a job working from home, and I couldn't give a damn about some millennials who can't live without 4k video.
Well my wife is working from home as well, has full speed remote connection to her office (as fast as her office can handle) has zero disruption to her workflow, video conferencing etc. Whilst the kids are on a laptop each doing school work, the kitchen stereo is streaming audio, the mrs is streaming audio, and I’ve got either netflix, YouTube or something else on and still have bandwidth to spare. The infrastructure is in place for higher use than the whole country has ever used before. BT reported earlier today that daytime usage across their network is up 60% over standard daytime traffic and below peak evening traffic. The bandwith and connection problems don’t seem to be on the ISP or infrastructure side but in individual users setup not optimised for the higher sustained use. Perhaps congested WiFi and it’s associated interference causing a perceived issue.
 

laz232

macrumors 6502
Feb 4, 2016
458
754
At a café near you
Anyone able to give a list of which of the 30+ countries in 'Europe'? NB difference between EU and Europe, before people point to wikipedia.

I hate the media companies for making it damn near impossible to watch their crap legally and not providing us any actual information as to when and where. Of course, it|s not like journalists do any extra work beyond copy-pasta press releases...
 
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Mighuel

macrumors member
Aug 27, 2008
96
70
Finland
And here's how Netflix already years ago made it so that their content doesn't really clog up the Internet in any way while still offering 4K HDR with (relatively) high bitrate...

If there was just one ISP in the world then obviously lowering streaming quality would help.
 
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Akiainavas

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2018
6
72
Networks in the US said the same thing last week... today AT&T announced they are seeing signs of serious stress... same thing will likely happen in the UK

EU was 100% right to ask companies to consider lowering quality for a while. It’s better to anticipate a potential issue than let the network collapse -whether some trolls here like it or not
 

MandiMac

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2012
1,014
533
And in Austria we still don't even have the Disney+ app ready for download. This will be stressful for Apple's servers as well :)
 
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Mighuel

macrumors member
Aug 27, 2008
96
70
Finland
Networks in the US said the same thing last week... today AT&T announced they are seeing signs of serious stress... same thing will likely happen in the UK

EU was 100% right to ask companies to consider lowering quality for a while. It’s better to anticipate a potential issue than let the network collapse -whether some trolls here like it or not
It's absolutely the right thing to do if there is a real problem that can be solved with these measures. Currently however in the EU ISPs are saying that everything's fine and dandy so that raises some questions. Obviously ISPs can be lying too but that would seem pretty extreme.

And as I stated before, if there is a real problem then Netflix & others should consider limit the stream to 720p or 1080p (using their normal bitrates for those streams) and charge less per month until problems are solved. Simple! Now they're basically streaming very very low quality 4K HDR and charging the normal premium for that.
 
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opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
1,658
542
Slovenia, EU
Anyone able to give a list of which of the 30+ countries in 'Europe'? NB difference between EU and Europe, before people point to wikipedia.
I totally agree... the say "European launch", but in reality, this will be 5-6 countries in Europe. Most likely.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,907
32,242
Boston
The issue is that the infrastructure wasn't designed to have the entire population being online at once - no one in their right mind would have thought nations would enforce a shelter in place for their entire population, but there you go.
 
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yoomy

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2008
98
3
I can't argue against the reduced quality because I don't know the facts about the network infrastructure. But I won't be subscribing to Disney+ or watching Netflix, AppleTV+, Prime or whatever until they are back to normal.
 

DerMario

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2012
100
9
Anyone Know when the Disney+ App Contra to the AppStore in Germany? Today or tomorrow?
 

Morgenland

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2009
720
709
Europe
It's absolutely the right thing to do if there is a real problem that can be solved with these measures. Currently however in the EU ISPs are saying that everything's fine and dandy so that raises some questions. Obviously ISPs can be lying too but that would seem pretty extreme.

And as I stated before, if there is a real problem then Netflix & others should consider limit the stream to 720p or 1080p (using their normal bitrates for those streams) and charge less per month until problems are solved. Simple! Now they're basically streaming very very low quality 4K HDR and charging the normal premium for that.
What EU ISPs are you talking about? Do you know people there personally?
 

Mighuel

macrumors member
Aug 27, 2008
96
70
Finland
What EU ISPs are you talking about? Do you know people there personally?
Well, I've personally only familiar with two ISPs. One for work stuff, one for home stuff. We had some problems with some work apps (namely MS Teams) a couple of days ago and I asked one of those two providers what's the problem. The problem was entirely within MS servers, no large scale problems. Obviously we talked briefly about the current situation in the world and they told me that they don't have any particular issues with their network. A quick speedtest.net test would confirm that in some ways (doesn't give you the full scope of things). Now this is just one country obviously. There are many countries so of course some ISPs might have issues with their network although I've seen quite a few statements (links to articles etc.) from different ISPs in different countries being posted on Reddit and other forums saying no problem with bandwith. But I'm no expert. If there are network infrastructure expert on these forums they could chime in 👍

At the end of the day the problem is not Netflix (or others) limiting their bitrates. It's really the way they're doing it. It would be perfectly fine to move everybody to lower bitrate streams but limit the resolution to 720p or something. At the same time obviously reduce monthly fees for everyone to reflect the temporary change. What they are doing now is basically charging full price for 4K HDR that looks absolutely horrendous. I much rather watch 720p@3-4mbps than 4K HDR@3-4mbps :)
 
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