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T-Mobile CEO John Legere today wrote a letter in response to recent criticisms of the company's new free video streaming service "Binge On," claiming that the program does not permanently slow down data and that claims of throttling are just "playing semantics." Legere also reiterated the fact that users can opt out of the service at any time, and that anyone with the ability to access Binge On has "complete control" over the experience if they want higher than 480p resolution.

There are people out there saying we're "throttling." They're playing semantics! Binge On does NOT permanently slow down data nor remove customer control. Here's the thing, mobile customers don't always want or need giant heavy data files. So we created adaptive video technology to optimize for mobile screens and stream at a bitrate designed to stretch your data (pssst, Google, that's a GOOD thing).

You get the same quality of video as watching a DVD - 480p or higher - but use only 1/3 as much data (or, of course, NO data used when it's a Binge On content provider!). Watch more video, use less data from your service plan. That's an important and valuable benefit!
In the rest of the letter, the CEO calls out media outlets for making Binge On into a negative story over the past few weeks, suggesting some places as "using Net Neutrality as a platform to get into the news." Legere compares the new service to T-Mobile's "Music Freedom" platform that launched in 2014, giving customers free music streaming that wouldn't affect data plan cost.

In addition to reassuring customers, T-Mobile today announced a slate of fourteen new Binge On partners including: A&E, Lifetime, HISTORY Channel, and PlayStation Vue Live TV. The new additions bring the partner total to 38 and the company said that more than 50 providers are preparing to back the free streaming program in the months ahead.

Since Binge On launched in November, the service's questionable video throttling of non-partner content has brought it under scrutiny multiple times. Just this week, an independent test proved that a smartphone with Binge On enabled throttled video streaming of services not affiliated with T-Mobile and the free initiative. CEO John Legere's response today is the second time the company has directly addressed Binge On's negative accusations, following a dispute with YouTube in December.

Those interested can read Legere's full letter on T-Mobile's blog.

Article Link: T-Mobile CEO Responds to 'Binge On' Controversy, Announces 14 New Partners
 

captain cadet

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2012
417
648
But if its an opt-out its just like the pornography filters that ISPs have to put on users accounts when they make an account by law as the UK doesn't want their own citizens looking at porn.
Its awkward and slow to get it taken off so most people dont bother with removing them - in affect allowing the government to censor porn from us....
 
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tys

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2008
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I'm a T-Mobile customer and think this is great. As far as I can tell, from a practical end-user standpoint, this just changes the default video quality settings.
Before almost everything would default to HD, and if I forgot to change it I would burn through huge chunks of data in very short order. Now I don't have to worry about it.
 

Ries

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
2,276
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On a device with a 4-6" screen it's good quality. I doubt most people could tell difference between 720p and 480p on a 5" screen.

Yeah, no....

Video-Resolution-SD-480p-vs-HD-720p-vs-HD-1080p.jpg
 

furi0usbee

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2008
1,790
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1. Be very leery when a company says it's doing something to "benefit" the customer.

2. This should be OPT-IN rather than OPT-OUT.

3. I don't care what quality the stupid YouTube video I'm watching is.

4. I'll watch Netflix on my TV or my computer.

5. At least the guy comes off as genuine.
 

furi0usbee

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2008
1,790
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That is the most garbage side by side comparison I have ever seen.

But yeah, no... nice try.

If someone doesn't beat me to it, later I'll post "actual" side-by-side so we can see how much difference there really is.
 

scoobydoo99

Cancelled
Mar 11, 2003
1,007
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It's not just about the resolution. Under Binge On, data streaming is free. UNLESS, you want to stream content from a non-approved (i.e. non-partner) provider. In that case, you have to pay a fee for that content. This is the very definition of what the FCC's new Net Neutrality rules make illegal (e.g. "No paid prioritization")
 

ram-it14

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2015
25
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If someone doesn't beat me to it, later I'll post "actual" side-by-side so we can see how much difference there really is.
Here's a screenshot from a video set to 480p on YouTube. If I was worried about my data consumption this would be adequate quality.
 

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jlc1978

macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2009
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By making it opt-out, T-Moblie avoids a lot of problems with customers thinking their video isn't using data when it actually is. Most T-Mobile customers probably have little or no idea what Binge-On is other than it's "free video;" expecting them to understand they need to opt-in adds an unnecessary and confusing layer of complexity. Someone who wants the highest possible video is more likely to know how to change it than someone who simply wants good enough video. Thus, T-Mobile sets up the service as opt-out.
 
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BruiserB

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2008
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John, make it opt-in and move on.

If they made it opt-in, then idiots would claim that they watched tons of Netflix last month because they thought it was free and didn't know they had to opt-in....they just thought it was free because they saw a commercial from T-mobile. Making it opt-out makes it work for most people and those that care and are more likely to know what they are doing can make a conscious decision to opt-out and have the data count against their plans if they want.
 

furi0usbee

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2008
1,790
1,381
It's not just about the resolution. Under Binge On, data streaming is free. UNLESS, you want to stream content from a non-approved (i.e. non-partner) provider. In that case, you have to pay a fee for that content. This is the very definition of what the FCC's new Net Neutrality rules make illegal (e.g. "No paid prioritization")

What? Please correct me if I'm wrong. You always "pay" for your data (bandwidth) based on your plan. With a binge "partner" you simply DO NOT pay. If you opted out of binge, you still "pay" just as you do now.

If there was no opt-out, this would be a violation of net neutrality with the partners and all and preference given to content providers who pay. It should be opt-in, but there is no net neutrality violations in any case.
 
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