YouTube restricted video streaming to SD (480p) in India for its mobile app after the government called for a country-wide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This move was to save internet bandwidth given people were browsing YouTube more than ever before. After months, YouTube finally brings back HD streaming in the country, however, it is currently available only if you use WiFi to watch videos. Let’s explain.
YouTube users in India can once again watch HD, full-HD, and even higher quality videos on the mobile app. This option however is only available while watching videos on the app using a stable Wi-Fi connection. This means you still won’t be able to watch YouTube videos HD in mobile data and will be restricted to SD quality.
If streaming in Wi-Fi YouTube app now shows four quality settings in India 720p, 1080p, and 1440p in addition to standard definition 144p, 240p, 360p, and 480p. This also means that as soon as your mobile device connects to mobile data from WiFi the Youtube video will revert to 480p quality.
Google never restricted the video quality in the YouTube desktop version. In other words, YouTube on the desktop can stream videos in HD quality without any restriction.
To recollect, the HD streaming restriction was implemented in the initially month of the lockdown. It was mostly to save internet bandwidth as people were watching videos on YouTube all day and night to kill boredom.
Besides YouTube, streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ Hotstar had also limited HD video streaming. The restriction still continues for mobile data and Netflix and other mentioned steaming platforms still don’t stream content in HD resolution. The videos are set to default SD quality at 480p on mobile networks.
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