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Coronavirus: Digital industry to flip to SD from HD on work-from-home surge

Data consumption the past few days has gone up by 15-20% and consumption of high definition data requires 6-7 times higher bandwidth

Megha Manchanda  |  New Delhi 

Coronavirus: Digital industry to flip to SD from HD on work-from-home surge
480p is the shorthand name for a family of video display resolutions and is mainly used for many early plasma televisions

Amid the surge in demand for internet services in the backdrop of spread and increase in work-from-home by companies, the digital industry has decided to “temporarily” offer only Standard Definition (SD) streaming services, until April 14.

Sources said that data consumption the past few days has gone up by 15-20 per cent and consumption of HD (high definition) data requires 6-7 times higher bandwidth.

The decision was taken at a meeting on Tuesday by Uday Shankar, Chairman, Star & Disney India, and attended by senior leaders from digital industry.

The digital industry has decided to act immediately in the larger and consumer interest and to ensure the robustness of the cellular network, an official statement said.

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The move comes looking at the potential impact on the cellular network infrastructure caused by unprecedented surge in mobile internet consumption, as people are staying at their homes responding to Prime Minister’s call for social distancing & now a total lockdown.

The companies are of the view that Tuesday night’s call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for social distancing and now a total lockdown has led to people staying at home, causing an unprecedented surge in mobile internet consumption. As a result, the government and the telecom operators are concerned about its potential impact on the cellular network infrastructure.

The digital industry is acutely aware of this challenge and is committed to ensuring all citizens are able to access mobile networks wherever and whenever they want, the official statement said.

In order to achieve this, a meeting was organized on Tuesday by Uday Shankar, Chairman, Star & Disney India, with key stakeholders of the digital industry.


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The meeting, held virtually, was attended by NP Singh (Sony), Sanjay Gupta (Google), Ajit Mohan (Facebook), Sudhanshu Vats (Viacom18), Gaurav Gandhi (Amazon Prime Video), Punit Goenka (Zee), Nikhil Gandhi (Tiktok), Ambika Khurana (Netflix), Karan Bedi (MX Player) and Varun Narang (Hotstar).

The digital industry has decided to act immediately in the larger and consumer interest and to ensure the robustness of the cellular network.

It was unanimously agreed that as an exceptional measure, all companies will immediately adopt measures, including temporarily defaulting HD and ultra-HD streaming to SD content or offering only SD content, at bitrates no higher than 480p on cellular networks.

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480p is the shorthand name for a family of video display resolutions and is mainly used for many early plasma televisions.

These voluntary measures will be in effect until April 14. All participants are immediately taking measures.

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 18:23 IST
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