Streaming services no longer in HD - refund?

As essentially all paid for streaming services in the U.K. are only streaming in SD, are we due a refund of some kind?

I know that Netflix et al have throttled the download speed, but I haven’t noticed any drop in picture quality. Do you have a source for the assertion that the programmes are not in HD?

No, they’re not - and no, you’re not.


Just looking for the article to post here and it does actually state they are still HD / 4K but a reduction of 25% in bitrate. It’s noticeable on Disney+ for sure, but not sure why we continue to pay premium prices when the product is no longer premium quality. Streaming companies must be making a mint during this time when everyone else is being decimated. Surely there’s a case for some kind of recompense?

You’re still getting their full catalogue and access on the same amount of devices with a slight degradation in quality which is not discernible.

Guess it’s times like this when everyone is in need that people show their true colours.

Streaming companies are already taking a financial hit anyway because of the rapid increase in people streaming no doubt costing them significantly more in bandwidth and increased server deployments to cope.

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People pay extra for that increase in quality


My guess is if the quality difference were noticeable then yes you should be entitled but if it’s not it’s hard to justify one.

Is now really the time to be requesting refunds though?

Plus it’s not just the quality you’re paying extra for, it’s device limits too


A certain amount of that cost goes into paying extra for quality.

Personally I wouldn’t bother but that’s up to the individual, not for us to decide.


I’m not sure of the details for all of the streaming services, but Netflix’s reduction in bit rate was the same for all customers, so if you paid for better quality, you are still getting better quality.


I’m not sure the argument of ‘your still getting more than others’ really qualifies for paying full price for anyone. Netflix has reduced the quality of its service, and in the U.K. at least they’ve done it for no reason.

While I’m not trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill, the company has deliberately reduced the quality of the service we pay for but hasn’t reduced the price by an equivalent amount. Netflix will be making a tidy profit from the reduction in bandwidth associated with that decrease in quality.


They have not done it for no reason. They have done it in order to continue being able to offer their service under massively increased demand, due to everyone now being at home.


The UKs networks have been coping fine with the increase in usage. While they may have been asked to reduce the quality of their service in some other European countries it’s not required in the U.K.

We’ve seen an increase in usage, but it’s no where near the peak usage we’ve had in the past. Put simply, it’s not needed in the UK. In any case I think the point is a reasonable one, a reduction in service should come with an equivalent reduction in price.


It’s not just about our network infrastructure though. It’s also about whether their infrastructure can cope with the demand.

I would assume their infrastructure wasn’t built with the current demand in mind, since they would usually get some respite while people are at work.


Now your argument would be different. Youd be saying they can’t deliver what we paid for if we all actually used what we paid for.

But they haven’t done it because they can’t cope, they’ve done it on the request of the EU and some South American countries.

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If they’ve done it at the request of the EU, why would you be getting a refund?

They’ve reduced the bitrate, if you’re paying for 4K you’re still getting 4K. What’s the issue? You’re not paying them extra for bitrate and you’ve almost certainly had varying bitrates the whole time you’ve had any of the subscriptions as that’s the nature of streaming services.

If the quality difference was massive I would probably agree with you but I’m streaming Netflix on a 4K TV in what I presume is 4K quality and I can’t see any difference.


I find the defence of a profit seeking company a bit weird in this instance. It’s not like it’s a complex situation, they’ve deliberately reduced the quality of their service and have said this reduction in quality may be visible. Why should we be paying full price if they’ve reduced the quality of the service in our area?

Yes we are. We’re paying for the full service including bitrate.

Im not really seeing the logic to their defence? They reduce the service then reduce the cost to us by an equivalent amount. It seems straight forward to me. :man_shrugging:

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Netflix have different plans for different resolutions delivered…

  • Basic Plan: 1 screen plan SD (watch on 1 device at a time, Standard Definition)
  • Standard Plan: 2 screen plan HD (watch on 2 devices at the same time, High Definition when available)
  • Premium Plan: 4 screen plan HD/UHD 4K (watch on 4 devices at the same time, includes High Definition and Ultra High Definition when available)

So perhaps this is a discussion to be had around this.

But it’s not one for me. Not right now.

Sky Sports are offering a pause in the subscription, you can do it online.

Am still able to watch the sports channels though even after cancelling, not that there is much worth watching…


I saw that about Sky Sports - it’s very expensive anyway so I’m sure plenty of people will be pleased to know they can pause it.

Good news with most streaming services is you can cancel anytime so if you’re not impressed with the quality for the time being you can cancel at your will.