Your web browser choice impacts Netflix streaming quality

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If you’re getting poor streaming quality via Netflix, then a new report suggests that a change of web browser might just help.

It’s pretty well known that at the point when lockdowns around the world started to come into effect and the demand on internet services increased, the likes of Netflix knocked down the default streaming quality of its films and TV shows by as much as a quarter. Others followed suit.

But now, thanks to a new piece at Forbes, we learn that there’s another factor that may be affecting streaming quality, at least for those who use a desktop computer or laptop. And that’s your choice of web browser.

As per the article from UK IT journalist Barry Collins, “tests show that watching the same Netflix movie in Microsoft’s Edge browser will deliver far higher video quality than watching the film in Firefox on the exact same computer or via a television”.

He discovered, for instance, that the same film streaming over the same internet line had real variations. From 0.30Mbit/sec using Firefox for a full HD stream to 1.47Mbit/sec using the Microsoft Edge web browser.  As the report notes, this is not isolated to one person’s system setup either.

Obviously there are all sorts of variables in there to consider, but if you’re getting poor picture quality from the Netflix streaming, it may just be worth using different software.

The full report can be found here.


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