Soon the days of waiting for Netflix to buffer will be gone, at least that’s what Netflix CEO Reed Hastings envisions for the streaming service.
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday Hastings gave a talk on the future of video streaming. Between buffering and the amount of data video uses to stream it can be a pain, so Netflix is looking to better the user experience. One way to currently eliminate buffering is to download shows before leaving a Wi-Fi enabled area or a place with strong cell service. Netflix introduced offline viewing back in November for certain movies and shows. “Sometimes you’re out of range or on a subway...so downloading is great,” he said.
But as the streaming service has expanded to 190 countries across the globe and added original content the company is looking for ways to keep improving. With so many other companies joining the streaming world, like Amazon with Amazon Prime, and Youtube with Youtube Red, Hastings said Netflix isn’t looking to change much, they just want to stay ahead of the pack, “We want to stay at the forefront, continue to innovate, continue to do some of the best programming in the world”
Some cellular service providers are offering unlimited data plans (unlimited streaming) but some also lower the speed of streaming, so Netflix is investing in “the video encoders so that at a half a megabit you get incredible picture quality on a four and five inch screen now we’re down in some cases to 300 killabits and were hoping some day to be able to get to 200 killabits for an amazing picture,” Hastings said at the conference. This would make the video faster to streaming, without diminishing the quality, effectively eliminating buffering and making streaming more enjoyable.
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