Netflix raises the bar on OTT quality

Editor | 28-09-2013

Rounding off a rather good week Netflix is to give all of its members access to HD programing regardless of their Internet service provider (ISP).

The move comes only days after the over the top (OTT) leader had signed up a distribution deal with a second leading European cable company, Sweden’s Com Hem, following a similar arrangement with Virgin Media in the UK. Netflix will be available as an app in Com Hem's TiVo service from December 2013.
With access over cable networks removing any network quality issues for the equation, Netflix is turning to improve QoE over its traditional access platforms. Netflix will now offer content in a higher bit rate stream, Super HD, applying less compression to the 1080p image and meaning that the ability to receive content in such quality will depend on broadband quality and performance. The company stresses that members who subscribe to an ISP with a direct Netflix connection will get the best experience. However the HD and Super HD streams are only available on certain titles.
Outlining why corporate communications director Joris Evers said: “We initially rolled out Super HD in January only through ISPs with a direct connection to Netflix. Based on the performance data we’ve seen, and in response to member requests, we are now expanding availability to give all our members the ability to enjoy Netflix in the best possible quality.”
Netflix added that it would continue to encourage ISPs to adopt Netflix Open Connect, its optimised video content delivery network available free to ISPs and said to be designed to deliver the best possible Netflix experience by storing content as close as possible to members’ homes.