Digital platforms in India suspend HD streams during coronavirus crisis

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Digital streaming giants including Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, ZEE5 and VOOT will no longer stream HD content during the coronavirus crisis, its been confirmed.

A meeting held by Uday Shankar, chairman, Star & Disney India, along with key stakeholders of the digital industry, put plans in place after a total 21-day lockdown came into force in India. 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 government and telecom operators had expressed concern about potential impact on the cellular network infrastructure.

A statement released by the stakeholders published by AFaQs said, “The digital industry has decided to act immediately in the larger national 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. These voluntary measures will be in effect until April 14. All participants are immediately taking measures.”

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