At the ongoing event of Mobile World Congress 2017, Netflix has made some really interesting announcements. First of all, it was a proud day for Netflix, after the platform won its first Oscar for the documentary The White Helmets , and CEO Reed Hastings proudly announced the same at the event in Barcelona as well. In a keynote address at MWC, he also shed light on Netflix‘s plans for the future. Also Read - Confused what to watch on Netflix? New ‘Play Something’ feature is here to helpAlso Read - Netflix introduces UI changes for the Kids profiles: See what's new
With Netflix’s ambitious plans to expand its base globally including key markets like India, the company faces a few hurdles, especially the unavailability of high speed and seamless connectivity. While Netflix has brought the YouTube-like offline mode, the company is also working to allow users consumer higher amount of content within smaller data caps. On efforts to tackle the data caps, Hastings announced that Netflix will soon roll out new video encodes for mobile devices, providing someone who has an extremely poor internet connection watching on a cell network something that once was considered impossible. Also Read - Android app offering free Netflix may steal your WhatsApp data
With the efficiency of these new encodes, users who are worried about data caps will be able to stream up to 30 hours of Netflix with a 2GB data cap. Hastings complemented some of the new unlimited data plans that offer limits on speed as a way to contain the strain on the network.
“You can enjoy it and not be worried about data caps. That’s where I think it is going now,” said Hastings, referring to the fact that most carriers now sell unlimited data packages rather than the metered offerings of the past. Netflix has invested in getting quality video delivered to a phone with just 500 kilobits per second of data speed, Hastings said. He’s shooting to get to 200 kilobits per second. ALSO READ: YouTube users are watching billion hours of videos everyday: Google
Another most important takeaways from his address was the efforts the company is making to end one of the biggest pain points for streaming services and users — video buffering. “We want to make buffering a relic like that dial tone,” Hastings said, referring to the early internet days and that distinct noise the dial-up modems made when they were connected to the internet.
Now, we all understand that how much data a video that we watch online consumes, they would still need the buffering bracket to play, right? However, Netflix aims to achieve by investing in network servers, codecs and the content delivery mechanisms to reduce the level of buffering. His goal is to make video on any device instantaneous. Netflix has looked at adaptive technology too, and noted that YouTube has learned a lot. He said the industry is working together to improve the experience. ALSO READ: MWC 2017: Reliance Jio, Samsung join hands to bring 5G network to India
Additionally, Netflix is also graduating its content to support HDR technology on mobile devices. “Starting with the LG G6 phones that support both Dolby Vision and HDR 10 streams, Netflix would be supporting HDR on mobile devices,” Hastings said. Netflix users now don’t have to have an expensive TV to get HDR quality as Netflix brings the best picture quality to a small screen and making the best picture quality even more accessible, he added.
Netflix is also looking to explore the field of Artificial Intellegence, a newfound focus area for technology bigwigs like Google and Facebook. “In 20 years, we re going to get into some serious AI, Hastings said. In 20 to 50 years, things get complicated, the CEO said, suggesting that humans may be augmented by AI, or that AI will take over the world. In that case, worrying about Netflix content will become a secondary problem. ALSO READ: AI to overtake human IQ in 30 years: SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son
He also thinks Netflix could be the ultimate answer to fight piracy, and the company s 20-year plans. You ask fight piracy how? Hastings believes that if Netflix offers an affordable legal alternative, it’ll be an incentive to get pirates to stop stealing shows.
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