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TIPS

How to control how much data Netflix uses

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Data caps will eat away at certain things as quickly as the new season of your favorite Netflix show, but Android users can now reduce the impact of the app on their monthly data limits without compromising video quality. Thanks so much to the open source AV1 video codec that now supports Netflix for Android streaming.

How to control how much data Netflix uses

AV1 is notable for achieving better video compression without compromising video quality, reducing Netflix data usage by up to 20 percent compared to VP9 for Netflix’s other video codecs. AV1 requires less data, which can improve the stability and quality of the video when you stream on unreliable connections or networks with limited bandwidth.

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While Netflix was the first to implement AV1 on Android, many companies, such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Mozilla and Nvidia, supported the codec, so we’ll soon see the release of AV1 for other Netflix operating systems and streaming applications. For now, Android users can switch to AV1 by enabling the Netflix app’s “Save Data” setting:

  1. Open the Netflix app on your Android device
  2. Go to Menu > App Settings > Cellular Data Usage
  3. Turn on “Save Data.”

You can now (possibly) stream with reduced data usage. Ghacks notes that only some Netflix content will initially use AV1, and that there is currently no way to verify what codec a movie or series uses. However, some stored data is better than unsaved data, especially if you can not feel the visual difference in what you are streaming.

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