On Tuesday, T-Mobile announced a new feature called Binge On.
Customers who opt into it will be able to stream video from about two dozen providers — including Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu, and Sling TV — without it counting against their data plans.
They just have to be OK with watching the programming in standard definition.
But if you sign up for Binge On, T-Mobile will lower the quality of all of the videos you stream, not just the ones from the two dozen providers who are part of the program.
This means that video watched on a service like YouTube, which isn’t part of Binge On, won’t be in HD. They will be streamed in what T-Mobile calls “DVD quality” (around 480p).
This detail is in the FAQ on T-Mobile’s website:
In an email to Tech Insider, a T-Mobile spokesperson confirmed that the carrier will “automatically optimise video” for people who are signed up for the new program, and said that delivering video this way “is 2.2X more efficient than HD coming over the network with minimal difference in viewing experience.”
That remains to be seen, as most new smartphones are capable of supporting HD video, and as consumer’s were accustomed to viewing it.
Customers can opt in and out of Binge On on T-Mobile’s website, using the app, or by calling customer service.
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