Netflix Adds Paramount Movies In Canada, Before Reducing Video Quality For Bandwidth

1 min read

Netflix-LogoNetflix has acquired first-run access to Paramount Pictures movies for subscribers to its streaming service in Canada. Unfortunately Netflix has been forced to lower the default video quality on its offerings to lower typical users’ bandwidth needs.

Paramount Movies

Netflix Canada

subscribers are getting access to more than 350 movies from Paramount Pictures after Netflix struck a first-run access deal with the studio. Although 350 titles may not sound like much, they comprise of both classics (Wayne’s World, Terms of Endearment) and new releases (Iron Man 2, The Last Airbender).

Canadian subscribers have had somewhat of a bad deal thus far, with less content than their U.S. counterparts. However, this is surely just the first deal which will hopefully narrow the gap between the two services.

Interestingly, as noted by NewTeeVee, many of the titles cited in this deal are already available in the U.S. thanks to the content deal with Epix.

Streaming Video = Bandwidth Hog

The same day that Netflix announced the Paramount deal, it also announced it was lowering the video quality of its streaming service in Canada as a response to the bandwidth caps increasingly being introduced by ISPs.

The default setting is shifting from 5Mbps HD to 700Kbps SD, which is a hell of a downturn. Netflix maintains the quality isn’t affected too badly, especially when the positive aspect of this switch is considered. That positive being the two-thirds reduction in bandwidth use.

Under the new lower bitrate setting 30 hours of video can be watched for around 9GB of data. The same amount of video would use up to 70GB of data at the highest HD setting. And of course, those who have no problem with bandwidth caps can change their settings back to the former default.


It could be argued that both these announcements are positive. It certainly shows Netflix is taking its Canadian service seriously, and trying to do its best by its subscribers. Which has to be a good thing, right?