Apple TV+ lowers streaming quality in Europe as networks strain to keep up

The Morning Show
The Morning Show (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple TV+ has cut its streaming quality in Europe.
  • Netflix and Amazon Prime have also lowered the quality of their streams.
  • The picture quality on Apple TV+ now appears to be lower than HD.

One of the best parts of Apple TV+ is that you get impressive streaming quality for the same price as other users. Whereas Netflix currently charges a premium on its monthly bill in order to get content in 4K, 4K HDR content is included in your $4.99 per month Apple TV+ subscription.

Unfortunately for Apple TV+ customers in Europe, that high-quality bitrate streaming is going to go away for a period of time. Reported by 9to5Mac, European officials have asked streaming services to lower the bandwidth that their services use in order to help keep their networks up and running.

As more and more people isolate to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, they are understandably watching a lot more streaming content. In order to help handle the strain that is being put on networks to keep up with the uptick in viewers, Netflix, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime, and others are lowering the quality of their content.

Apple is reportedly cutting the quality of its content all the way from 4K down to 670 pixels tall. On top of the stream now changed to a lower resolution, they also appear to be highly compressed which creates a pixelated look to the image. The move appears even more aggressive than Netflix and Amazon Prime, who are reportedly still streaming in HD.

Apple could up the quality of its streams to match that of its rivals, but it is unclear if that will happen. Thankfully, Apple TV+ users, unlike their Netflix counterparts, are not paying a higher price for a stream quality they are not currently receiving.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.