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EBU calls on Members to follow streamers’ lead and adapt bitrates

Organisation has issued a Recommendation to its Members regarding efforts to avoid internet congestion

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is calling on its Members to follow the lead of the big tech companies and reduce the bitrates of their streaming services.

The organisation has issued a Recommendation to its Members regarding their efforts to avoid internet congestion and manage the potential impact of streaming media consumption during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Recommendation was approved by EBU Member representatives serving on the EBU’s Technical Committee in conjunction with the members of the Digital Steering Committee.

It suggests a temporary cap on streaming bitrates at appropriate levels for different end-user devices, particularly during day-time, and that public service media organisations encourage audiences to consume their content over broadcast rather than broadband, and on fixed broadband rather than mobile, where possible.

The Recommendation also suggests organisations arrange the adaptive streaming manifests to serve premium quality to fixed large-screen devices over mobile devices.

“Public service media organisations are playing a key role in managing the crisis – not only by continuing to inform, educate and entertain, but also by actively engaging with all stakeholders to ensure that broadcast and broadband infrastructure is used in the most efficient way,” said EBU director of technology and innovation Antonio Arcidiacono.