AT&T to throttle streaming video next year with new ‘Stream Saver’ feature

By , Nov 11, 2016

AT&T Logo Chicago store

AT&T on Friday announced a new feature for its data plans called Stream Saver. The carrier calls it a “free and convenient, data-saving feature” that will cap most mobile video streams at DVD quality (or around 480p).

It sounds harmless at first, but customers who aren’t concerned with data may not like that the feature will be enabled by default. To watch hi-def video, you’ll have to opt out via the myAT&T app or the AT&T website.

Stream Saver lets you watch more video on your wireless phone or tablet while using less data, by streaming most higher definition video at standard definition quality, similar to DVD (about 480p). Stream Saver helps your data go further.

[…] “We know our customers love to be entertained while mobile, and Stream Saver lets them enjoy more of what they love, whether it’s video or something else,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Entertainment Group. “And, they are in control – it’s their choice on how to use this innovative feature.”

AT&T says that it will start rolling out the feature in early 2017 to customers on its “most popular plans.” Once it’s available, they’ll receive a message letting them know it’s on along with directions on how to disable it.

Source: AT&T

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  • I wish we have it here in my country

  • Rickey Woods

    at&t is gonna do everything they can to screw folks with the unlimited data plans SMH

    • White Michael Jackson

      They do have the option to opt out.

      • Digitalfeind

        I don’t think he even read the article. Probably saw the title and jumped straight to comments to look like an idiot.

  • george

    Wait so it still uses your data? What is the point?

    • Rowan09

      Uses less data but with t-mobile and I think some others doing free streaming of music, Netflix, etc, AT&T must be kidding.

      • george

        That’s hilarious because what you’re doing there is making your users have a worse experience for your own benefit. AT&T should not be allowed to buy time warner.

      • app_farmer

        Personally, I regard getting hit with massive overage charges to be a worse experience than being limited to 480p. Especially when you really need a large screen to appreciably tell the difference between 480p and HD.

        I fail to even see how the Time Warner purchase is even relevant.

  • techfreak23

    Is this like Verizon’s Safety Mode where it won’t count towards your data usage but with much slower speeds, or is it only for videos so that you don’t consume as much of your data? Kind of a lame feature to be honest. At least Safety Mode makes it so that you can use as much data as you want, but it won’t count towards your data plan so that you won’t get overage charges.

    • Digitalfeind

      It does count toward you data. It’s just creates a bottle-neck for the data to get through so you use less data.

  • Andrieux Querido

    I hate AT&T, they are always the one with the bad ideas.

    • app_farmer

      It was T-Mobile’s idea. AT&T realized that *some* customers actually wanted this option (it is an option, not a requirement).

  • Sundiata Bradshaw

    lol they already do this with T-mobile. It’s not a big deal. It’s very beneficial of you are on a limited data plan. If you are on an unlimited plan then don’t spend time bitchin’ online and just login and disable the option.
    I turned it off when I was on unlimited but immediately enabled it back when I put my family plan back to a limited plan.

    • george

      Well you’re wrong because this still uses your data unlike T-Mobile.

      • app_farmer

        It uses a fraction of the data. A 480p movie might use 1GB of data. An HD movie might use 4GB or more. Data overages are $15/GB. Therefore, the HD movie has the potential cost of at least $45 more than the 480p version.

  • Blip dude

    Well, I’m already doing this voluntarily, where I watch YouTube videos in 360p, but if I’m watching something on Hulu or Crunchyroll on Cellular Data it appears I don’t have the option to stick to lower quality video, so I guess this would help with that.

  • Or they could just give everyone unlimited data instead of spending tons of money on the backside of the network to throttle this and throttle that.

    • app_farmer

      Throttling is the cheap option. It’s done in software. Expanding network bandwidth to allow unlimited data everywhere would require new towers in every neighborhood. I periodically experience slowdowns due to congestion when I’m still well below the 22GB limit.

  • Itsdatnycdude

    Perfect! 5 kids on my plan and this will definitely work well to reduce data usage and frequent over utilization. Im ok with this!

  • app_farmer

    Personally, I’m glad they’re following T-Mobile’s lead on this one. I can’t switch to an unlimited plan since I have to have tethering (AT&T doesn’t allow tethering on their unlimited plan). When someone visits, I have to make them use my computers when they watch YouTube. This will allow greater peace and flexibility.

  • 10marcer

    I dont know why everyones complaining. At least you can opt out if you dont like it