Netflix Cuts Video-Stream Quality in Canada--Is US Next?

Video-streaming fans in Canada, you can blame your Internet service provider for Netflix's decision to stream a less-pretty picture to your TV screens.

Movies and TV shows streaming from Netflix will use two-thirds less data on average, with "minimal impact to video quality," the company says.

"We made these changes because many Canadian Internet service providers unfortunately enforce monthly caps on the total amount of data consumed," wrote Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt in a Monday .

The changes will slash Netflix's monthly data usage. Before the switch, a subscriber who watched 30 hours of Netflix video in HD would consume as much of 70GB of data, with 30GB being the average amount used, according to Hunt.

"While there is some lessening of picture quality with these new settings, the experience continues to be great," he writes.

Canadian Netflix members who want the best video quality available--and, alas, the higher data usage that accompanies it--can change their account settings on the Manage Video Quality page.