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How Netflix plans to solve its biggest problem by using less data

When you get home after a long day, one of the first things you probably do is enjoy a little time on Netflix. Maybe even a lot of time. No judgment. Millions of Americans do it too. In fact, more than one third of data usage consumed during peak hours in the U.S. is attributed to Netflix video streaming. That's pretty significant.

The only problem is that this high demand can bog down the system, causing streaming quality and speed to suffer. It's a problem that Netflix has been aware of for a long time. Since 2011, the company has been actively working on a solution, and after four long years of development, Netflix developers think they've finally found one.

For several months, Netflix employees have been put to the test in their Los Gatos offices. They were asked to view two identical monitors that were streaming the same Netflix episode. One monitor was streaming the content through the standard Netflix service, while the other was streaming through the new technology in development. Any employee that could determine which monitor was streaming through the new technology would get a prize. However, most employees were unable to see any difference.

This was good news to the developers. It meant that the visual quality and speed hadn't been compromised by this new technology that streams using 20% less data. It was a huge win.

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