Netflix Canada Now Uses Two-Thirds Less Bandwidth


If you’re a Netflix user in Canada worried about usage-based billing (UBB) and exceeding your bandwidth, you can worry a little less now. Netflix just sent the following email out to its users, emphasizing shows in Canada will now use two-thirds less data without degrading the quality of your video:

Dear Gary,

Starting today, watching movies & TV shows in Canada will use 2/3 less data on average with minimal impact to video quality. For example, watching 30 hours of Netflix movies & TV shows will only use 9 GB of data, well below most Canadian ISP data caps. Previously, 30 hours from Netflix typically used 31 GB.

Why the change? We know that many of our Canadian members have monthly Internet data caps. This new default account setting will significantly reduce the amount of data Netflix delivers to you each month.

You now also have the ability to manage how much data Netflix delivers to you. Visit Your Account to adjust your settings anytime you want. Regardless of which setting you choose –– Netflix is still only $7.99 a month.

As always, we will continue to innovate and try new things to ensure Netflix is a great experience without high data use. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-866-923-1277.

–Your friends at Netflix

With all our bandwidth settings, Netflix streams a little bit of additional data as a buffer each time you start a movie or TV show. Frequently starting and stopping movies & TV shows will result in a minor increase to the amount of data Netflix streams to you per hour. In most cases this will be less than a few minutes worth.

This is a huge improvement compare to before. 30 hours of video will only use 9GB of data now, compared to 31GB. Kudos to the Netflix team for continuing to improve service in Canada (especially with today’s multi-year Paramount deal).

You can check out Netflix Canada here. The first month is free.

If you login to your account settings, you now adjust your video quality settings. Good quality uses up to 0.3 GB/hour, Better quality uses up to 0.7 GB/hour, and Best quality uses up to 1GB/ hour (or up to 2.3 GB/hour for HD):


  • Anonymous

    So something like:
    300mb/hr is about standard analog tv quality
    700mb/hr is standard digital tv
    1gb/hr is about dvd quality
    2.3gb/hr is close to blu ray


    Knowing that they eased up on the bandwidth and also lowered the quality does make it appealing to many with data caps such as myself… At least until this whole UBB thing is sorted out

  • Buggy

    “Netflix Canada now uses less two thirds less bandwidth”

    Headline Fail!

  • #winning! #fixed

  • Anonymous

    I got an e-mail from them as well. They said “you recently watch this movie, how was the video quality?”

    Or something to that effect.
    Unfortunately, I did notice a slight decrease in video quality for a few seconds at one point. But I didn’t really notice it otherwise. I’m currently in a University dorm room with no download caps, 70 mbps down and 20 Mbps up. So I think I’ll turn off that bandwidth saving setting.

    When I return home this spring I’ll have to get a retension plan with more bandwidth. Or a free upgrade to the highest tier Rogers offers. They have to invest in infrastructure. Not limit my bandwidth!

  • Slyrobber

    People need to get involved in groups and organizations that are fighting our greedy service providers and the the welcome mat the CRTC has become because of political interference or undue meddling.

  • Vazandrew

    2.3gb/hr is not close to blu ray. You will not get that kind of quality with any streaming service. However, if you have a good connection it will look quite good.

  • Kellie Inkster

    Does the quality also decrease with the iPhone app? It’d be nice to not watch my bandwidth so much with it!

  • Anonymous

    You can’t lower bitrate that much without a degradation of quality. Just doesn’t work that way.

  • Vazandrew

    I tried the 2nd tier, which claims 0.7 gb/hr, and it actually is quite impressive

  • erics72

    But what kind of shows are you getting?  I hear that the movies they show are all older movies.  Anything that has recently come out on Bluray or DVD won’t be shown for another few months.  Still can’t justify spending money on this service.

  • The library still needs improvement but has grown significantly in a year. What’s even cooler is your Cdn account can access the US library via VPN.

  • laureld

    how do you do this? As the us Netflix has far superior options than canada