AT&T's Optional 'Stream Saver' Feature Will Throttle Streaming Video Starting in 2017
AT&T today announced a new "Stream Saver" feature, which it says is a "free and convenient" data-saving option that allows customers to watch more video by downgrading video quality.
Stream Saver mimics T-Mobile's Binge On option, automatically streaming video at "about 480p," or standard definition quality instead of high definition quality.
AT&T is making Stream Saver an optional feature, with customers able to turn it on and off at will using myAT&T or Premier for business customers. According to AT&T, Stream Saver can be toggled off at any time with no charge to AT&T customers. While it is available for most streaming video, AT&T says Stream Saver is not able to detect and optimize all video due to the way some content owners deliver video streams.
As an optional feature that isn't limited to specific content partners, Stream Saver does not seem to raise the same questions about net neutrality that have caused T-Mobile's Binge On feature to be scrutinized by the FCC.
Through Binge On, T-Mobile offers free video streaming at 480p when customers watch content from select partners. T-Mobile has dozens of audio and video partners, including YouTube, Amazon Video, Netflix, Sling TV, VUDU, HBO NOW, Showtime, Hulu, and more.
AT&T plans to make Stream Saver available to customers starting in early 2017.