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.

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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.

Tag: AT&T

Top Rated Comments

srsub3 Avatar
61 months ago
Instead of giving a more powerful signal with all the money they take from us, they are still looking for ways to give us worse services... incredible!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Return Zero Avatar
61 months ago
So the downgraded video will still count against your data plan? Who in their right mind would think this is even close to being competitive with T-Mobile?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbeagle Avatar
61 months ago
Let me guess - it's free, but in order to remove it, you pay an extra $100 per month?
No - it's free either way, just an option you can choose.

The benefit of choosing lower quality data, is that you pay less for it because you're using less data.

But, go ahead, stream the same things in a higher quality and pay more for your monthly data. It's YOUR choice.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
61 months ago
At least offer 720p options for iPad and iPhone Plus users. I don't mind going down to 720p while mobile but 480p is pretty crappy.

They're probably announcing this now because President Elect Donald Trump is not in favor of net neutrality. When the rules change, AT&T will be able to easily force this upon all of their customers at once. I'd expect to see this from Verizon and others shortly. Companies will have to pay up to the carriers to enable HD streaming, passing on the cost to the consumer.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
T-Will Avatar
61 months ago
Glad I still have a grandfathered unlimited plan.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sinanziric Avatar
61 months ago
Why would I watch 480p instead of 1080p?

480p? in 2020s
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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