Google Plans to Reduce Nest Camera Quality to Ease Network Strain

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Google plans to lower the quality of its Nest cameras to preserve internet bandwidth as large numbers of adults and children work and play online amid the continuing stay-at-home measures.

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A spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch that it will lower camera quality settings by default this week.

"To answer the global call to prioritize internet bandwidth for learning and working, in the next few days we're going to be making a few changes. We believe these changes have the potential to help make it easier for communities to keep up with school, work, and everything in between."

When the change takes effect, users will see video quality settings revert to Default (the middle setting between Low and High). Users can if they wish change the setting back to a higher quality at any time. Google plans to roll back the settings to users' previous preferences when broadband network traffic eventually eases off.

Many streaming companies have already taken similar precautions, with Disney+, YouTube, Netflix, and Apple TV+ all cutting streaming data bitrates in Europe last month.

Most of these changes began in Europe after the European Union asked companies to temporarily reduce streaming quality to ease the strain on broadband networks. Similar policies have since spread to the United States and other countries.

Tags: Nest, Google

Top Rated Comments

PickUrPoison Avatar
10 months ago
It’s hard for me to believe that decreasing the quality of Nest footage moves the needle at all.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tcgjeukens Avatar
10 months ago
Maybe it is worth considering if you want an 'external entity' remotely altering YOUR camera settings.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reapro Avatar
10 months ago
Of course. Gaming is much more important than my safety. I would really hate it when some 12 year old doesn't get his kill, while I would be able to recognize the guy that stole my car or robbed my house.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unggoy Murderer Avatar
10 months ago
Was a very sad moment when Google acquired Nest, would have bought their home cameras in a heartbeat if it wasn't the case. Will probably go down the route of Ubiquiti's offerings instead (and have the data kept safe on-site).
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zubikov Avatar
10 months ago


Imagine how pissed you'd be if everyone kept everything at full throttle and the ISP's & SP's started to have outages due to lack of bandwidth?

We all have to accept a drop in quality while we are all working/studying from home during this unprecedented time. No one should have the cheek to moan about it either.

in the world of “you get what you paid for” that logic doesn’t work. We all do not have to accept a drop in quality.

if Verizon can’t get you 1Gbps internet, they should charge for the lower tier. If T mobile starts throttling my mobile internet, I would ask for a lower plan where that happens anyways. And with these super high end cams, I’d ask for money back.

This isn’t some kinda internet socialism.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
recoil80 Avatar
10 months ago
Thankfully Apple was prudent and kept releasing MacBooks with 720p cameras so they don't have to reduce quality during these days.
Joking aside, carriers were not ready for millions of people working and studying from home. It is their fault, but since they can't improve their networks overnight it is necessary to reduce quality wherever possible.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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