Because Of A New Law In Korea, Twitch Has Decided To Cap Video Quality To 720p

Because Of A New Law In Korea, Twitch Has Decided To Cap Video Quality To 720p
Credit: ign

As a result of a legislative proposal to have international content providers compensate local service providers for network congestion, Twitch has decided to reduce the quality of its streaming videos in South Korea to 720p.

Streaming at full 1080p (HD) resolution is the norm in South Korea, making it one of the most wired countries on the planet. The Korean government, meanwhile, has been seeking content companies like Netflix, YouTube, and Twitch to help pay for some of the cost of all the data passing through Korean networks.

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The Korean government has proposed charging platforms that contribute significantly to network traffic and a price for using the network. If the measure is approved, content platforms must develop partnerships with local ISPs and pay a uniform charge.

The idea has been met with universally unfavorable reactions from content platforms, with both Netflix and YouTube threatening to alter their services for Korean citizens. In response to the legislation, Twitch has restricted the video quality that its users can stream.

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Twitch has always paid its network charges and other relevant expenditures on time, and it has followed all laws and regulations in South Korea. However, according to a post on the Korean version of Twitch’s blog, the rising expense of maintaining a service in South Korea is expected to continue (thanks, ResetEra). So, innovative strategies are required to keep services running in Korea.

Starting on September 30th, we will change the original quality for Korean viewers on channels where transcoding quality modification is available as we search for a new solution that will allow us to keep providing our service in Korea. This means that on channels where transcoding is made public, Korean viewers can expect a video resolution of up to 720p.