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Streaming Video on Your ISP: What Google Video Quality Reports Reveal


YouTube has quickly become part of our daily online viewing habits for many of us and what we sometimes take for granted whilst we find endless amounts of entertaining videos to watch is that there is a highly technical global infrastructure that is continually holding the site together for the billions who access the site every day.

How it works

YouTube actually holds multiple copies of every single video that is uploaded to their site and stores them on servers dotted around the globe. Using this network allows them to stream the video that you have chosen to watch from the nearest location to you so that you do not experience any significant buffering issues.

They try to keep up their end of the bargain but there other factors outside of YouTube’s control which can lead to that dreaded buffering icon spinning around your screen such as the quality of the Wi-Fi connection, whether you are trying to view at a peak-time for your area or the potentially miserly amount of bandwidth your ISP provides.

Video quality report

When you are searching for and downloading content using YTD you might want to take an interest in a relatively new service that has been launched by Google which is called the Video Quality Report. This lets users know how well their ISP is streaming video for them and provides a rating system so you can compare its score against others.

The aim is to provide consumers with useful data about how well their ISP is performing in keeping up to speed and it is also intended to encourage those under-performing ISP’s to aim at providing the best connection speed possible, especially when they know that consumers are checking whether they might get a better service elsewhere.

Video streaming quality

The rating that Google will compile will be based on the video streaming quality that you the consumer, should expect to receive at last 90% of the time when you are watching YouTube in an area that is specific to a particular ISP’s coverage.

The data will be collecting these performance stats and data based on the billions of YouTube videos watched across all the thousands of ISP’s during a 30-day period and the results of this comprehensive analysis will be available at some point soon, although a specific availability date has not yet been announced.

Ratings defined

Google have made it clear that the way they will define their ratings will be based on the ISP performance using the three specific criteria’s for the data.

Standard Definition Rating

Standard definition videos which are at least 360p should be watchable with what they describe as moderate load times in order to achieve this rating.

Lower definition Rating

This would be the bottom-of-the-class score as far as ISP’s and consumers alike are concerned. Getting this rating will mean that you are likely to encounter slow load times and a number of buffering issues.

YouTube HD Verified Rating

This the rating that everyone will want to seek out and ISP’s will want to be awarded. It will confirm that that viewers should not have any problems watching HD videos of 720p or 1080p quality and enjoy fast load times and no buffering issues.

When the Google Video Quality reports come into the public domain and are available to view, it will certainly be revealing and give consumers even more choice in the future.

Make sure you respect IP with video downloads.


William Covington is an internet whiz. From using social media to emails to data management, he enjoys blogging about the ins and outs of maximizing the web's useful potential.


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