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YouTube starts displaying ISP blame messages on slow videos

Pushing consumers to the root of streaming video issues, the YouTube development team has launched pop-up warning messages on lagging videos with a link to the ‘Google Video Quality Report’ of the consumer’s ISP. When a YouTube video has loading difficulties or is being displayed at a low resolution, the blue pop-up bar will appear at the bottom of the video with the text “Experiencing Interruptions?” as well as a button on the right side of the pop-up bat which reads “Find Out Why.”

When the button is clicked, the Video Quality Report local to the video watcher is loaded. This information allows the user to check out video consumption times within the area as well as compare their ISP service with other potential options. The best providers have received the label “YouTube HD Verified” while other services are placed in the Standard Definition and Lower Definition buckets. The overall report is less detailed than Netflix’s monthly updates of average streaming speeds for services on a nationwide basis, but the information should give users an idea of the resolution to expect when streaming YouTube video.


According to Google’s definition of the different ISP ratings, HD Verified means that consumers will be able to watch videos at 720p or higher without any interruption or loading issues. The standard definition rating means that users will be able to watch 360p videos without any issues and the lower definition rating means users will be subjected to video quality under 360p as well as suffer buffering issues.

Netflix rolled out a similar message during early June that called out specific ISP’s even more aggressively. If a Netflix user subscribed to Time Warner Cable for Internet service, the error message read “The Time Warner Cable Network is crowded right now. Adjusting video for smoother playback.” Verizon threatened legal action over the message and Netflix eventually took it down. However, the streaming media company continues to display the results of average streaming speeds for all ISPs, including Verizon, within the United States as well as other countries around the world.

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