The default setting will enable you to stream about three hours of TV shows and movies per gigabyte of data. In terms of bitrates, that currently amounts to about 600 Kilobits per second. Netflix’s testing found that, on cellular networks, this setting balances good video quality with lower data usage to help avoid exceeding data caps and incurring overage fees.
If you have a mobile data plan with a higher data cap, you can adjust this setting to stream at higher bitrates. The goal is to give you more control and greater choice in managing your data usage whether you’re on an unlimited mobile plan or one that’s more restrictive.
To access this new feature you’ll need to update your iPhone or iPad app and select App Settings from the menu, and pick Cellular Data Usage. There you can switch off the automatic default and select a higher or lower data usage setting that works with your mobile data plan, including an unlimited option. For more information about how your new cellular setting will interact with account settings, check out this article in the Netflix Help Centre.
As with all streaming, actual data usage can vary based on your device capabilities and network conditions. Your mobile carrier also may have an impact on the actual data usage even if you elect a higher setting in the Netflix app. This setting only affects data usage while viewing on your mobile device on cellular networks; streaming on Wi-Fi is not affected nor is streaming when tethered.