In August when Verizon rolled out its new Beyond Unlimited plan, the plan brought with it a new limit - video connections would now be capped at "HD Resolution".
This new limitation applied not just to new customers signing up for Beyond Unlimited, but retroactively across the board to ALL Verizon plans - including the previously truly unlimited Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans.
This limitation works by throttling the speed of detected video streams - to 6Mbps on phones (suitable for 720p resolution) and to 10Mbps on tablets, hotspots, and tethered devices (suitable for 1080p resolution).
But for those video purists interested in Ultra-HD 4K resolution (which requires as much as 25Mbps on Netflix, and burns 11GB an hour!) - you've been out of luck on Verizon for the past few months, no matter how fast of an overall data connection you had.
Turning Off The Throttle, For A Price
With the throttle removed - video will be able to flow at the maximum speed current network connections will allow.
According to leaks on Reddit - this opt-out fee will be an option for ALL Verizon plans other than the "Go Unlimited" plan (which is capped at low-res 480p video already), so even old grandfathered plans will be able to have their video speed caps removed.
This extra fee does not change the 15GB tethering data cap on the Beyond Unlimited Verizon plans however, so unless you have an old grandfathered unlimited data plan that allows for unlimited hotspot use - it is best not to plan much binge watching on a big screen via an Apple TV or a Roku.
That 15GB monthly tethering cap will not even be enough to watch a single 4K Movie when tethered!
But if you have a smartphone or tablet with a high-enough resolution screen, and your eyes can tell the difference - at last now you have an option.
Even FaceTime video calls might benefit from a sharper picture.
And if you do have a grandfathered truly unlimited plan in a hotspot - it may just be your 4K TVs new best friend.
NOTE: Once November 3rd rolls around we will be testing to confirm that legacy grandfathered unlimited plans can indeed opt-out of video throttling for $10/mo. We will update here if Verizon ends up not allowing this.
- Verizon’s New Plans Heap New Limits On “Unlimited”
- Verizon Experimenting With Netflix / YouTube Video Throttling