If you’re a T-Mobile customer, or have seen any of its recent commercials, you probably know about the new Binge On feature. This lets you stream video from Netflix, Hulu and many other online video services over cellular without it using any of your data plan.
That’s a fantastic deal, and the only drawback is that the video is automatically downgraded to 480p resolution to keep data usage down. Some people care about that detail (especially if they paid a lot of money for a large-screen smartphone with a 1080p screen and have an unlimited data plan) and many people don’t. However, there’s another wrinkle that just appeared.
While a lot of companies partnered with T-Mobile for Binge On, YouTube isn’t one of them. However, while the Binge On feature is active (and it is turned on by default for all T-Mobile users), all streaming video quality is lowered. That means YouTube video will only come through at 480p, even though it still counts against your data plan.
To get HD video from YouTube, you’ll need to go into your T-Mobile account and switch off Binge On. Of course, you’ll want to remember to turn it on again if you’re streaming video from one of the supported services.
YouTube says it’s talking to T-Mobile about a solution. The FCC is also discussing this kind of data cap exemption feature with T-Mobile, and with Comcast and AT&T who are advertising similar features, to make sure they aren’t violating net neutrality standards.
T-Mobile hasn’t made a statement on the situation aside from reminding customers that they can turn off the feature if they wish.
What do you think of this situation? Should T-Mobile rework Binge On to only downgrade participating services, or is this a big deal over nothing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.