YouTube videos are buffering all the time and you can only watch them a couple of seconds before they stop to buffer again? Or maybe the buffering takes ages and there is no apparent reason for that? This is usually the case when an Internet connection is not the most reliable one, or not fast at all but can also be because an Internet service provider is throttling the YouTube bandwidth artificially. Sometimes, it may also be because your ISP started to throttle your account, maybe because you passed a certain traffic threshold or because of other reasons.
YouTube introduced a new ultra-low bandwidth viewing option for select videos on the video hosting site. Up until now, videos were offered in qualities between 240p and 4k on the video hosting site with 320p being available on the site since the beginning.
If you have opened YouTube’s video quality menu recently you may have spotted a new 144p video quality option. Seen below from TheEllenShow.
The new quality level is not available for all videos and it is unclear if it will be made available for all, or if Google uses an algorithm of sorts to determine when to make it available. It is for instance possible that it is only enabled on videos that are requested by mobile users or low bandwidth users a lot. There has not been an official announcement of the feature so this is all guesswork right now.
The quality is not that great as you can imagine and only suitable if you are watching the video on a small screen, if you are only interested in the audio, or if you want to view the video no matter what and can’t get the other quality levels to play properly on the site.
It may be an option for the desktop as well because of this but make sure you play it in a player window that is appropriately sized as you will end up with an image quality level that is not the greatest. Still, the new option may be worth a shot for YouTube users who often experience playback issues on the site.