Google Shames Lousy ISPs with Video Quality Report for YouTube

Find out just how good your Internet speed is for playing high quality YouTube videos

Wondering just how well your video stream is performing? Well, YouTube wants you to know exactly where you stand.

The company has launched the Google Video Quality Report, which is available for people in the United States and Canada and it compares the video streaming quality that your ISP provides to a few standards.

For instance, it will compare the quality you get and deliver a standard, such as “HD Verified,” for when your provider offers good enough speeds to deliver HD video consistently at a resolution of at least 720p without buffering or interruptions.

If your connection is only good enough to consistently stream videos at 360p, you fit under “Standard Definition.” “Lower Definition” is for videos that regularly play at less than 360p or often are interrupted.

“Nothing ruins the experience of watching a YouTube video like Magic of Rahat more than seeing the dreaded buffering wheel, which is why we're always working to make videos play smoothly in the best quality possible. And when you can't see what you want, when you want, it’s important you know why,” YouTube writes in the announcement.

Those who try out the new tool will be able to check out the video quality that other ISPs in the area are delivering based on the above-mentioned levels, so you know what other options you have if you want to reconsider your contract.

You’ll be able to see charts about the video consumption and streaming quality provided by companies in your area over the past 24 hours.

The company even offers a few ways to help you improve your video quality since you may still have issues even if the ISP does its job right. For instance, YouTube advises users to make sure that roommates aren’t hogging all the bandwidth and that they’re using an updated browser.

Having up-to-date plugins is also extremely important, such as Adobe Flash Player and Javascript, which are essential for playing videos on YouTube and other sites. Clearing the cache and cookies can also help speed things up.

Google promises that it will expand the report to other countries as well, although it does not specify what nations may get to take advantage of the feature or when this will actually happen. Hopefully, Google will respect its promise soon, especially since the data won’t just be good for users everywhere, but also for the company who seems to be on a warpath to push ISPs to improve their services by publically shaming them indirectly.

After all, when it introduced Google Fiber in several cities in the United States, the high quality of the service it provided pushed companies to lower subscription prices and to improve the service they offered in an attempt to compete with the Internet giant.

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