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My ISP enforces a monthly bandwidth cap of 250GB. Normally, that would be plenty, but Netflix is burning through my month's supply in about three weeks! How can I force Netflix to use less bandwidth? (Say, two or three bars of "quality", rather than 4+HD.)

We use Netflix primarily on a "slim" Xbox 360, but occasionally use it via the web site as well. The tools I currently have at my disposal are a Netgear WNR1000v3 which runs our network and an older WGR614v8 which isn't currently hooked up. Can I use these to reduce Netflix' consumption? If not, what other (inexpensive) options do I have?

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To the close-voter: I was expecting the answer to be router-related and therefore appropriate for this site. But if there's another SE site where this would be more on-topic, I'd be happy to move it there. :-) – Ben Blank Sep 12 '11 at 17:51
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you sign into your Netflix account and click on Account and Settings then click on Manage Video Quality you can set it to use lower quality and therefore less bandwidth.

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I was under the impression this setting only applied to in-browser player? – Ben Blank Sep 12 '11 at 17:48
I thought it applied to all streaming, but I haven't found anything that says definitively either way. I'd give that a shot for now. If it doesn't work well enough, you can probably limit it via the router even more, maybe using QoS (if your router has it). – sbtkd85 Sep 12 '11 at 18:00
A brief test suggests that it doesn't affect the Xbox player. :-/ – Ben Blank Sep 12 '11 at 18:33
Good to know. Sorry that didn't fix the issue. I guess you'll have to use another solution via router and QoS or something similar. – sbtkd85 Sep 12 '11 at 18:38
I stand corrected. After a couple of weeks of watching our bandwidth usage, it seems to have made a big difference. My initial test was based on video quality, which is only minimally affected. (Yay!) – Ben Blank Sep 28 '11 at 19:00

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