How to Disable T-Mobile Video Throttling

This guide will explain how to disable or opt-out of T-Mobile’s new “Binge-On” feature, which allows users to watch unlimited video on their mobile devices without using their monthly data. It sounds nice, but Binge-On actually lowers 1080p or 720p HD video from our favorite providers to a lower quality that isn’t high-def, and results in choppy and poor video quality.

As a part of T-Mobile’s Uncarrier moves and data-stash plans, back in November T-Mobile announced Uncarrier X. Doubling data for all simple choice plans, and revealed Binge-On. Letting users watch as much Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and countless other popular video streaming services without worrying about going over their data and getting a huge bill at the end of the month.

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Read: 9 Reasons I Switched to T-Mobile

The problem with this “feature” allowing all T-Mobile users unlimited video playback, is it’s enabled by default. Not something you can sign-up for. Meaning most T-Mobile customers automatically started seeing poor quality video last month, most notably on Netflix, HBO, and more recently YouTube. Read on to find out how to disable this, and get your high quality video back.

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The video above is from the announcement, where T-Mobile is hyping up its new promotion allowing customers to enjoy as much video as they want. It sounds nice, but we’re getting countless complaints from users that video looks terrible.

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Those with the Samsung Galaxy S6, iPhone 6s, LG G4 and many other phones have phones with 1080p HD displays, or even higher. The Galaxy S6 is 2560 x 1440, or Quad-HD. Meaning 4x higher than 720p HD. Movies from Netflix or YouTube look amazing on these HD screens, but T-Mobile’s Binge-On feature lowers all video to 480p resolution automatically. Users have no choice. It’s choppy, not very clear or crisp, but runs smooth without any lag or buffering. It makes things easier on T-Mobile’s network, uses nearly 3x less data, which is why T-Mobile is giving everyone video streaming for free.

As of right now those on T-Mobile  Simple Choice plans can enjoy unlimited video streaming which doesn’t use their monthly data plan, on these providers: Crackle, Encore, ESPN, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Go, HBO Now, HBO Go, Hulu, MLB, Movieplex, NBC Sports, Netflix, Sling TV, Sling Box, SHOWTIME, STARZ, T-Mobile TV, Univision Deportes, Ustream, Vessel, Vevo, VUDU, DirecTV, and Go90. Missing from this list is YouTube, who isn’t a partner with T-Mobile.

However, this morning reports surfaced that T-Mobile isn’t being completely honest, and they’ve actually been lowering the quality of all video users watch over a T-Mobile connection. The Wall Street Journal confirmed that YouTube is upset that all its video being played on T-Mobile devices is throttled down to lower quality without the users consent, and looks terrible. We tried it ourselves. Below, on the left is AT&T where we can change the quality of YouTube video to anything we want, and on the right is T-Mobile, which blocks the option completely.

AT&T (Left) vs T-Mobile (Right)

AT&T (Left) vs T-Mobile (Right)

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We’re still waiting to hear from T-Mobile, but either way, millions of T-Mobile customers likely want this disabled in order to get HD video back. Users with any other carrier or who disable T-Mobile’s “feature” have full high definition video playback at 720p or even 1080p full HD like our HDTV’s in the living room.

Instructions

Back to the issue at hand, which is disabling T-Mobile’s Binge-On feature which throttles video to a lower quality. Below are the instructions to disable this, and get HD video back. If you disable this feature, any video users watch on a T-Mobile device will count towards their data cap, and overage charges may apply.

Essentially it’s enjoy regular video but risk going over your data cap, or let T-Mobile throttle it to a lower quality, and watch as much as you’d like. Here’s how to disable T-Mobile video throttling.

Users will need to sign into their account either in the T-Mobile My Account app on their phone, or at T-Mobile.com.

  1. Navigate to My Account or your Profile
  2. Select Media Settings
  3. Disable Binge-On or Turn it OFF

Once Binge-On has been disabled video will no longer be throttled, and users should have regular high quality video back. Sadly Binge-On is enabled by default even for those with truly unlimited data, meaning nearly everyone has lower quality video playback.

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Those on different plans, like pre-paid, will have to use a different set of instructions to disable Binge-On, here’s the full instructions provided by T-Mobile.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 11.27.36 AM

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As a reminder, once users disable or turn off Binge-On, any video streaming services will count towards your data cap, and users could go over their monthly data limit. So use caution, watch how much data you use, or simply enjoy video playback on T-Mobile devices with a WiFi connection instead.

We’d suggest all users with unlimited data disable Binge-On in their profile, and many others should do the same in order to get HD video back on their smartphones and tablets. At any time users can head back into My Profile, and re-enable Binge-On, in order to prevent going over their data usage.