Google is temporarily dropping Nest camera recording quality and bandwidth over the next few days in an attempt to reduce strain on ISPs and the internet in general. We're using the internet a lot more than we did before now that we're all stuck at home, and that's interfering with plenty of essential things, like at-home education and productivity. So to help make a small dent in the shuffling of bits and bytes, Google is reducing quality for Nest cameras by default. It might even help eliminate the sort of outages Nest has had over the last few weeks.
The notification Nest customers are receiving when the setting changes.
The change is temporary, and only the quality and bandwidth setting will be adjusted, your other user-configured settings will stay the same, and other features will still work. (Some of Nest cameras, like the doorbell, offer three quality settings, and we assume they'll switch to the middle one. Other Nest products have four, and we're not sure which is usually the default setting.) If t does bother you, you can easily change it back after the change happens.
It will switch to the lower of the middle two settings here (2nd from the left).
When the change hits you, you'll get a notification from the Nest app — followed, someday, by another when they change things back (perhaps assuming things ever go back to normal).
Given the drop in crimes we've seen during the pandemic, a loss in recording quality probably won't make much of a difference in safety and security for most of us, and it might make a dent in the availability of bandwidth for other, more critical uses as our internet infrastructure is stretched to its limits. And that reduced strain might help reduce the number of Nest outages we see going forward, too.
Google has made a similar announcement for Chromecasts and smart displays. Photo quality and slideshow speed will both be reduced temporarily over the next few days and until internet resources aren't as strained as they are now.
- Paul Quinn