28 August 2020
UPDATE (July 16th, 2020):
After over three months, Google has finally started to lift the 480p cap that it put on YouTube video playback in India. A number of users have started to see 720p and 1080p video streaming options on the mobile app. It should be noted that the newly offered freedom is only for WiFi users. The app still limits video playback to 480p on mobile data connection but we are expecting that to get lifted soon as well.
Original (March 30th, 2020)
It was last week when we reported about streaming services' move to reduce video streaming quality in Europe. The reason behind the decision was said to control the increasing bandwidth usage because of lockdown, work from home, and self-quarantine situation across the world. And now, YouTube has done something similar but more restrictive in the Indian market.
As reported by various Twitter users, YouTube's Android app has been spotted limiting video streaming quality to 480p aka Standard Definition (SD). It means even you are watching a 1080p or 4K video on a compatible smartphone, you will still not be able to go beyond 480p. Moreover, the video quality limitation is in place even for YouTube Premium subscribers.
This is way different from what YouTube and other streaming service providers have been doing in Europe. They have chosen to set 480p as the default video resolution which can then be manually changed to a higher one. But in the case of what is being reported in India, 480p is the maximum video resolution that you can stream on mobile devices. It should be noted that desktop users seem to be free of the limitation for now.
The limitation is applicable to all internet connections, be it 4G LTE, WiFi or a wired broadband connection. It is further said to be a more common occurrence for Delhi and Mumbai users. As of now, there is no official statement from YouTube on the situation but if it releases any, we will keep you updated.