The next time you fire up YouTube to watch a hilarious cat video only to find that the clip loads slowly, you could see a new message blaming your Internet service provider for the delay. YouTube's new error messages, which link users to a report ranking various providers' streaming performance, are similar to warnings that Netflix ran earlier this year.
The YouTube messages, which the blog Quartz first noticed, ask users: "Experiencing interruptions?" A link labeled "find out why" takes users to a Video Quality Report that YouTube owner Google rolled out earlier this year. The report displays information for the user's Internet provider and compares it with other local providers. They're ranked as "HD Verified," "Standard Definition" or "Lower Definition." Customers of providers in the dreaded third category, YouTube warns, "may experience fuzzy picture quality and frequent interruptions." YouTube told NBC News via email that delivering HD video is “a shared effort among YouTube, your Internet service provider and you." In short: If the kittens look extra fuzzy, YouTube says you shouldn't blame only YouTube.
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--- Julianne Pepitone