Broadcasters looking for ways to deal with the growing pressure on bandwidth could be buoyed by the findings of a new viewer study from the US.

Research from Rice University’s department of psychology has concluded that if viewers like what they’re watching, they’re less likely to notice the video quality of the show or clip, even if it’s low resolution or massively compressed.

The findings come from The Effect of Content Desirability on Subjective Video Quality Ratings study by Professor Philip Kortum.

He said: “If you’re at home enjoying a movie, we found that you’re probably not going to notice or even concern yourself with how many pixels the video is or if the data is being compressed.”

Kortum showed 100 people 180 movie clips encoded at nine different levels, from 550 kilobits per second up to DVD quality, and asked them to rate video quality and desirability of the content.