Unlimited data customer with T-Mobile? Change this setting

Binge On is downgrading all video streams to standard definition, even for users with unlimited data. Here's how to disable it and get your high-definition video back.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

T-Mobile introduced its Binge On feature late last year. The program allows anyone with a data plan of 3GB or more to stream unlimited video that won't count against your data cap. The list includes Netflix, HBO, Amazon Video, Sling TV and dozens of other streaming services. The major exception is YouTube.

Binge On automatically reduces streaming video quality (over cellular) to 480p. It will do this for all video streams, even services that aren't include in the program such as YouTube. T-Mobile has advertised this so-called "optimized" stream as "DVD quality," but in reality that means standard definition.

What caught me by surprise is that Binge On is enabled by default...even if you have unlimited 4G LTE data. Binge On is a great program for users with tiered data plans, but I pay for unlimited data for a reason. I want to take advantage of the beautiful Quad HD display on my smartphone and don't want a downgraded video stream

Luckily, it's not hard to disable Binge On, but I only recommend doing so if you have unlimited 4G LTE data. Disabling the feature will also make you ineligible to receive a free monthly movie rental through Vudu, but that's a tradeoff I'm willing to make.

Here all of the different ways to disable Binge On:

From your smartphone

  • Dial #264# to check your Binge On status
  • Dial #263# to turn if off
  • Dial #266# to turn it back on

On the T-Mobile website

  • Log in to your T-Mobile account
  • Scroll down on the home screen
  • Click on the Turn On/Off link under the Binge On section
  • Slide the Binge On switch to the off position
Screenshot by Dan Graziano/CNET

On the T-Mobile website (for prepaid accounts)

  • Log in to your T-Mobile account
  • Toggle the Binge On switch to off under the "my current usage" tile

On the T-Mobile app

  • Open the app.
  • Select Account Info
  • Select Plans & Services
  • Select Add/Change Services
  • Select Other
  • Tap the button next to Disable Binge On
  • Tap Continue
Sarah Tew/CNET

On the T-Mobile app (for prepaid accounts)

  • Open the app
  • Select Account Info
  • Select Plans & Services
  • Select Add/Change Services
  • Select Other
  • Tap button next to Disable Binge On
  • Tap Add Service and confirm
  • Tap Continue
  • Enter your PIN and then select Accept
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