Gogo Inflight Internet now severely downgrading images automatically

I am a HUGE fan of Gogo Inflight Internet on Delta.   We all remember the first time we tweeted or IM’d from 30,000 feet.  It’s almost magical!  The past 13 flights on Delta have had Gogo service so I’m now super spoiled.  I’m even posting this article from my flight!

BUT, now I have my first real complaint.  Very recently, Gogo has started severely compressing images during transmit.  Every image I see on the Internet has horrible artifacts as if someone saved it with the lowest quality setting.  I completely understand the intent – they want to preserve bandwidth, but there is something fundamentally wrong with web content being manipulated from it’s original form.  If I go to a web page, I should receive the web page as the author intended, not an auto-reduced version of it.  I’d prefer Gogo to raise their prices to reduce the number of people accessing their service instead of stripping the bits I receive.

Below is an example of what I’m talking about.  I shot this picture about two hours ago and uploaded it to SmugMug (what a sunrise!).  At first, I thought I had made a horrible mistake on the export, but then I quickly figured out what was going on.  If you are using Gogo now, you won’t see a difference between the top and bottom images.

The top image is taken from a screenshot of what I see in the browser when I go to the gallery.  The bottom image is the original image resized to match.

Every website I’ve tried has the same issue.  It even makes CNN look bad.

I know, I know, I’m spoiled.  I have wifi in the sky and now it’s not enough.  I’ll wait another few months before I ask for 20Mbps service ;-)

UPDATE: Another bad side effect is that your cache will be filled with these downgraded images.  Now that I’m home I was still seeing poor quality images until I cleared my cache.

Filed under: Photography Tagged: gogo, gogo inflight internet, image quality

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