You have to admit it, Netflix is a pretty amazing bargain. Compared to movie tickets for the whole family, popcorn and Raisinets, that eight or nine bucks each month for unlimited streaming movies is an amazing deal. But now, some users will see their Netflix bill balloon by up to 50%.
It's the same old story. Person buys fancy, ultra high-resolution 4K TV. Netflix adds small library of 4K titles. Person wants to watch 4K content. Netflix charges person more.
Yes, the world's favorite streaming site for TV and movies is now requiring subscribers who want to watch its 4K titles to sign up for the service's most expensive tier. So, instead of the standard monthly $8.99 for new subscribers and $7.99 for old subscribers, 4K watchers have to get the Family Plan for $11.99.
Here's a glimpse of Netflix 4K:
The good news is that the plan will permit subscribers to stream four titles -4K or regular resolution - at the same time, compared to just two with the less expensive plans. A company spokeswoman told Variety magazine, that the Family Plan is for "subscribers who care about the highest quality video Netflix has to offer." She also acknowledged that its 4K catalog was "modest."
Quality costs money
Netflix is making no apologies for the price hike. It says it is charging more because 4K content simply costs more to acquire and deliver than "regular old" HD content. In addition to the higher cost of entry, Netflix also points out that users need at least a 25 Mbps or faster connection in order to successfully stream 4K content in the first place.
So, if you have a super-sharp 4K screen but a super-slow Wi-Fi connection, you probably shouldn't bother. And like I mentioned before, 4K content is relatively limited. It does support programming from some popular TV shows like "House of Cards," "Breaking Bad," and "The Blacklist." But even if those are enough to get you to accept the price hike, the Family Plan still might not work for you. You see, there is one more caveat.
Not all 4K TVs are supported by Netflix. That's right. Your television has to be a 2014 model or newer, that features an onboard gadget - called an H.265/HEVC decoder - just to watch Netflix's 4K content.
Here's a Netflix plan comparison chart:
One more thing. While I do suggest maybe holding off a bit, at least until Netflix expands its 4K library, there is one reason the Family Plan makes sense. Do you have a really big family? If you do, there's no need for me to point out the benefit of being able to stream four different movies at the same time.