While Netflix has continued to raise prices across the board – and even unveiled a plan that includes ads, which CEO Reed Hastings said would never happen – the company has plans for a free quality upgrade. life of its subscribers at the Basic level.
Starting in November, Basic Tier subscribers will see their resolution upgrade from SD 480p streaming quality to HD 720p.
That’s a huge boost in quality and should help bring performance a bit closer to the base tier than the standard tier that streams at 1080p.
Considering that it’s been over a decade since 480p was the de facto resolution, it’s high time to make 720p its new base resolution.
The base level is still pretty basic, however
While 720p is still not a “good” resolution, it’s still HD, which is better than SD. The biggest problem with Netflix’s basic plan is that it’s still bundled with SDR color and contrast rather than HDR. That means you’re watching a very unsaturated version of your favorite shows.
We’re not going to advocate that Netflix suddenly start offering shows and movies in the highest formats available for free – although a cheaper tier for 4K HDR with Dolby Atmos audio would be nice – it feels like Netflix could give more to its customers.
Hopefully the rise of other low-cost streaming services might cause Netflix to change its mind sooner, but it might be a few more years before Netflix makes a move like this again to make upgrade the basic plan from HD to Full HD (i.e. 1080p).
Other Tom’s Guide staff said they “won’t even touch Netflix’s new ad-supported tier,” especially since that tier will also max out at 720p.
While I consider the upgrade a sign of goodwill to its subscribers, not everyone will do it and it doesn’t change much to the appearance that the company wants more money in any way possible , existing subscribers be damned.
Analysis: Is Netflix Basic $10 Well Spent?
If you’re on the fence about a new Netflix subscription (or potentially returning to the service), it can be hard to know if it’s right for you, especially with other cheaper options currently available.
At $10 per month, Netflix sits right in the middle of the pack in terms of price alongside Paramount Plus, Peacock Premium, and Prime Video. Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus are both cheaper at $7.99 and $4.99, respectively, while more premium services like HBO Max and ad-free Hulu are more expensive.
The best option, in my opinion, is to subscribe to the more expensive Netflix plan which allows multiple accounts and simultaneous connections, and split the cost with family members who also want to see what’s available on the service.
If you haven’t seen what’s on Netflix yet, try a free trial subscription first, or if you’ve already tried it and still aren’t sure, try another service for a while. some time instead. Netflix will still be there when you return.
At $10 a month, Netflix might suit budget-conscious cord-cutters, but moviegoers with one of the best 4K TVs might not find the basic tier a good choice. If you’re in that camp, check out Disney Plus or Apple TV Plus instead.