Netflix Now Charging Extra for 4K Ultra HD Content


Streaming titles available in the format include 'The Blacklist,' 'Breaking Bad' and 'House of Cards'

Netflix offers only a handful of titles in eye-popping Ultra HD — including the first season of NBC’s “The Blacklist” — but to watch them, subscribers will have to pay for its most expensive service tier.

New Netflix members who want access to Ultra HD must sign up for the “family” plan at $11.99 monthly, which allows simultaneous streaming of up to four programs. Previously, Netflix offered 4K content to subs of its standard plan, now $8.99 per month for new customers, which allows for two HD streams.

“We decided to move 4K UHD video into our four-stream plan for new members who sign up and care about the highest-quality video Netflix offers,” a Netflix spokesman said. “We have a modest and growing catalog of titles in 4K, including ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘The Blacklist’ and a slate of upcoming Netflix original series.”

According to Netflix, the reason for the change was that producing and acquiring 4K content costs more that conventional HD, so it has repositioned Ultra HD as a premium offering.

The Ultra HD price change went into effect Aug. 12. Early adopters of 4K technology who currently are Netflix members were grandfathered indefinitely under their existing price plan.

In addition to all 62 episodes of “Breaking Bad” and “House of Cards” season two, Netflix’s Ultra HD lineup in the U.S. includes “Smurfs 2,” “Ghostbusters,” “Ghostbusters 2″ and the four-part “Moving Art” nature documentary series.

The subscription VOD company doesn’t disclose how many selections it offers in Ultra HD format, which provides four times the resolution of standard HD and richer color palette. The 4K content is available on select models of Ultra HD TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio, and Netflix subs with compatible sets will see an additional row displaying 4K TV shows and movies in their on-screen menus.

In addition to paying more for Netflix service, users will need a beefy broadband connection as well: The streamer recommends an Internet connection speed of at least 25 megabits per second downstream to watch Ultra HD content.

Netflix’s rate change for Ultra HD content was reported earlier by HD Guru.

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  1. Patty Konicki says:

    So I have had Netflix for years but just now got a HD 4k do I get grandfathered in for the quality or do I have to pay extra.

  2. H says:

    They should allow you to stream a lower quality with your regular plan, FREE then. To pay for a plan and then have to pay extra for a show on top of that… makes no sense. Why bother at all? Netflix is getting greedy.

  3. DG says:

    Super Stupid idea.

    When seated two screen-heights back, your eye cannot see the difference between 4K and 2K.

    4K makes sense for IMAX and maybe for large tablets that you’re right on top of.

    But for watching narrative movies, meh.

    Once the public figures this out, 4K delivery will go caput.

    • Jake says:

      You should go back to school because clearly your education is faltering when you’re assuming everyones going to be watching on a 40″ TV, when shown on a 60″ or higher the difference is clear as day. Seriously do you even read the BS that you spew out? Stop living on yahoo answers.

      • DG says:

        You’re naturally going to see a difference if you’re sitting close to the screen, but once you’re a normal viewing distance back the difference between 2K and 4K it’s hardly perceptible. And that has little to do with the screen size.

        SMPTE and the initial industry Digital Cinema committee proved this about a decade back at the Pacific Theater on Hollywood Blvd, when 2K and a 4K images where projected on the same screen and compared. The difference was only noticeable to those seated close to the screen–within two screen-heights back. For the rest of the auditorium, these was no significant difference.

        Now what really *is* impressive is NHK’s 8K system that I first saw at the 2008 NAB. That will make a perceptible difference when viewed from a distance, but don’t your breath waiting for a delivery system to handle it.

        No, “Jake”, I’m not coming from Yahoo answers. I coming from 40 years of professional experience as an industry cameraman — as opposed to some non-industry dreg drifting in here from the Drudge page link.

  4. ktest098 says:

    Who would complain about $3/month, or even $0 more for people already on the family plan? 4k video takes a much larger amount of bandwidth to stream to users. I thought Netflix was adding a change JUST for 4k video, which they clearly are not doing…

  5. Netflix Fan says:

    No thanks. I will just torrent them if they want me to pay more for a service I already pay for.

    • bobby bobo says:

      Did you read the article? If you’re already a subscriber, you don’t pay anything extra. $11.99 is for NEW members.

  6. I have a 16 MB connection and 4k streams just fine from Netflix for me with no pauses. I can understand the rate hike given the amount of additional bandwidth comsumption, but I think it is way too soon given the sparce availablility of 4k titles so far.

  7. Lee Mastroddi says:

    I am looking forward to the day when the extra charges by streaming services and cable providers are for (so-called) STANDARD DEFINITION. We should already be there, for heaven’s sake, since all broadcast technology has changed over to HD. “Standard” should really be renamed “LO-DEF” and the people who won’t upgrade should have to pay extra for maintaining old technology.

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