Whether you just got kicked off an ex’s account or are just trying to decide which video streaming service is the best for you, cash is king. After all, the streaming game is booming and there are loads of worthy services vying for your credit card number in 2019.
Which streaming service you pick says a lot about what you like to watch. If you like network television’s best, Hulu might be a good fit. If you prefer premium, Emmy-targeted programming, try one of HBO’s offerings. Already a Prime subscriber? Amazon’s selection of TV and movies could be for you. All that said, Netflix still boasts the biggest library of hosted content, alongside a quickly growing (and already awesome) stable of original programming — making it the go-to for most.
Below, we outline each of the Netflix plans so you know exactly what you are getting for your money (and if those extra add-ons are worth the additional cost to you). After all, while it might only be a $4 per-month leap from the Basic plan to Standard, perhaps you would rather save your cabbage for Hulu’s Showtime add-on, or a premium slice of pizza. The choice is yours.
Netflix has three different streaming plans: Basic, Standard, and Premium. Pricing is set at $9 per month for the former, $13 for the middlemost, and $16 for the latter.
But what do each of those tariffs translate to in terms of on-demand content? Well, the actual catalog remains consistent across the board, with Basic subscribers having access to the same catalog as those on a Premium plan.
The limitations come in the form of streaming resolution — Basic can’t stream above a Standard Definition resolution, while Standard is restricted to Full HD. Premium, on the other hand, can tap into material in 4K Ultra HD.
There’s one other notable difference between Basic, Standard, and Premium, and that’s how many people can use the same account at once — starting at one user on the most economical option and topping out at four on the priciest.
|Plan||Price||Number of screens at once||Resolution|
|Premium (streaming)||$16||4||HD + Ultra HD|
DVD and Blu-ray
Netflix has remained true to its roots, continuing to run its DVD-by-mail rental service, which was responsible for the boom of its digital on-demand streaming platform in 2010. And 2.7 million of its customers have too, as of February 2019.
That’s right — almost 3 million Netflix subscribers are still using the firm’s mail-in service, checking out DVDs and Blu-rays instead of (or in addition to) taking advantage of its near never-ending catalog of digital content.
So, how much will Big N’s nostalgic DVD-by-mail subscription set you back? The Standard tier is priced at $8 per month for access to an unlimited amount of DVDs, or $10 per month for the same treatment but with Blu-rays thrown into the mix.
Those on a Standard plan will only be able to rent one disc at a time; however, those looking to have an exciting night in front of the box can upgrade to Premium, for $12 per month for DVDs or $15 per month for Blu-rays, to borrow two at a time.
|Plan||DVD Price||Blu-ray Price
||Total discs per month
||Number of discs out at once|
What is simultaneous viewing? (streaming only)
This is a huge perk for Netflix streaming customers who want to share their Netflix account with roommates, friends, or family. The Basic Netflix plan allows you to stream content on only one screen at a time, though the number of screens on which you can simultaneously stream content increases with each plan upgrade.
If you opt for the Standard plan, you can use the same account to watch content on two different devices at once, or four different devices at the same time with the Premium plan. The number of devices and people you want to share your account with will likely influence which plan you pick.
Your choice also dictates how many devices you will be able to download content on for offline viewing. The numbers here are the same: One for Basic, two for Standard, and four for Premium.
What are HD and Ultra HD? (streaming only)
Even if you never plan on sharing your Netflix account or watching on two screens at the same time, opting for either the Standard or Premier subscription tier is worth it since the Basic plan restricts streamed content to standard definition. The Basic plan doesn’t offer high-definition content and unless your internet speed is too slow to handle HD streaming, the quality difference between the two resolutions is enough to make the $4 leap worth it.
High definition isn’t the end, however. If you’ve shelled out the bucks to buy a 4K TV or monitor, you might as well spend a few extra dollars for a Premium account. Doing so will grant you access to Ultra HD content — such as NBC’s The Blacklist and the lauded Breaking Bad — allowing you to watch shows and films at a resolution considered four times better than 1080p (HD). The service’s newest batch of content, including The Umbrella Academy, is available in 4K HDR, while other titles up the ante even further with available Dolby Atmos soundtracks.
To find this content, just type “UHD,” “4K,” or “Dolby Atmos” into the search bar in Netflix to find the service’s highest-quality programming.
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