Netflix offers U.S. viewers three streaming plans that differ in terms of the video quality offered and the number of devices or screens that subscribers can use for streaming at the same time.
The three alternative streaming plans are Basic, Standard, and Premium.
Your choice of plan obviously depends on your needs and budget.
The cost of the plans is $8.99 per month for Basic, $12.99 for Standard, and $15.99 for Premium. So, you have to check your budget to decide which plan to choose.
Although you can install the Netflix app on as many devices as you wish, the number of devices or screens on which you can stream at once depends on the plan you choose. So, if you are sharing your streaming plan with a partner or several family members, you would want to go for Standard or Premium.
Similarly, if you prefer to watch your TV shows or movies in HD, you would likely prefer Standard or Premium.
However, choosing between the three plans is not a simple process. Very often, prospective subscribers find themselves debating which of the three alternative plans they should go for based on conflicting considerations.
One question that people planning to subscribe to Netflix — and current subscribers — often find themselves debating is whether the Premium plan is worth the extra cost.
Here is everything you need to know if you’ve also been debating whether to choose the Premium subscription plan or a lower-tier plan such as Standard, or even Basic.
Is Netflix’s Premium plan worth it?
Netflix’s Premium plan, which costs $15.99 per month, offers HD video quality. It also offers 4K Ultra HD video quality when it is available and you can stream on four screens or devices at the same time.
The Standard plan, which costs $12.99 per month, also offers HD video quality. However, it does not offer 4K Ultra HD video quality. Subscribers can only stream on two screens at once.
The Basic plan, which costs $8.99 per month, offers only SD video quality and subscribers can only stream on one device at a time.
There are many instances in which the Premium plan might not offer an advantage over the Standard or Basic plans. This is especially so when you are not sharing your plan with another person or when you are sharing your plan with only one other person.
Whether Netflix’s Premium plan is worth it depends on your device
The Premium plan’s offer of Ultra HD video quality might appear to be a good reason to go for it, even if you are the only user or you are sharing your subscription with only one person. However, whether you will derive any added benefit from choosing Premium will depend on what type of device you plan to watch your TV shows and films on.
If you will be watching Netflix on mobile devices, iPads, PCs, or on small TV screens with less than 4K resolution, you aren’t likely to derive an added benefit regarding video quality by choosing Premium.
However, if you plan to watch Netflix on a large screen 4K HDR TV, you may — depending on your budget — find the Premium plan worth it even if you are the only user.
If that is the case, you may want to give Premium a try for some time before switching or downgrading your subscription to a lower service tier if you decide that the offer of 4K screen resolution is not worth the extra cost.
Not everyone can see a difference between HD and UHD
Not everyone can derive an added benefit from watching shows on large-screen 4K HDR TVs.
This is due to differences in the acuity of our eyesight. Some individuals are unable to detect any difference between HD (720p-1080p) and Ultra HD/HDR, even when watching their shows and films on large TV screens with the latest video technology.
However, such individuals might able to detect a difference between SD (480p) and HD (720-1080p).
So, if you find that you don’t see any difference between 1080p (Full HD) and 4K (Ultra HD), then there is no point subscribing for Premium. An exception would be if you have a large family and you expect that your family members will be streaming Netflix shows on multiple screens at the same time.
However, if you can see the difference between HD and 4k Ultra HD and you enjoy watching your movies and shows on 4K Ultra HD/HDR TV screens, you may choose Premium even if you are the only one using your subscription.
Keep in mind that a lot of shows aren’t available in Ultra HD. So, even if you have a Premium subscription and a state-of-art 4K HDR TV, you could still end up watching most of your TV shows and movies in SD or HD instead of Ultra HD.