For my mother, saving a WhatsApp photo on her POCO M4 Pro is almost like a NASA mission, but it’s getting better than with her first smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite. Two veteran phones somewhere between the entry-level and the mid-range with something in common beyond the brand: they have a large screen to watch basic Netflix, half of the plans offered by the platform and, priori, the ideal ones for a single person. And when I say excessive, I really mean it: both are Full HD + compared to HD. Does it really make sense to offer HD in 2023?
Just three days ago, Netflix modified the conditions of shared accounts and in short, it’s not that you can’t share an account, it’s that it’s going to be much more expensive. If before with the Premium plan you could share an account with three other people and divide the 17.99 euros per month by four, now you can only share with two other people and for each person beyond the main account holder, 5 will be added, 99 euros per month. Come on, if before you were four and you paid about 4.5 euros/month, now you can be three and pay about 10 euros per month. I am talking about the Premium plan because it is the one that offers viewing on four compatible devices at the same time, spatial sound and 4K resolution. It’s the only plan that makes sense to me.
With this change in Netflix strategy, you either have to continue sharing your account through the checkout (watch out for that drama of having to choose which member of the four leaves the account), or unsubscribe or opt for an individual plan: you have the Basic with ads that has certain content disabled or the Basic, with the complete catalog, without ads and that allows you to download content on a single device. It doesn’t matter which one you choose: the maximum resolution at which you will watch Netflix is HD. The million dollar question now is where are you going to watch Netflix?
Where is the device with HD resolution?
Why is the only plan that interests me the Premium? For the 4K. ANDl Ultra HD is essential and I am sure that I am not alone in this battle. Yes, from time to time you still watch a series on your mobile or go on a trip and download a few episodes. Maybe you have it in the bedroom and watch an episode when the TV is busy. But the TV is 4K.
I am not talking about high-end OLED models or large diagonals: it is that the standard resolution of any television regardless of its range of more than 32 inches is Ultra HD. And it is not from now, that 4K has been “the norm” for more than five years. I think of my parents: their television is less than 10 years old, 43 inches and they don’t care if it’s smart or not because their poker aces are Cuatro, TVE, Telecinco and Antena 3. They are close to 70 years old and although this is a fact anecdotally, the reality is that they are not the target of streaming services. Neither Netflix nor Netflix.
Let’s put ourselves in an extreme and particular case of a person who lives in an apartment with an ancient TV that is neither 4K nor smart – because although they are different things, they are technologies that have been standardized almost at the same time, so their absence has to do with more with the age of the device than with the range –, so you resort to your smartphone or tablet. It practically does not matter what model of tablet or current phone you take because they’re all going to have a higher resolution than those 720p, even if it is an entry-level model, even if it is a few years old. The basic Realme C11 for less than 100 euros? HD+. What do you have a high-end veteran like an iPhone 7? 1,334 x 750. Conclusion: the resolution of the individual plans does not measure up.
(There is one more plan, the Standard, with two screens, unlimited catalogue, no ads, download on two devices and Full HD resolution. The problem of resolution applies the same.)
In this horizon of measures that seek to make these shared users pay more or create their individual account, there is an absence marked in red in Netflix’s current plans and prices: an individual plan with 4K resolution. Taking into account that you pay about 10 euros with the shared Premium plan and that you have other added benefits, those 9.99 euros/month for that hypothetical plan sounds sensible in this scenario.
Photo by Sayan Ghosh on Unsplash