Netflix is trialling an expensive new membership tier that will anger those already paying for Premium access. That's because it removes high dynamic range support from Premium and charges more per month for HDR and Dolby Vision video under a new Ultra tier. Potentially, a lot more.
In addition, in some trial locations, Premium subscribers have had the number of concurrent devices able to view Netflix halved.
At present, the Premium tier, which is priced at £9.99 per month in the UK, allows for viewing on up to four screens at once, plus gives access to 4K HDR content - in Dolby Vision too if your TV supports it.
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If the Ultra tier is rolled out after the trials, Premium subscribers will no longer get HDR support. They will still get Ultra HD resolutions where applicable, but supporting shows and films won't display the better contrast and colour range on offer with HDR.
To get HDR, subscribers would have to pay extra. The Ultra tier is being tested at €16.99 in Europe, which equates to £14.99 in the UK.
The trial version of the Ultra tier also offers access for up to four devices at once, and in some regions that has pushed Premium down to just two. And those on the Standard tier found their access limited to just the one device at a time, down from two.
A Netflix spokesperson told CNET that the new tier tests are part of a usual process to understand its customer needs: "We continuously test new things at Netflix and these tests typically vary in length of time," said Smita Saran.
"In this case, we are testing slightly different price points and features to better understand how consumers value Netflix."
She also said that there is a chance the new tier may never fully roll out.
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