(Pocket-lint) – From January 2022 all Netflix subscriptions will increase in the USA – the standard plan (Full HD / 1080p content) rising from $13.99 to $15.49, the Premium plan (Ultra HD / 4K content) from $17.99 to $19.99, each on a per-month sign-up basis.
In the UK, where price rises last happened in February 2021, the per-month cost of the Premium plan only jumped from £11.99 to £13.99 – the standard plan price was not adjusted, remaining at £9.99 per month.
Netflix’s justification for this price hike in 2021 was more investment: the company intended to spend $19 billion over the course of that year – which was an extra $2 billion more than in 2020 – to bring more shows, in the utmost quality, to your streaming service screens. The company is yet to disclose its spending intentions for 2022 though.
But what if you don’t fancy the prospect of paying $19.99 or £13.99 a month? Well, you can downgrade to Full HD only, on the standard plan, as so:
• Go to Netflix.com in a browser and sign into your account (select your account if you have multiple family sign-in options)
• Hover over your avatar to the top right, select Account from the drop menu
• Under ‘Plan Details’ select ‘Change plan’
• Choose ‘Next Plan: Standard’ and the blue Continue button
That’s it, job done. But do consider that you won’t be able to view content in greater than Full HD (1080p) resolution, which means waving goodbye to both UHD (4K) resolution and HDR (high dynamic range). You will also max out at two screens. Lastly, you won’t be able to temporarily download content for future viewing like you can on the future plan.
The choice, of course, is yours. If you relish the Ultra HD Netflix experience – and most shows are now shot in the Ultra HD format – and have a big-screen 4K telly to enjoy the experience on then we suggest sticking with the top-end package. But if every penny counts then that annual saving might be the better choice for you – especially if viewing on smaller screens, and/or fewer screens, where Ultra HD resolution can become negatable anyway.
Writing by Mike Lowe. Editing by Britta O’Boyle.