Netflix is now charging a premium for access to 4K streaming. Access to 4K — also known as Ultra HD — now requires a "platinum" plan, which costs $11.99 per month. Previously, members on Netflix's typical HD streaming plan, which increased from $7.99 to $8.99 earlier this year, could access the company's limited collection of 4K content. The premium plan also lets four separate users stream video at once on one account, compared to two on the typical HD subscription.
A Netflix spokesperson told Variety that the price change comes in response to the increased costs of producing, acquiring, and distributing 4K content. Currently, 4K service only functions with a limited number of 4K TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio, and requires a minimum of 25 Mbps download speed. The company's 4K catalog is in its infancy: it includes all of Breaking Bad, season two of House of Cards, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters 2, a nature documentary, and The Smurfs 2. NBC's new show, The Blacklist, will also be available in 4K.
Customers who have already watched 4K content on one of the cheaper subscriptions will be grandfathered in, but new customers will have to cough up the extra cash. Considering how much 4K TVs cost, though, that extra $3 per month shouldn't be too painful.