Netflix’s Basic plan is getting a high definition (HD) upgrade next month, following the introduction of the new Basic with Ads plan. Although this change won’t affect all of Netflix’s subscriber base, it should make the streaming experience slightly better for those on the service’s cheapest ad-free plan.
Netflix will launch an all-new Basic with Ads plan in the United States on November 3rd, 2022. As the name suggests, this subscription tier is designed to offer a Basic plan-like experience, albeit with ads. The use of ads will reduce the cost of the Basic subscription down to $6.99 per month, a saving of $3 each month. Outside of the use of ads, and the ability to download videos for offline viewing, most of the rest of the Basic with Ads experience will be similar to the Basic plan experience.
It would seem that also includes the video quality. Along with confirming the new Basic with Ads plan’s price and availability, Netflix has confirmed that the ad-supported plan will be available to “Watch in HD.” At present, HD is only available with the two more expensive Standard and Premium plans, as the Basic plan is resigned to streaming in SD quality. However, a help post has now been updated to confirm that the Basic plan will also be getting upgraded to a “Watch in HD” status from November 2022. Presumably, as and when the Basic with Ads plan launches.
While this is an upgrade, it still isn’t to the level offered by the more expensive plans, meaning that the video quality remains one of the primary differences. For example, even though Basic with Ads and Basic subscribers will be able to stream in HD (up to 720p) from next month, Standard subscribers can stream in Full HD (up to 1080p), and Premium subscribers can stream movies and shows in Ultra HD (up to 4K).
No matter the plan or the video quality limitation, it is worth keeping in mind that not all titles are available to stream in the highest quality, something that will mostly affect Premium subscribers considering the general lack of 4K availability. For Basic subscribers, even though not all of Netflix’s library is available to stream in HD either, most TV shows and movies are.