Netflix upgrades its cheapest plan with free streaming quality update

Anyone that subscribes to Netflix Basic is about to make the jump to HD

Netflix logo colours
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix is set to give subscribers of its Basic plan a great new update that will make streaming shows and movies that little bit better.

Amid the chaos of the streaming platform unveiling its new ad-based tier, it was also revealed that Netflix Basic plan users will be upgraded to 720p HD resolution at no extra cost. It's a move that has come later than many would have expected, considering that a 480p standard definition was the offered streaming quality for so long – more than a decade, in fact. 

A Netflix Basic plan is currently priced at £6.99 / $9.99 / $AU10.99 per month. It's worth noting that Disney Plus offers 4K streaming (though a lot of its content is only available in HD) for a cheaper price for those in the US and UK at $7.99 / £7.99. 

An example of the Netflix pricing structure and features for those in the US can be seen below: 

Netflix US pricing plan

(Image credit: Netflix)

"We're excited to announce that we are adjusting the video resolution from 480p to 720p HD for both our Basic with Ads and our existing Basic plan, so essentially the entire Netflix offering will be in the HD to Ultra HD domain," said Netflix chief operating officer Greg Peters. 

The free upgrade to Netflix's Basic plan is expected to roll out in November 2022 alongside the Basic with Ads tier. Canada and Mexico will receive it first on November 1st, then the UK, US, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Korea on November 3rd. Finally, Spain will receive the boost on November 10th, 2022. 

Netflix's ads tier will cost £4.99 / $6.99 / AU$6.99 a month with adverts running between 15 to 30 seconds in length. These will be played before and during shows and films, lasting approximately an average of four to five minutes of adverts per hour. While a cheaper option is always welcome – especially during a cost-of-living crisis – the streamer is hoping this will stop people from cancelling their subscriptions

One thing that might help is if Netflix ended shows unexpectedly, such as Grendal which was recently partway through filming before being abruptly cancelled.  

Matthew Forde
Staff Writer

Matthew is the Staff Writer for T3, covering news and keeping up with everything games, entertainment, and all manner of tech. You can find his work across numerous sites across the web, including TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matthew is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattForde64