Netflix users are about to get a sweet free picture quality upgrade

Things on the cheap Netflix tier are about to get a whole lot more enjoyable

Netflix icon and Netflix home screen
(Image credit: Chesnot / Getty Images)

It's no secret that Netflix remains one of the best streaming services available right now. Sure, users may complain about their favourite shows and movies being removed, or question the decision to add other new titles to the platform, but the range of content on offer keeps legions of fans onboard.

Recently, the introduction of Netflix Basic with Ads meant that users could get access to the catalogue for even less. There were, of course, some trade offs, though. Basic with Ads was only available on certain platforms, and did away with around 10% of the total catalogue on offer in the higher tiers. 

But by far the most frustrating limitation was the streaming resolution. Users could only access the Basic with Ads plan in 720p resolution. And while you might get away with that on a phone, or maybe even a tablet, hooking it up to one of the best TVs – complete with brilliant screen technology and 4K native resolution – is unlikely to cut the mustard for most.

Netflix, it seems, have heard these complaints. In a recent earnings call, the company confirmed that the resolution on offer was getting a boost, with no extra cost to subscribers. Users on the Basic with Ads plan will now be able to view in 1080p.

The update should hit users in Canada and Spain straight away, with other locations – including the UK, the USA and Australia – getting the boost before the end of this month.

It's a great upgrade. Sure, 1080p isn't the gold standard for resolution these days, but it's a good deal better than the 720p resolution offered before. Users will be able to stream HD content, which should look just fine on larger screens.

Getting that boost free of charge is brilliant, and means that the Basic with Ads plan remains great value. It's likely to appeal to a lot more people now – just as long as you can do without the missing shows!

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.