Netflix is testing a new 'Ultra' plan, and it could mean changes for existing subscribers

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  • Netflix is testing a new “Ultra” plan in Europe that would support 4K ultra-high-definition on four screens with high dynamic range (HDR).
  • It could impact the number of screens for Netflix’s “Premium” plan (the current top tier).
  • There seem to be multiple versions being tested in Italy and Germany. One plan offers “Ultra” with four screens and “Premium” with two. The other offers both with four screens, but only “Ultra” would include HDR.
  • Two price points are being tested, seemingly dependent on the user’s browser.

Netflix is testing a new “Ultra” plan in Europe that would support 4K ultra-high-definition video on four simultaneous streams, along with high dynamic range (HDR).

This new plan could either impact the number of screens allowed on its “Premium” plan (the current highest tier), which right now includes four screens for $US13.99 a month, or only offer HDR to “Ultra” subscribers (not “Premium” ones).

The “Ultra” plan was first reported by Italian blog TuttoAndroid.net this week, but Cordcutting.com found the plan being tested in other European countries like Germany at different price points. Netflix seems to be testing two different prices based on the user’s browser: €16.99 and €19.99 per month. Based on current pricing parity between Europe and the US, that would likely mean the same prices in the US if the plan were to be introduced.

As Variety points out, beyond the difference in price point, there are also two versions of the plan being tested. One version of “Ultra” offers four 4K streams and cuts the “Premium” plan to two streams. The other version offers both “Premium” and “Ultra” subscribers four streams, but only “Ultra” includes HDR, which enhances colour and detail.

Netflix told CNET: “We continuously test new things at Netflix and these tests typically vary in length of time. In this case, we are testing slightly different price points and features to better understand how consumers value Netflix. Not everyone will see this test and we may not ever offer the specific price points or features included in this test.”

So, Netflix may not even officially roll out these specific options for the “Ultra” plan or expand it to the US, but there seems to be numerous test versions of it floating around for users in European countries.

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