Netflix has three plans to choose from in Portugal. So there is Basic, Standard and Premium. It’s a little confusing, especially when compared to other streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, which have everything in one subscription. It is true that with the Netflix Premium plan, you benefit from 4K content, the possibility of watching it on four screens simultaneously and other advantages. But it also comes at a higher price. Is it worth continuing to pay the 16 Euros for the Netflix Premium plan or is there a better alternative?
If you still pay 16 Euros for the Netflix Premium plan, read this!
Before moving on to this answer, we should take a closer look at the Premium plan and the differences.
Everything you can watch on Netflix is available on all plans (except for some movies and shows not available on the Standard plan with ads for those countries that have it), although the Premium plan is the only one that offers some of them in 4K.
Thus, there are three factors that you should take into account when evaluating the value of the Premium plan: cost, simultaneous viewing and streaming quality.
How many people use your Netflix account?
Each Netflix account, regardless of the plan it is on, can have up to five profiles. This allows everyone using the Netflix account to have their own dedicated area, with personalized recommendations, list of movies to watch, accessibility settings and much more.
But the number of profiles you can have should not be confused with the number of people who can view the content on different devices at the same time.
In the Basic plan, you can only stream to one device at a time. This means that if you’re watching Netflix on your TV, the other person who lives in your house can’t sign in to their account on another device.
The Premium plan increases this possibility to four devices at the same time. You can also download Netflix content for offline viewing on six devices. If you live in a household with a few people, this will be essential. But if you are single or living with a couple, you will be better served with one or two simultaneous screens of the Basic or Standard plan, respectively.
Please note that Netflix is cracking down on sharing passwords with people outside your household by introducing the “extra members” feature. This allows account owners to invite someone outside their household to use Netflix. This extra member has their own account and password, but can only view on one device at a time, and is paid for by the original account holder.
As such, the Premium plan is unique in allowing four simultaneous streams within a household and two additional streams for extra members outside the household.
Do you have a 4k television?
Netflix has a wide range of 4K content that streams at 3840 x 2160 pixels. This means that the image contains more data and therefore looks sharper and more detailed, especially on large screens.
However, not everything on Netflix is available in 4K. The exact amount varies by region, but it’s around 1500 titles. It’s plenty to keep you busy, but it means most movies and shows aren’t 4K.
Modern movies, series and Netflix Originals are generally streamed in 4K, although this is not guaranteed. The best way to check is to search for “4K” on Netflix. Or, when expanding on a series or movie’s information, look for the 4K/Ultra HD badge. If you have the Basic or Standard plan, or a device that doesn’t support 4K, you won’t see this symbol, although the content will still show through search.
Some Netflix content supports Dolby Vision and HDR10. These are color and dynamic range enhancements that provide a more accurate image presentation. Some programs and movies also support Dolby Atmos, which provides a 3D surround sound effect. In addition, over 700 titles have spatial audio, which provides more immersive audio and is supported on all devices. All this is only available in the Premium plan.
What does this mean?
If you are only interested in watching old series and classic movies, it is unlikely that these will be broadcast in 4K. But if you like the latest blockbusters and Netflix original content, you’ll be able to watch a lot in 4K.
If your screen doesn’t support 4K, you won’t be able to access anything at this resolution. However, if supported, your screen size and quality will determine the quality of 4K content. If the TV panel isn’t really good you won’t see all the benefits. Likewise, a larger 55-inch or 65-inch TV will display 4K high resolution better than a 40-inch TV.
However, if you only watch Netflix on your mobile phone, tablet or small screen, you don’t need the Premium level.
Is your Internet stable enough for 4K?
Netflix recommends that you have a stable internet connection with speeds of 15 Mbps or higher to stream 4K content. Simply put, 4K content contains more data than SD/HD, so it requires a stronger internet connection.
The best way to check your connection speed is to visit a site like SpeedTest.
If you can’t reach a consistent speed of 15 Mbps, the 4K content will be buffered or streamed at a low resolution – then there’s no reason to pay a Premium subscription for a 4K advantage you can’t use. 720p content requires a minimum connection of 3 Mbps, while 1080p content requires 5 Mbps, so consider the Basic or Standard plan if your connection isn’t up to snuff.
One important thing to keep in mind is that when downloading content for offline viewing, Netflix only offers up to 1080p. So if most of your Netflix viewing is offline, you won’t enjoy the 4K Premium plan.
Should you subscribe to the Netflix Premium plan?
All these advantages come at a high price. Almost 16 Euros per month. Even if you want 4K content and four streaming devices at the same time, it’s up to you to decide if this is affordable. There are other cheaper services. But if Netflix has the movies and shows you want to see and you have a large family or circle of friends using an account, then the Premium account is a must. Just make sure you have a 4K capable device and a decent internet connection.