Citing the increased costs for delivering 4K "Ultra-HD" programming, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) will begin requiring that users subscribe to its $11.99 family plan in order to stream 4K content.
Ultra HD versions of shows including House of Cards had previously been available through the service's standard $8.99 plan. The more expensive "family plan" allows four simultaneous streams from one account.
"We decided to move 4K UHD video into our four-stream plan for new members who sign up and care about the highest-quality video Netflix offers," a Netflix spokesman told Variety. "We have a modest and growing catalog of titles in 4K, including House of Cards, Breaking Bad, The Blacklist and a slate of upcoming Netflix original series."
In the U.S., Netflix remains one of the few distributors of 4K content and will probably remain so through at least the first quarter of 2015.
DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV), which also has upcoming 4K plans, probably won't be able to execute them until at least the early part of next year, according to TV Predictions. The site notes that the pay-TV company is launching a new satellite Dec. 4. This new orbiter will not only enable the carrier to deliver 4K channels, but also expand its selection of standard HD channels.
However, such satellites are not usually deemed fully operational until 60-90 days after launch.
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