Netflix is testing a fourth "Ultra" plan in Europe, according to Italian site TuttoAndroid and CordCutting.com, and confirmed by CNET, that would charge extra for streams with HDR.

In additional, the lower-tier "Standard" plan would lose the ability to stream to more than one device at a time.

The new "Ultra" plan would cost €16.99 (or about $19.75 U.S.) and would break out HDR functionality from 4K UHD streaming, which already is paired in the current "Premium" plan.

Netflix told CNET that this is only a test and might not even come to fruition. However, don't ever look past a company's chance to extract more money out of its customers.

But this one seems like excessive nickel-and-diming. While not every 4K stream is available with support for high-dynamic range — that is, a wider spectrum of colors, so things seem to "pop" more — you have to have 4K resolution to have HDR in the first place. Is an HDR-capable data stream that much more burdensome to the bottom line than a 4K stream is in the first place? When HDR first started making a name for itself in video, Netflix was all about it. Even more so than 4K resolutions.

From The Telegraph at CES in 2015:

When it comes to video, HDR is about making the bright pixels on the screen even brighter, to more accurately represent scenes from outdoors. According to Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix, HDR will create a more noticeable difference to TV viewers than 4K alone.

"With 4K, there are enough pixels on the screen that your eyeball can't really perceive any more detail, so now the quest for more realism turns into, can we put better pixels on the screen?" said Hunt. "I think that's actually a more important quality improvement to get to the brightness and detail in the picture than the 4K is by itself."

Fair enough. The question is whether you'd be willing to pay extra for it.

Netflix

Main

Get a Netflix Gift Card

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.