The change was first reported by HDGuru. The pricier plan, which is aimed at families and allows users to watch up to four streams at once, was first introduced last year. Basic plans allow Netflix users to stream up to two things at the same time.
The change comes as Netflix expands the number of offerings in ultra-high definition video, also known as "4K" -- a reference to the horizontal number of pixels those sets can display. One of the biggest obstacles to the adoption of 4K television has been a lack of available content. Consumers don't want to put out the big bucks to pay for televisions that they can't use to their fullest that often. Meanwhile, production companies don't want to shoulder the extra expense of shooting in ultra-high definition if the average person doesn't have the screen on which to watch it.
But with the costs of the televisions coming down -- BI Intelligence noted they've dropped 85 percent in the past two years, to just under $2,000-- a number of streaming video companies such as Netflix are slowly expanding their 4K catalogs. In its statement, Netflix said that "House of Cards, Breaking Bad and a slate of upcoming Netflix original series," are all available in ultra-high definition.
So, in a weird way, the price hike shows that the new format may actually be a good sign for UHD fans, in that shows for the format are becoming more mainstream. Of course, that doesn't help your wallet.
If you already watch videos in ultra-high definition on Netflix, though, you don't have to adjust your monthly budget right away. As with many of its price changes, Netflix is cutting a deal for its existing customers, allowing them to keep their current plans and perks for a limited time.
"Early adopters of Ultra HD 4K technology who currently are Netflix members were grandfathered for two years under their current plan," the spokesman said.