Netflix Basic available, but..


Netflix Basic – the video streamer’s ad-sponsored subscription – is available, but with notable hardware limitations.

It seems Netflix wants to make its new ad-sponsored subscription as unappealing as possible. First, the resolution is limited to 720p, but that will be of little interest to many viewers we guess. Per hour you will see a total of five minutes of advertising. Exactly how that advertising is distributed remains unclear. Positively, the commercial breaks will not be seen in children’s programs. So far, so good. More annoying is that not all content is available to Basic subscribers to the streaming service. Also, this subscription is only being rolled out in a limited number of countries: US and UK plus a handful of European entrants.

Strict hardware restrictions

Very noticeable – in a negative sense – are the artificial hardware restrictions Netflix has put in place for use by Basic subscribers. For example, ‘Basic’ does not(!) work with the popular Apple TV, nor with the vast majority of Chromecast dongles. An exception was made only for the very latest Chromecast with Google TV. Nonsense, of course, because the hardware in all of these devices is more than capable enough for streaming Netflix content. The PlayStation 3 is also excluded, as is the Netflix app for Windows. Anyone with an older smartphone or tablet is sidelined too: the minimum requirements are iOS 15 or Android 7.

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