Netflix is offering its service to customers who want to watch movies and TV shows for a fraction of the cost of traditional cable, but some critics are calling for the company to take a tougher line on streaming quality.
A new report from TechCrunch suggests Netflix’s latest offering, the “low-cost” Netflix streaming service, may not be as good as the one it offered in the first place.
While the service offers up to 50Mbps download speeds, the report says it only offers up 1Mbps of that bandwidth to consumers who are already subscribed to cable, and they are required to pay an additional $1 per month to get the same level of service.
The report cites a new report by Nielsen which says Netflix’s service is “only slightly better than what its predecessor offered.”
The new report says Netflix is only slightly better that the one offered in 2012, which was also the year the company’s initial low-price streaming service was launched.
It says that’s because Netflix has since rebranded its service and started offering a lower price tag, but is still offering more than half the bandwidth it did in 2012.
TechCrunch notes that the company doesn’t have any data to back up the claim that the new service is better, but the report notes that “it’s worth noting that Netflix has offered a similar streaming experience since the beginning of its launch.”
That may not make a huge difference to people who don’t want to pay for the full Netflix package, but it’s certainly a start.
TechCulture’s Scott Coker says he thinks that’s why the low-end streaming service is so appealing to people, as it’s “the most affordable way to get something on Netflix.”
The streaming service offers both the usual Netflix favorites, including movies and shows, as well as new programming that isn’t available on any other streaming service.
TechBargains.com reports that Netflix is also making the service available to people that are paying for the traditional cable bundle.
But if you’re a Netflix customer and want to go down a different path, you can only do so if you subscribe to a different subscription tier.
The new low-priced Netflix service is available only for subscribers who are paying $19.99 per month.
That’s $19 less than the traditional cost of the service, but $24 more than the price of the cable bundle it replaces.
It’s unclear whether that’s just a rounding error, or if the new price tag means that subscribers who subscribe to the traditional package are actually paying a bit more than what they paid for it.
Tech Crunch also points out that the service isn’t limited to a specific price tier.
Instead, it’s only available to those who are subscribing to both the Netflix and cable bundle that it replaces, and that means it won’t work for anyone who wants to watch their favorite shows or movies without going through a cable provider.
The company is also trying to make sure that it’s a bit less expensive for people who want more than a few channels.
“If you want to get as much as you want from Netflix for a low cost, you’ll have to pay a premium,” Coker said.
TechRepublic’s David Pogue says that Netflix isn’t offering a lot of value at a low price.
“I think the new low price is the only reason I can think of for not having a cable subscription,” he said.
“They are offering a service that is more affordable than the cable bundles.”