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Your grandfathered Netflix rate may be going up this year

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It’s about to cost more to watch Netflix in high definition.

(Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

It’s about to cost more to Netflix and chill.

Netflix announced this week that existing subscribers will probably see their monthly rate increase starting sometime this spring. The company will no longer be “grandfathering” users, allowing them to stay on the HD digital-only $7.99-a-month plan. Previous price increases had only applied to new subscribers.

In a statement to shareholders, Netflix wrote, “In Q2 and Q3, we’ll be releasing a substantial number of our U.S. customers from price grandfathering on the HD plan and they’ll have the option of continuing at $7.99 but now on the SD plan, or continuing on HD at $9.99 a month.”

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To cut through the corporate-speak:

“Releasing customers from price grandfathering” means it doesn’t matter how long you’ve had Netflix. You are getting a price increase.

HD means high definition. High definition is how most of regular television is broadcast, and how movies and shows look when you watch them on Blu-ray and most DVDs.

SD means standard definition. You’ve probably watched Netflix in SD when your Wi-Fi was slow or you were watching it on a public network. It doesn’t look crystal clear, but it’s better than not watching Netflix at all.

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So your option will be to fork over a little extra, or binge-watch a lower-quality video.

Here’s how to figure out whether the price increase will apply to you:

From a desktop, visit netflix.com. In the upper right-hand corner, hover over the arrow next to your name, and click “Your Account” in the drop-down menu.

The main landing page for Netflix.
(Jessica Roy)

From there, under Plan Details, you should see which option you have. If you have the grandfathered rate, it will look like this:

Netflix account screen
(Jessica Roy)

That means that you’re paying $7.99 a month, for now.

Fortunately, the price hike won’t break the bank for too many people: Netflix is only increasing it by $2. Still, it represents a 25% increase. Not very chill.

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Tell me what you’re bingeing this weekend on Twitter @jessica_roy.

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