I think that Netflix streaming is a pretty good deal. $8/month to stream as much content as I want compares pretty nicely to the $5 or $6 it costs me to rent a recent movie from iTunes.
But not everyone agrees with me, so Netflix is testing out a new service tier. You can save a dollar a month ($6.99 vs the usual $7.99) if you're a new customer willing to make some concessions: first, only one person can stream at a time (the $8 plan allows two) and second, you might have to give up HD streaming. Might? Well there seem to be two variations of the plan going around.
According to TechCrunch this is just a test and it's possible that not everyone will be offered this deal. They were offered the "No HD" version of the deal.
When I started the sign up process for a new account, I was offered a $6.99 tier, but in my case the signup screen specified I'd only get a single stream but didn't mention a lack of HD support. Compare the image at the top of this post with the image over at TechCrunch and you'll see we were offered different deals.
If you live alone then a $6.99 single-stream, HD compatible subscription delivers everything the 'normal' subscription does, only it costs a buck less. That seems a lot more viable than the 'No HD' option. Doesn't everyone (at least everyone who is a likely Netflix customer) want HD?
Of course on my real Netflix account, I wasn't offered any kind of $6.99 deal; this is for new subscribers only and it seems the offer you get depends on either luck or some inscrutable whim of Netflix's web servers. Either way I'll keep paying the extra buck so that we have 2 concurrent streams available. $1/month is a small price to pay for domestic tranquility.
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.