NPO increases resolution on-demand service and comes with paid HD subscription

The NPO has made a new video-on-demand service available where users can watch programs from the public channels in HD quality for 2.95 euros per month for up to a year after the broadcast. The resolution of the free version goes up from 342p to 570p.

The NPO’s on-demand service to watch broadcasts is no longer called ‘Uitzender Missed’, but ‘NPO Start’. A new app is also coming. Until now, the new plus subscription was only available as part of the NLziet package. The new NPO subscription offers broadcasts in 1080p quality and without advertising for 2.95 euros per month. Users can create a profile and thus continue watching on all devices and compose playlists. There are also two free variants of NPO Start available.

The reason that this new plus subscription costs money, according to the NPO, mainly has to do with the rights to also be able to offer older broadcasts of a TV series. Users can also watch all the old seasons when they start a new season of a series. According to the NPO, the rights to broadcast these have often already expired, which means that offering these older seasons for longer costs extra money. The NPO says that therefore 2.95 euros per month is asked for the service. A large part of this money would flow back to broadcasters and makers. It also costs money to continue to offer series seven days after the broadcast with the plus subscription.

A spokesperson for the NPO says that asking for a monthly fee is mainly related to this rights issue, and that offering the stream in HD quality only entails a limited increase in costs. When asked, the spokesperson says that the free variants of NPO Start are now offered in 570p. According to the spokesperson, this is accompanied by an increased, undisclosed bitrate, so that viewers can experience the resolution as higher. There are no plans yet to offer the streams in 1080p resolution with the free variants. According to the spokesperson, “enormous investments are necessary for this.”

In addition to the paid plus plan, there are two other free variants available. For example, users can still watch broadcasts of the NPO completely free of charge and live to the three public channels. In addition, there is a variant where an account for NPO Start can be created for free. This allows you to continue looking on one device where the user left off on the other device. As with the plus subscription, there is also the option of creating your own watch list and creating favourites.

In addition to the new platform, the NPO will continue to offer broadcasts via NLZiet, the joint platform of NPO, RTL and SBS, which offers subscriptions for 7.95 euros per month for ad-free viewing and higher resolutions.