Updated: Sep 26
Netflix is an online media streaming service that serves up movies and TV series to an eager audience that laps up all it has to offer. Since its days as a competitor alongside Blockbuster, Netflix has always stood out from the crowd and was always off the beaten path.
Netflix is most famous for its original content with series numbering a dozen in each genre such as Drama, Comedy and Kids Entertainment. It also has the same number of releases in Miniseries, Documentaries and Stand-Up Comedy.
Most of the original programming is sold to and screened on several other channels. You would have definitely heard of “House of Cards”, “Arrested Development,” and “Orange is the New Black,” which have won several Emmy’s (Oscar Equivalent for daytime TV series). A considerable number of documentaries and stand-up comedy acts have also received awards.Netflix also has a DVD service where you can rent their shows on DVD’s.
Netflix Price Point
The Netflix online service can be availed by paying an amount of $7.99 (starting price) and the DVD service has a maximum pricing of $16.99. This is just the pricing for users in the US. There is similar pricing in different parts of the world. The Current Pricing is now $9.99 for fresh subscribers. According to the latest news, the price was bumped up from May 2014 from $7.99 to $8.99. In 2016 it has again been increased to $9.99.
Netflix is cheaper folks! Amazon and Apple may have fresher content, but if you are looking at value for money, then this is it.
This is one of the main selling points of this service since Amazon Instant Video and iTunes and charge by the episode and series whereas Netflix has a bundled monthly charge. With Netflix you have access to all the content available in the catalogue, but that being said, the selection is slightly limited on par with other services, if not in volume, at least in freshness.
Netflix is everywhere! Apart from China, North Korea and Crimea, you can now stream Netflix content from anywhere around the world. This includes all the five continents!(US, UK, All of Africa, Australia) Isn’t that amazing? The only technical limitation is the amount of physical stores that rent out Netflix DVDs is limited to US, UK, Parts of Europe and India.
But you have to remember that content that you have access to in one country may not be there for you when you physically relocate to another. You can look at this as a pleasant bonus. Each country has a specific list of video content available for its region.
North Korea isn’t in the Netflix streaming list due to restrictions imposed on the US government by it. China is yet an unexplored territory due to marketing and tech difficulties.
Netflix Rivals in the Market
There is a most interesting list of rivals Netflix is building up, prime among them being Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and iTunes. But this is noteworthy competition because they do bring in something new and exciting to the table. Amazon Instant Video has itself airing shows like “24” and movies like “The Monument Men” even before Netflix could lay its hands on it. ITunes isn’t far behind in showing similar content unaired on Netflix.
As long as you have a browser based on Windows or Mac OS 9Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Mac X OS) you can easily install this service. You can also install this on Linux OS but it may take a few steps more to get there. As for devices it can be installed on PC’s, Laptops, and Tablets and also on mobiles using their app.
You can also play this using a Google Chromecast device.
Netflix DVD Service
Netflix content sometimes can’t make it directly to the online media. This is when you will have to rent DVDs to complete your viewing experience. This service allows you to rent a maximum of 3 DVDs at a time while paying a monthly fee of $16.99. Basic plans start from $7.99 where you can rent and hold on to one DVD at a time.
Netflix User Interface
The Netflix UI is extremely refreshing and has a movie theatre feel to it. You can access all content in the form of thumbnail displays which are posters of the said programmes. The settings are easy to figure out to change your Video quality (important to conserve data). And pleasantly enough you will find that once you abruptly end an episode that you are watching, the service saves where you stopped viewing it and will play back from the same point!
Netflix has an information card that pops up when you hover over the thumbnail of a particular video. This will contain summarised plot, ratings for the content, type of genre etc. You can also crate playlists with scheduled timetables to watch the content at a later time.
There are also content filters you can apply to prevent kids from accessing adult content.
Social Media is present here in the form of Facebook sharing where you can share content you like with friends and family alike.