This word seems to be popping up everywhere lately. But what is it? Who is it? How does it work? And should I be interested?
These are all questions we at Complete Audio have been getting asked over the last couple of months.
So what is Netflix?
- Netflix is a Video on Demand (VoD) streaming service
What is that in English? There are lots of VoD services around these days, Netflix is just the most prominent at the moment.
VoD Services are a little like on-line Video Stores, they generally have large selections of TV shows and Movies that subscribers can watch when they want (on Demand).
Like video stores (and current Free to Air TV Stations) each Video on Demand service will have different and unique content depending on contracts with the distribution companies. So whilst a VoD service might not have a show you like, it may pick it up when the current contract with a free to air channel (or another service) expires.
Unlike video stores there is no limit to the number of people that can “hire” a particular movie or TV show. So it will never be out of stock, and you never have any late fees.
Video on Demand services vary on their charging practises. Typically there is a subscription fee, paid monthly. After that, with Netflix there are no further charges, the subscriber has full access to their entire catalogue, and can watch as much as they like as often as they like. Other services will have a smaller subscription fee but will charge per program (movie/ TV show) you wish to view, essentially a 24hr Hire in which time you can watch that one program as much as you like.
There are many ways to get access to Netflix (and Other VoD services, but here we will focus on Netflix) on your TV:
- The TV: if you have a “Smart” TV chances are the app is already in your TV.
- Blu-Ray Player: Most current release Blu-ray players will have Netflix app in them.
- Some, like the Panasonic DMR-PWT550, will even have a “Netflix” button to go directly to the service
- Apple TV: The Netflix App is readily available from the Apple App Store
- X-Box and Play Station: again the app is available in the relevant app store
- Most Android TV Boxes: There are a lot of these devices showing up in the market these days as direct competition to the Apple TV. As long as the Android TV box is running the proper Google Play store then again you will have access to the app.
- Most Smartphones and tablets: as with all above Netflix should be in the app store.
All of the devices mentioned will need to be connected to the internet for Netflix to function. From there just enter your Login and Password details, then you should be able to watch whatever content you like.
Whether or not you should be interested in these services is up to you. If you are the type of person who enjoys watching TV, but hate being interrupted by ads or having the TV stations dictate when you can watch a show, then I would suggest you have a look at the services available, remembering that Netflix is just one of many. If you a not fussed about ads or when you watch a show, then you may not find a Video on Demand service of any use, but it’s nice to know they are there if you feel like having a look.
As for which of the many services to choose, well that is up to you. The only suggestion would be to do your research, look at what content each of the services has, weigh up the relevant costs and payment plans against your viewing pattern. But most of all be sure to make use of the Free Trial periods to ensure it is what you expect before parting with your hard earned Dollars.
If you would like more info or a demonstration of the TV’s and Blu-Ray players that are Netflix capable then drop by the shop we will be happy to help.