Most people today know the name Netflix, and they know that it revolutionized the way people watch movies and television at home. In their early days, they offered subscribers the ability to choose movies online, and then Netflix would send the DVD or Blu-ray right to the person’s home. They could keep it as long as they needed, and paid only a small subscription fee for the service. This was one of the big reasons that Blockbuster fell so hard. However, Netflix was not content to stick to the hardcopy version of videos.
Instead, they were one of the earlier adopters of the cloud, and today, they are synonymous with it. The streaming service is, by many accounts, the largest pure cloud service in existence today. The company has been using Amazon Web Services for more than five years now, and this is what makes the service so fast and responsive. It takes just a short time to search for a movie or television show and to get it to start playing on your computer or your television.
Features of Netflix
Subscribers have access to a wide range of different movies and television shows, old and new alike. They have a rotating list of movies and television shows, including a variety of popular options such as The Avengers, Thor, Breaking Bad, Dexter, and classics such as Cheers and The Andy Griffith Show. They offer cartoons, documentaries, and much more. While they do not have everything, they have a wide range of options available.
One of the other nice features is that you can access the service through all of your devices. If you have a smart television, then it may have a Netflix app on it, which you can set up. Desktop boxes, such as Roku and Apple TV also have the app available. In addition, you can use an app for your tablet or your smartphone, which means that you will be able to watch the movies and shows when you are out, as long as you have a connection to the web.
You can look up films and television shows you might want to watch and add them to your watch list. This ensures you will always have something interesting to watch without needing to search through all of Netflix to find it again.
What’s On Netflix?
People who are considering Netflix but who have not done much research on it always want to know what the service offers in terms of content. The cloud makes it possible for them to have a host of options all ready and waiting for viewers. They have programming for kids and adults alike that cover the gamut of genres. Netflix has comedy, horror, action, and a variety of subgenres
Another one of the interesting things about the service is the fact that it is able to “learn” your behaviors and what you like. It will then suggest programs and movies that you might enjoy. This makes it easy to discover new options and to reconnect with some old favorites.
One of the issues that some people have with Netflix is that it is not always easy to find out what is available to stream, at least when you are using the service through your television or desktop box. Knowing what is new on the site, and all of the movies and shows available is simply not possible using only the basic features of the interfaces. However, some sites are available online, such as whats-on-netflix.com, that allow you to search for movies easily. They also let you know what new movies are coming to the site, and what movies will be rotating out of the service. You can find a number of these types of services today.
That’s another one of the issues that some have. Movies that are on the site right now might not be available in a few months. Netflix needs to license the movies and television shows to keep them on the site, and sometimes longer than usual negotiations or lapsed licenses might mean the programs rotate out. They may come back later, but they might not.
What Does It Cost?
One of the most amazing things about Netflix is the cost. Having all of these options right at your fingertips seems like it would cost far more than it does. Current members are paying $7.99 a month, although new members who joined recently are paying $8.99 a month to account for the increasing cost of the streaming service. Still, at that price it really does seem to be a steal. Just think about all of the entertainment options you have available and how much this would have cost you just a few years ago at Blockbuster.
If you wanted to watch a full television series, such as Dexter, you would have had to rent individual disks from Blockbuster, or buy the series. The cost for a rental varied depending on where you rented, but it was generally at least a couple of dollars. A single disk would only have a few episodes on it, meaning that watching a single season of a show would cost more than a month of the Netflix service. Renting just two movies a month from those old brick and mortar services was the same or more than a month’s worth of service as well.
It’s easy to see just how financially smart this decision is. Instead of buying the DVDs or trying to find a place to rent them, you can simply subscribe to the service and stream right from the cloud.
Who Are the Competitors?
Naturally, when a site such as Netflix pops up, competition is soon to follow. This is a good thing. It pushes the companies technologically, and it helps to ensure they are offering quality services, good prices, and good customer service. One of the biggest competitors to Netflix today is Amazon Instant, which has many of the same offerings. Some may consider Hulu to be a competitor as well, but the services really are different. Hulu, for example, focuses on putting up television shows the day after they air, which Netflix does not do. Even though Hulu does offer movies, and there is some crossover, they are not the direct competitors that many people believe.
Should You Choose Netflix?
If you love movies and you enjoy binge watching television shows, then Netflix should certainly be a consideration for you. Given the low price and the number of viewing options on the service, there really is no reason not to use the service. They have a free trial, so you can always check it out, see what is available and how much you use it, and then you can determine whether it is worth your money or not.
Some people love Netflix and other cloud streaming services so much they are giving up on their expensive cable bills. This might be a good idea, but just because you choose to use Netflix doesn’t mean you necessarily will want to forego cable entirely. Having a good combination of services may be the best option for you.
The quality of the service is generally quite good, and they have redundant servers in place so customers should only rarely experience any issues with watching their movies and programs. This, combined with the price and the selection, make Netflix a popular choice for a reason. It is a wonderful alternative to the traditional way of consuming movies and TV. They took a gamble on the cloud and they are winning.