Netflix Review: Overview Of The Netflix Streaming Service

What is Netflix?

Is that seriously your question?

Lol. I’m just kidding though but its a good thing to know.

Let me use this opportunity to brief you what Netflix is all about. Netflix started in 1997 as a company that pioneered the concept of “renting DVDs by mail” with the innovative concept of charging a flat monthly fee, instead of charging by each DVD “ordered” and, as a result, the corner video rental store phenomenon started to die, and by 2005, Netflix had a loyal 4.2 million DVD-by-mail rental subscriber base.

However, that was just the beginning, as in 2007 Netflix made a bold announcement that it was, in addition to its DVDs-by-mail rental program, going to add the ability for subscribers to stream TV shows and movies directly to their PCs.

Then, in 2008, a very interesting thing happened, Netflix partnered up with LG to introduce the first Blu-ray Disc player that also was able to connect to the internet for streaming Netflix provided content. Blu-ray Disc playback and internet streaming in the same box (the network Blu-ray Disc Player was born)- now that was not only convenient, but provided a way to suck in DVD and Blu-ray Disc fans into the streaming alternative.

The great-granddaddy of streaming services remains the best as you well known. As I mentioned earlier, Netflix provides unlimited streaming of TV shows, movies, games, comedy specials and original programming (including Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards and the fourth season of Arrested Development) for one monthly subscription fee. No other service has yet given Netflix an honest-to-goodness run for its money in terms of selection, quality and performance consistency. You can even create up to five different profiles on a single account to make sure that your favorite content doesn’t mess up recommendations for your friends and loved ones.

Needless to say, it didn’t take long for Netflix streaming to become available on the Xbox, Apple devices, and a growing number of TVs. In fact, today, you can even watch Netflix on many smartphones!

How Netflix Works?

Netflix content can be accessed through many internet-connectable devices, including Smart TVs, Blu-ray Disc Players, Media Streamers, Game Consoles, Smartphones, and Tablets. Netflix is not a free service but as a new subscriber, you definitely have a free 30-day trial available.

Netflix is a subscription-based service that requires a monthly fee. As of 2015 its fee structure is as follows:

Individual Plans (allows up to HD-quality viewing on two devices at the same time)

$7.99 per month for existing subscribers (until 2016)

$8.99 per month for new subscribers

$7.99 per month for new subscribers that only want SD resolution access only.

Family Plan

$11.99 per month (Allows viewing on up to 4 devices at the same time)

Once you have access to the Netflix service, an onscreen menu displays on your TV screen that allows you to navigate through hundreds of TV shows and movies via clicking on icons (look like DVD covers), or via a search tool. It is important to note that the appearance of the Netflix on screen menu varies slightly depending on the device used to access it.

What You Can Watch Through Netflix

Netflix offers hundreds of TV programs and movie titles – definitely too many to list in this article – and additions (and subtractions) are made on a monthly basis. However, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Once you have access to the Netflix service, an onscreen menu displays on your TV screen that allows you to navigate through hundreds of TV shows and movies via clicking on icons (look like DVD covers), or via a search tool. It is important to note that the appearance of the Netflix on screen menu varies slightly depending on the device used to access it.

What You Can Watch Through Netflix

Netflix offers hundreds of TV programs and movie titles – and additions as well as subtractions are made on a monthly basis. However, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Though, as much as the streaming grand-master offers, there are some limitations. First, as noted above, not only are programs and movies added each month, but after a time (or a decrease in popularity), content is also “deleted” from the service as well. Unfortunately, Netflix does not post that information on their service menu, but it is available through third-party sources. Also, Netflix does post a listing of upcoming additions for their original content, which can be accesed via the PR portion of their website

Netflix Is A Streaming Service, Not A Download Service

It is important you don’t forget that Neflix is a streaming service – In other words, when you press the icon associated with the program or movie you want to watch, it starts playing – However, you can pause it, rewind, fast forward, and even finish watching it later. Netflix keeps track of what you are viewing, what you have viewed, and even provides you with a list of suggestions based on your past viewing experience.

In most cases you cannot download Netflix content or record it. However, there are software programs available that do allow your to record Netflix and other streaming content onto a PC.

3D and 4K

In addition to streaming traditional TV and movie content, Netflix also offers a limited 3D content selection, as well as an increasing number of programs being made available in 4K (mostly Netflix in-house produced programming). The 3D and 4K listings are only visible is the Netflix detects that you are viewing on a 3D or 4K compatible video display.

Also, for those that don’t have 3D or 4K access, many Neflix TV shows and movies are offered in 720p and 1080p resolution, as well as Dolby Digital Surround Sound. However, Netflix automatically scans your internet connection and if your broadband speed can handle the 1080p signal, the resolution will automatically be downscaled.

The Netflix DVD/Blu-ray Disc rental service is still available and actually features a much broader selection of TV and Movie titles than is offered on their streaming service. So, there you have it, an overview of Netflix. Of course, Netflix, although the biggest, is not the only TV and/or Movie streaming service, others include Vudu, Crackle, HuluPlus, Amazon Instant video and a lot more.

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