I really wanted to blog about Netflix and share with you all the joy of endless videos on demand.  It all started one day when Jamie and I were looking at the limited list of movies on Telus on Demand, and the fact that each movie was $5.  I remember there is a machine at Safeway where you can rent new movies under $2 for one night, but sometimes you really don’t want to leave your house to get a movie and return it the next day.   That is the beauty of video on demand and Netflix.  Despite the price, depending on where you go, like Blockbuster, it would be the same price if you were to leave or stay home.

I had heard Netflix was coming to Canada, but not till the fall.  I was interested in seeing how it works and if it was any good.  I really wanted to try it before, but it was only available in the states.   The night we were looking at Telus on Demand, I remembered seeing a status on facebook, something about Netflix.  Jamie also mentioned seeing something online about it so we looked into it.  Sure enough it was there and we wanted it.

To use Netflix there are a few options.   Through your internet on your computer, on your PS3, Wii, or XBox.   I am not familiar with XBox but I assume it is similar to PS3.   With PS3 you download the free Netflix program and instantly stream movies through your wifi.  First of all you must log on to a computer and sign up for it, unless you are able to do so through your PS3 browser.   As for the Wii, I assumed there would be a channel for it, but there is not.  Instead you order a free disc.  This disc you put in like a game, and then connect wirelessly into the Netflix network.   You can also download a Netflix app, which I have done with my iPad for portable viewing anywhere near wifi.

On the PS3, I find that the amount of info is not as indepth as on the iPad.   I have not tried to view them on my computer.  On the iPad you have the convenience of sliding your finger for control.  As well, when you find a movie and look at the plot line, there is also a section where people have commented on the movie and given their opinions.   This option is not shown on the PS3.  The only options are Rate This Movie and Play.    Jamie had also been reading that there should be a button where you can select movies that aren’t available, and if more people request it they will try and get the rights to that movie faster.
As for watching on the Wii, I have not done this yet.  About a week after we ordered Netflix, we got an e-mail saying due to the overwhelming demand there would be a delay in shipping of our disc by one week.   They were sorry and to make it better they extended our free trial for an extra week.    When you sign up for Netflix you get your first month free, and then it is $7.99 per month for unlimited viewing.  The extra week is all fine and dandy, but there is still the issue of availability.

In order to have all these movies available for unlimited viewing, they need to go through rights and red tape, blah blah blah in order to make this movie available to you.   Because of this there are a lot of well known movies, or even old movies you would like to watch but are not available.   They show up on the lists when you search, but show that it is not available.   That is probably the biggest draw back about Netflix at the current time.   There is a large selection of movies of every type, as well as some TV show series.   Unfortunately, when it comes to TV series, the ones available are like season 4.   Which means you could not start at season 1 of something you haven’t watched and watch the whole thing.  As for the movies, there are a lot that I recognize, but then there are just as many that I have never heard of.  There are many really bad horror movies as well.

As well as the lack of availability, the next issue you will see is data.   Many providers don’t have a limit on your Data, but if you do it was large enough to cover mostly anything you were going to do.  Unfortunately, to stream a single movie, it is about 1GB of data.  So what the providers have done is if you would like to watch an endless amount of movies through Netflix or other programs, you will have to also up your internet to have more data available to you.   The amount of data that you do get is generally a lot, it is enough to watch one movie every day for a month and then some.  However, it is still the fact that they charge you so much money for nothing already, and now they will want to charge more.   We were looking at Telus Optik.  Better TV, better internet, you can even record 3 whole shows at one time!   I dunno about you but I have a reeeeaaalll hard time just finding one single show to watch, let alone 3 at the exact same time.

Positive:   Instant streaming of endless movies.  It is convenient, easy and fast.  When you press play, it takes maybe 5-20 seconds to load.  You get to see a lot of movies you probably would never have thought of watching, because it is right there for you.

Negatives:   Only so many movies available.   Possible Data issues.   Still no Wii disc.   Some volume issues with movies, little to no sound for movies.

I really love the idea of Netflix, and I enjoy seeing movies I wanted to see at one time that I never got the chance to see.  It is fast, easy and convenient.  But unfortunately, at this time, I would not recommend getting it.  We are considering cancelling our membership for a few months and trying again in the future, and hopefully it will be better.

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