Christine and I decided to sign up for Netflix last week. I’d been pondering it for a while but we decided that the price (£6 per month) was worth it considering the number of TV shows on offer. Unlike in the US, Netflix in Britain is online streaming only.
We’ve previously had a DVD rental by post subscription – originally with Amazon, which then got taken over by Lovefilm, and is now back in with Amazon again. That was £3 per month but we were barely using it. We were mainly renting films, and whilst we often have a spare half hour or so for a TV show it’s harder to find time on an evening for a film lasting two hours or more.
Amazon’s takeover of Lovefilm also meant that it was a lot easier to cancel. I almost cancelled Lovefilm a couple of years ago, but whilst on the phone I got talked into taking a cheaper package. Now Amazon just let you cancel in a rather nonchalant way online. I get the impression that Amazon see the DVD rental by post part of their business as a niche that it doesn’t have much of a future when compared to streaming.
Of course, Amazon has its own Instant Video service which does the same thing as Netflix, but we decided not to sign up; Netflix is available on more devices, and you can access everything on Netflix at no extra cost. Amazon, on the other hand, charge extra for some premium content.
So far we’ve only watched a few things – in fact, Christine has watched more than me, mainly because I was out quite a bit last week whilst she was at home, on call. We’ve started watching Heroes together, as I never watched it when it was on, and Christine’s not seen all of the episodes. Considering it was shown in 2006, it already looks dated, with big CRT monitors in the background, non-smartphones and it being filmed in standard definition. Christine has also watched Grimm, and… Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. Yeah. We’ll get around the watching Orange is the New Black as well at some point, as I hear it’s very good – and a Netflix exclusive.
Netflix’s library extends into the few thousands, although there are some interesting omissions. For example, the second Iron Man film is there, but not the first or the third. Such is the weird world of entertainment rights I suppose. Still, you get a lot for £6 a month, and you can dip in and out of series as you please. And there’s no DVDs to return.