Netflix has had a very interesting journey to date. Initially launched as DVD rental company in the late 1990s it competed with the likes of Blockbuster and quickly came to dominate the market eventually shipping close to a 1 million DVDs per day by 2005.
While DVDs remained popular in the early 2000s another interesting change was taking place on the technology front. Namely that of residential Internet speeds. While early in the 1990s the Internet was just getting started and was best used when reading simple websites or emails. Fancy graphics and videos were simply too large for the transmission speeds available, but by the 2000s this had started to change.
Our rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
👍🏻 The good
- Original content
- “Suggestions” algorithm
- Simple and easy to use
👎🏻 The bad
- Dependence on internet connection
- No access to shows once your subscription expires
High-speed residential Internet service meant that Netflix did not need to send DVDs in the post anymore, they could actually deliver those videos directly to your home in real time & in 2007 Netflix streaming was born. This service was so popular that by 2010 it became the single largest source of Internet streaming in North America.
Compatibility of Netflix
Netflix is available on a variety of platforms and has applications for all of the most popular mobile technologies in the market. It is also accessible directly via its own website, however, all these major platforms are covered once it comes to Netflix compatibility.
How does Netflix work?
With a Netflix account (available in different flavors as discussed below) you are able to access thousands of television shows and movies. Content varies by market and is available in multiple languages.
Due to Netflix’s popularity and explosive growth, most (if not all) Smart TVs have a dedicated Netflix option and you are also able to utilize quite a few 3rd party devices (Amazon Firestick, Roku stick etc.) to access the content on your Television.
The Netflix service “learns” your preferences and tastes through a complicated algorithm based on the shows that you select from its catalog and over time it starts suggesting new shows that it “thinks” you will like.
Pros and Cons of Netflix
- Netflix has some amazing original content that is considered by some to be the finest television ever made.
- The suggestion algorithm for new shows is actually quite good and useful
- The interface is simple and easy to use by almost anyone regardless of age
- Unless you are in the USA, your content is sometimes restricted based on your local market.
- You don’t always know when a television show will be removed from Netflix as they tend to recycle content.
- Unless your Internet provider allows unlimited streaming, it is VERY EASY to use up all of your allowed Internet bandwidth.
- You don’t own the show. When your subscription ends, so does your access to those episodes.
Netflix streaming has basically taken the DVD rental model and transformed it into the digital age. With the streaming service, you are still in essence just renting the show as your access to it only lasts while you continue to pay for the service, but due to the depth of its library as well as its introduction of quality original programming, there is an increased transition to Netflix from other subscription based models.
Basically, people are giving up their cable and satellite subscriptions with their high price points, and unwanted channels to move to a company that not only gives them what they want to see but constantly suggests more shows of a similar vein!
Tips and Tricks
- Setup profiles for each member of your family. This will ensure that everyone has their own specific area that is dedicated to their viewing enjoyment and your screen is not cluttered with a jumble of different types and genres.
- One of the best ways to really make Netflix work for you is to use it! Over time the algorithm learns your likes and dislikes and with the ability to have multiple profiles, you can ensure that the shows suggested to you vary from the ones your kids or spouse are watching.
- Another quick hack (especially on mobile devices) is to downgrade the stream quality that you are playing your video in. By turning down the stream quality, you will also save significantly on the amount of data you use.
Netflix currently offers service in 190 countries around the world and has over 100 million subscribers, making it the premier Internet streaming service. The simplest and best thing that can be said about Netflix is that it works! It’s easy to use and is priced right for a luxury entertainment offering. Prices do vary by market and geography but considering the savings that can be had by downgrading or removing cable TV from your life, considerable savings can be realized!