Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Netflix is here

Netflix launched in Ireland yesterday and I was quick in to sign up. Of course the fact that the first month is free and after that there is a month by month subscription of just €6.99 meant there really isn't much of a down side at the moment (at least not one I can see). I get to try the service for free, and if I don't like it I just unsubscribe before February 8th. Usually I'm one who believes if it sounds too good to be true then it is too good to be true but this one seems an exception. 

The TV at home was already reserved for some standard programming delivery but I did manage to grab a few minutes to check out the integration on my Apple TV which worked perfectly. Its a little hard to believe Apple allow Netflix to integrate so well on its device, however since Apple don't offer a TV service here and Netflix seems to offer older movies I guess the overlap in this market is not as bad as I would imagine it is in the US. With Netflix apparently in some difficulty in the US market perhaps it would be a candidate for a take over by Apple? 

The Netflix sign on process was tightly integrated with Facebook but if you log out of Facebook the option exists to sign up via email. I didn't realise this at the time but after signing up I went into Facebook and changed the Netflix apps access. Later I found an option in my Netflix account to disconnect from Facebook so I did that as well and the Facebook suggestions disappeared from my feed. People who I am friends with on Facebook may still see my ratings if they are also subscribed to Netflix as well but I dont add people on Facebook that I dont know and I've probably discussed movies or TV shows with most of them at some stage.

The one thing I was a little dissapointed with was the choice of shows. The volume is a little low. There are some there that we intend to watch and were about to purchase on DVD or iTunes Canada to catch up on earlier seasons (Breaking Bad and Dexter). Cracker was also on TV on Sunday night and Lauren had not seen it before. Those are there and should easily justify a Netflix subscription for a few months. There are also several movies we'd happily watch so we have no problem paying for the service until we've run out of those shows but then I don't know. The Co-founder of Netflix, Reed Hastings, was on the radio early this morning and when asked about this problem he spoke about how great shows like Prison Break and Breaking Bad are but didn't give any indication on plans to add new ones.

I havent had the opportunity to actually spend a long time watching anything so I cant really give an opinion on the quality of the service. In theory it should work and I'm not a HD/audio nut so my sole criteria is that it streams without stutter. That is more a feature of my broadband connection, Apple iTunes does work, most of the time, only going down when my connection goes down so I would expect Netflix to do the same. IF it doesnt then I'll be unsubscribing.

Still I shouldn't complain, I've now got the opportunity to watch several shows I wanted to catch up on, for free or far cheaper than the DVD or iTunes price.

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