What is Netflix?
Netflix is a subscription service that lets you watch as many movies, TV shows and TV series’ from a 10,000-strong library as you like. Netflix streams movies over the internet, so a broadband connection is needed for it to work.
Latest news about NetflixYou pay a monthly fee to access Netflix, but there’s no long-term contract meaning you can easily sign up and cancel as and when you like.
How much does Netflix cost?
Netflix costs £5.99 a month, with the first month (30 days) given away free as a trial. There’s no limit on how much you watch per month, you can watch as much or a little as you like.
What’s on Netflix?
Netflix has deals with TV and film producers like All3Media, BBC, Channel 4, CBS, Disney UK & Ireland, ITV, Lionsgate UK, MGM, Miramax, Momentum Pictures, NBC Universal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Viacom.
A recent deal with Twentieth Century Fox means that Netflix exclusively gets all of Arrested Development from early 2013 and more Fox shows like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (another exclusive), Sons of Anarchy, The Killing and Prison Break (non-exclusively).
A multi-year deal with MGM also means that Netflix will bag exclusive streaming rights for The Hobbit films a year after their theatrical release, with the first, An Unexpected Journey, due out in cinemas this year.
Other TV favourites available on Netflix include Twin Peaks, Shameless, South Park with movie titles including Drive (exclusive) Whip It and Troll Hunter.
Can I watch Netflix in high definition?
Yes - Netflix lets you stream a number of movies in 720p and 1080p HD and supports 5.1 surround sound where it’s available.
Netflix recommends speeds of at least 3Mbps in order to stream 720p HD and 6Mbps for the highest quality 1080p HD. Netflix will automatically adjust the quality of a stream if you download speed changes (if someone else starts downloading something in another room).
How fast does my broadband connection need to be for Netflix?
Netflix says that a minimum speeds of 0.5Mbps (500Kbps) is needed to watch non-HD Netflix titles.
For HD films, speeds of at least 3Mbps for 720p HD and 6Mbps for 1080p HD are needed.
How much of my broadband will Netflix use?
On top of this, Netflix offers three video quality default settings to help manage your data usage. These are:
- Good (up to 0.3 GB/hour)
- Better (up to 0.7 GB/hour)
- Best (about 1.0 GB/hour but up to 2.3 GB/hour when streaming HD content).
This is a rough guide to help you keep an eye on your broadband usage. If you don’t have an unlimited broadband package, or there’s a fair use policy attached to your service then this should help stop you from going over the limit.
Can I watch Netflix on my PC or Mac?
Yes, Netflix is available to watch on both PC and Mac. You’ll need to install Microsoft Silverlight for PC and Mac for Netflix to work first. Note that Netflix does not support playback on PCs running Linux.
Can I watch Netflix on my iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch?
Yes, Netflix works on all three. Your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch will need to be updated to/compatible with iOS 4.2 or later. Note that video out is only supported on the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPod Touch 4G.
Can I watch Netflix on my Android tablet or phone?
Amazon's Android-based Kindle Fire tablet can now also download Netflix for movie watching on the go.
Can I watch Netflix on my Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii?
Yes - all three consoles support Netflix to varying degrees.
On Xbox 360, there’s support for Kinect voice search (letting you search by title or actor) but an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription is needed to access Netflix. Chances are if you own a 360 you’ll have an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription anyway for the other benefits it brings.
Netflix on the Xbox 360 supports HD streaming from 720p, 1080i up to 1080p and Dolby 5.1 surround sound audio.
PlayStation 3 owners similarly can stream HD movies from Netflix at 720p, 1080i and 1080p. Dolby 5.1 channel surround sound is supported. No extra subscription or purchase (outside your Netflix subscription) is needed.
Nintendo Wii owners can access Netflix’s catalogue of films through their consoles, but as the Wii is only capable of streaming video at 480p no HD content is available.
Can I watch Netflix on my smart TV or set-top box?
Netflix is available on over 800 devices, many of the smart TV sets and smart Blu-ray players.
Many LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony smart TVs and Blu-ray players from the 2011-2012 ranges come with (or can download) Netflix apps.
Netflix can be streamed to LG’s Home Cinema systems (the BD-3xx/LHBxxx, BD-5xx and BD-6xx/HBxxx Models) and streaming players like Apple TV, Philips’ HMP2000, Roku and Western Digital’s WD TV Live.
- Netflix signs deal with Dreamworks to boost original programming
- Netflix UK to get Disney and Marvel films exclusively next year
- Netflix Originals nabs prison drama Orange is the New Black as online exclusive
- Surging Netflix promises Wachowski sci-fi and Dreamworks spin-off with faster smart TV
- Netflix nabs 15 new Arrested Development episodes, arriving May 26
- Wachowski siblings debut new TV series exclusively on Netflix
- Netflix to launch 4K streaming service within two years
- Netflix gets exclusive streaming deal for The Killing season 3
- Netflix to fund Pablo Escobar drugs drama Narcos
- Netflix testing multi-user accounts for UK launch
- DreamWorks Turbo F.A.S.T. kids series to be made for Netflix
- Sopranos star Steven Van Zandt moves to Lilyhammer today
- House of Cards Series 1 unfolds on Netflix
- Mercury Media docs add a serious side
- Virgin Media tops UK ISP video streaming rankings, EE last
- Eli Roth horror Hemlock Grove to launch worldwide in April
- Warner Bros deal brings The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, Fringe and Chuck to Netflix
- Netflix out now on Nintendo Wii U, coming to UK November 30
- Amazon Kindle Fire UK gets Netflix
- Netflix now on Windows 8
- Netflix makes full use of iPhone 5's larger screen
- RTE hits visible across UK and Ireland
- Nutflox lets you search UK, USA, Canadian and Irish Netflix
- People Search comes to Xbox 360 Netflix app
- Post-play auto-cues Netflix box-set marathons
- Netflix testing Max for Siri-style voice queries
Netflix has ordered the production of Narcos, a drama based on the life of infamously wealthy drugs dealer, terrorist and philanthropist Pablo Escobar.
According to Broadcast, Brazilian film director Jose Padilha, who is down to direct the upcoming Robocop remake, will show Escobar as the head of the Medellín drug cartel which at its height, was shipping around 15 tons of cocaine a day.
Yesterday it was announced that Netflix had teamed up with DreamWorks to bring a serialised version of upcoming cartoon Turbo for its Netflix for Kids channel.
Prior to the arrival of Narcos, Netflix will also be launching three more shows, Hemlock Grove, Orange Is The New Black as well as a new season of Arrested Development.
February 14, 2013
Netflix is teaming up with DreamWorks to bring animated kids series Turbo F.A.S.T. to the service this December.
Based on upcoming DreamWorks blockbuster flick Turbo which hits cinemas this July, Turbo F.A.S.T. will arrive on Netflix worldwide months later and pick up where the film’s story leaves off.
“Families love Netflix, so creating an original series for kids was a natural for us. And we’re doing it in a big way by adapting Turbo, this year’s DreamWorks Animation summer tentpole movie,” says Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix.
Turbo is the story of a snail who miraculously gains the ability to travel super-fast and features the vocal talents of Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti Samuel L. Jackson and Snoop Lion. Casting for Turbo F.A.S.T. the series hasn’t been confirmed.
February 13, 2013
Lilyhammer, the Norwegian-American show featuring Sopranos star Steven Van Zandt, arrives on Netflix in the UK and Ireland today.
The 8-episode comedy drama about a former Mafia boss relocated to Norway is the second show co-produced by Netflix to hit the streaming service this week after House of Cards.
Lilyhammer was the first show co-produced by Netflix and first aired in Norway and the US last year.
As it makes its way to Netflix back across the pond, it’s been announced that a second series is already in production.
February 1, 2013
Netflix’s US-based remake of BBC political thriller House of Cards is available to watch now. The high-profile remake starring Kevin Spacey is the first of Netflix’s many homegrown projects and based on what we’ve seen so far it looks like a hit in the making.
Modern audiences may get a whiff of The West Wing while those who can remember the original should enjoy seeing the action relocated from the House of Commons to the White House.
All 13 hour-long episodes of the first series are available to watch now on Netflix, available on online, iOS, Android (including Kindle Fire) Wii U, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Hemlock Grove, a supernatural horror series starring Famke Janssen of X-Men fame, debuts on Netflix in April.
February 1, 2013
From young classical musicians performing at Sydney Opera House to the story of QPR’s return to top flight football, Mercury Media has brought true stories to Netflix.
The indie documentary distribution firm has licensed 16 documentaries to the streaming video service, including Mrs Carey’s Concert and QPR: The Four Year Plan (pictured).
Other titles are Becoming Santa, The Billionaires' Tea Party, The Daniel Project, End of the Road, Finding Fidel, The Flaw, Fordson, H.O.T. Human Organ Traffic, Under Fire: Journalists in Combat, When I Rise, and Windfall.
Mercury chief executive Tim Sparke, said: “Following a chance meeting with [Netflix chief] Ted Sarandos, it became my ambition to make Mercury’s titles available to Netflix subscribers.
“The team at Netflix are easy to work with and are changing the way films are seen.”
January 17, 2013
Virgin Media is the best broadband provider for streaming Netflix video but no-one’s very fast.
Despite winning the contest, the average streaming speed achieved by Virgin Media customers in December was just 2.16Mbps, with EE last at 1.86Mbps.
EE’s speed’s not bad for a DSL-only ISP (it’s just the old Orange broadband service under a new name), but most of Virgin’s network has now been upgraded to a minimum 30Mbps.
Netflix’s Joris Evers explains: “The average is well below the peak performance due to many factors including home Wi-Fi, the variety of devices our members use, and the variety of encodes we use to deliver the TV shows and movies we carry.
“Those factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs, so these relative rankings are a good indicator of the consistent performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network and a great way to see which ISPs offer the best Netflix experience.”
It’s good to have a real-world performance figure, and hopefully differences will start to appear over the months as more customers take HD streams and upgrade to better WiFi kit.
Then again, maybe Netflix should be ranking ISPs on something more practical, such as their ability to deliver a consistent stream at peak viewing hours.
January 15, 2013
Netflix’s second home-grown TV show will be horror serial Hemlock Grove, from blood-splatter king Eli Roth.
The series will launch worldwide to Netflix subscribers on April 19, 2013, with all 13 episodes going live on the same day in the UK, Ireland, USA, Latin America and Scandinavia.
The online film and TV store’s first in-house production will be the US version of BBC political drama House of Cards, with the entire first season on worldwide release on February 1.
Netflix has lined up big name talent for its push into original TV, with X-Men’s Famke Janssen in Hemlock Grove, while House of Cards has David Fincher behind the camera and Kevin Spacey.
Hemlock Grove has the feel of Twin Peaks and The X-Files, involving the murder of a young girl in a small town run by a mysterious family, strange biological experiments and a teen werewolf.
May will see a new series of quirky comedy Arrested Development join its library - the first time Netflix has tried to capture an existing show’s fan-base with new episodes.
January 14, 2013
Netflix expands its roster of American TV shows from December when Warner Bros delivers The Vampire Diaries, followed by Gossip Girl, Fringe and Chuck.
Five seasons of non-supernatural teen drama Gossip Girl land on March 1, while later in 2013 Netflix will gain four seasons of cult sci-fi show Fringe and all five seasons of spy comedy-drama Chuck.
The arrival of Chuck marks the first chance for UK fans to legitimately see the final season since it was unceremoniously dropped by Sky Living in February.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, said: “We are giving fans the opportunity to relive their favourite moments from these programmes while hopefully attracting a lot of new ones who will be able to enjoy these serialised stories from their very beginning.”
November 29, 2012
Nintendo’s much hyped Wii U console is the latest gadget to give Netflix a home.
The new games system which prominently features the GamePad tablet-style controller lets subscribers access their Netflix accounts and stream movies on their TV screens, via the Wii U.
Designed to work specifically with the Wii U’s second screen, the idea is that you’ll be able to browse extra information about whatever movie you’re watching like Xbox SmartGlass or play a game on the GamePad while everyone else watches the flick.
Available only in the US and Canada right now, we understand that the UK version of Netflix will be available once the Wii U touches down on these shores at the end of the month.
November 20, 2012
Amazon Kindle Fire owners in the UK can now access Netflix on their shiny new Android-based tablet.
The Kindle Fire app gives you the entire Netflix catalogue of films and TV shows as is available to the UK and Ireland online.
Recently the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets launched in the UK to much fanfare - Amazon-owned Lovefilm arrived in tandem and brought extras to the table such as bookmarking (via Amazon Whispersync) and the IMDb-powered X-Ray for Movies, which lets you pull up cast info.
The home brand offering might be slightly stronger but Kindle Fire owners at least now have the choice of getting either Netflix or Lovefilm - or both.
October 30, 2012
Netflix has been quick to announce that its updated to work with Windows 8, taking advantage of the new features and the new look.
On machines running Windows 8 you’ll now be able to launch Netflix straight from the Start screen instead of opening the browser and heading to the Netflix site.
Accessing your recommendations is easier now thanks to what Netflix calls ‘semantic zoom’ - you can pinch to zoom out of a page to see an overview of your profile and recommendations as well as jump to a dual-screen ‘snap view’, letting you watch a movie or TV show while posting on Facebook or Twitter.
Tying everything together is a red ‘navigation ribbon’ - a drop down menu that’s accessible from most screens and lets you quickly hop to things like Top Picks, New Releases and Genre.
Another addition is something called ‘Continue Watching’ - a welcome feature we’ve seen on the Xbox 360 app which lets you immediately play the next episode of Breaking Bad or Dexter.
Netflix has put together a quick video giving you a quick look of how it all works on Microsoft Surface - check it out:
October 29, 2012
The iPhone 5, at least, brings with it a bigger (finally) screen. As well as giving our fingers and thumbs some much needed lebensraum, it’s capable of displaying movies in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
It was only a matter of time before app developers took the hint and now the Netflix team have pushed out an update bringing full support for the new screen size.
If you’re one of the many millions who’ve snapped up a new iPhone then you can download the latest version of the app now.
September 28, 2012
Dozens of hit shows from Irish broadcaster RTE will be available to Netflix subscribers in the UK and Ireland from Saturday, including The Clinic, Killinaskully, Trivia, and Mattie.
September 15 will also see RTE's Raw made available on Netflix in Ireland, although not in the UK.
"We’re delighted to join forces with Netflix to bring these popular RTÉ series to the one million Netflix members in the UK and Ireland," said Aisling McCabe, director of content and strategy, RTÉ Digital.
"Our strategy is to ensure viewers can view their favourite RTÉ programmes everywhere and anywhere, and working with Netflix gives viewers even more choice."
September 13, 2012
Nutflox lets you search the UK, USA, Canadian and Irish Netflix services so you can watch films and TV shows that haven't yet arrived on your local Netflix.
The search engine connects to Netflix in each region, and comes with instructions on how to spoof your DNS address so that Netflix thinks you're in a different region.
September 4, 2012
Netflix has rolled out an update to its Xbox 360 app called ‘People Search’. Seemingly taking cues from the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone, this lets you search for movies on Netflix by typing in actor names.
In the example given on Netflix’s blog post, they’ve used Nicolas Cage - you can see that simply entering ‘Nic’ brings up a list of films starring the man himself. You can also see to the right that the search pulled up ‘Nick Nolte’ and ‘Nicole Kidman’ as search results too.
(click to enlarge)
Once you’ve found your favourite actor or director you can then call up all films starring or directed by that person.
So if you want to go on a Fassbender bender on your 360 you it should be easy as typing in three letters, or talking to Netflix via your Kinect.
August 23, 2012
Fans of TV box-set marathons should be pleased by 'post-play', which skips to the start of the next episode in a series as soon as the credits roll.
Post-play shrinks the credit roll, BBC-style and cues-up the next episode in a window on-screen, and will automatically play it after 15 seconds - or you can call up more episodes or close the window to let the credits roll. It's on PS3 and browser playback now, and will come to other devices soon.
Movie viewers will also get suggestions for similar films they might like, but post-play isn't optional - if you don't like having the credits interrupted, you can't turn it off.
August 20, 2012
Netflix is testing a new service called Max, a voice-assisted recommendations service that’s part Siri, part cheesy game show host. Based on your ratings and Netflix history, Max will serve up recommendations for new movies as and when they come in.
According to The Noisecast, Max is launched by the tap of the square button. This launches a ‘Ratings Game,’ asking you to quickly rate new movies and suggests new titles based on actors and genre.
Netflix said: “Max is a new user experience we are testing. It is available to a subset of Netflix members who use a PlayStation 3. We will look at how the test performs, whether it leads to increased interaction with Netflix by our members, and decided based on that whether we will make it broadly available.”
This small subset of Netflix members will need to have updated their Netflix PS3 app to Version 2.08.
We’ve updated and while we don’t have access to Max just yet (it may be a US-only thing for now) we’d be interested to hear if anyone out there has got it, especially if you’re from the UK.
August 2, 2012