Video streaming with Netflix started out several years ago as a mail-order DVD rental company where for one low price you could rent movies on DVD with no late fees. How many movies you could feasibly watch in a month depended on your subscription level (how many you could have “checked out” at a time) and how fast the mail service to your house was. After a couple of years, they added unlimited video streaming to their list of membership features.
Stream Videos on Almost Any Internet-Connected Device
When Netflix first rolled out its video streaming service, you could only experience streaming with Netflix on your computer. That’s changed, and now you can stream Netflix to your PC, Mac, video gaming console (PS3, Wii, Xbox360), your mobile phone, tablets, and any Internet-connected Smart TVs, or networked Blu-ray devices. The company is constantly increasing the number of Internet-connected devices that you can stream to. This means that soon, nobody with an Internet-connected device will have reason to feel left out.
How Streaming with Netflix Works
To get started streaming with Netflix, all you have to do is surf over to their secure website, create an account, enter your payment information, and then decide what you want to watch first. You can choose from hundreds of episodes from dozens of current and past TV series or literally thousands of movies. With Netflix, you can get caught up with back episodes of many of your favorite TV series, like “Criminal Minds” and “Dexter,” America’s favorite serial killer.
Your movie choices come in every genre possible, from horror to comedy, from action-adventure to romance. You can also choose from any of the recent movies that you missed in theaters or hundreds of classics. Are you a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” fan? No problem, catch Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick, and Susan Sarandon any time you want with Netflix streaming. Can I hear you humming “The Time Warp” already?
For first-time subscribers to Netflix streaming, there’s a free one-month trial offer. This is so that you can see if Netflix is right for you and your family, as well as whether it will fit into your budget. But, at just under $10 per month, it’ll easily pay for itself with the first movie you watch at home, instead of going to the theater and paying about $15 per person.
If, after your trial period is up, you decide to subscribe, you don’t have to do anything, your credit card will automatically be billed every month on your enrollment anniversary date. If you don’t like it or don’t think you can afford the less than $10 a month, just contact their customer service department by phone or email, and they’ll gladly cancel your subscription for you.
Recommended Connection Speeds
Netflix is best watched at home on faster Internet connections. Cable Internet service is best, but DSL will work also. You need a minimum data throughput to your provider of at least 400 kBps. If your desired streaming device is connected to your wireless Internet, you’re going to want at least Wireless G, with Wireless N being the most ideal.
With wireless devices, such as smartphones, you’re going to need at least 3G data speeds, with 4G of course being optimal.
With DSL Internet, if anyone else is surfing the web, you may experience lag, which can cause your movie to buffer quite often.
No matter how fast your Internet connection, your movie isn’t going to start instantly as soon as you click on the title you want to stream. The movie will buffer first, as Netflix streaming sends the first minute or two of the movie or TV episode to your Internet appliance. This way you won’t experience choppy video, which can completely ruin your video streaming experience.
Enhance Your Streaming with Netflix Experience
If you’re like me, you’ve got a large flat-panel TV that you like to watch your movies on. But it’s not one of the newer kinds that can connect to the Internet, and, like me, you’re not into video games. So, how do you stream the Netflix video to your TV? Easy, use the auxiliary video output port on your computer or laptop (my Android tablet even has one) with a VGA cable to your TV’s VGA input port. The sound track pipes into your TV using a set of RCA cables and a 1/8-inch to RCA adapter.
Even with Digital Cable or Satellite TV service, with their 500-plus channel lineup, there will be nights (or days) when you feel that there’s absolutely nothing worth watching on TV. With Netflix, you don’t have to worry about these occasions. Just fire up the Internet connection, surf over to the site, select a movie to watch, and sit back and enjoy movie night.