Netflix can be considered a Cable TV or Satellite TV provider’s worst nightmare. If you have the Digital Cable or Satellite package from your provider, you most likely have at least 500 channels to choose from. But even then, there’s always nights when there’s just nothing worth watching.
These are the nights the Netflix service is perfect for.
What Netflix Has To Offer
Netflix used to offer two services for the price of one. They started out as a mail-order video rental service where you could rent videos online that would be drop-shipped to you in one or two days. After a few years, they began offering a streaming video service where you could watch as many movies or TV shows as you wanted, over the Internet. And they offered both for the same low price.
However, they no longer offer the DVD and Blu-ray rental service and are focusing solely on the video streaming service. For about $8 a month, you can stream as many movies and/or TV shows that they have available as you’re able to. All you need is a PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, or anything else that can stream video from their website. There are even newer TV sets on the market that can be connected to the Internet that you can stream directly to. According to the Netflix website, there are over 800 devices that you can stream their videos to.
What Netflix Has to Watch Tonight
In reality, the question “What do they have for me to watch tonight?” changes every month, as they add new TV programs and movies constantly. Almost as soon as the episodes of TV shows are available on video, they’re available for video streaming from the Netflix site. Currently, there are well over 2,000 offerings available to watch tonight, including current TV series and cancelled TV series. This ranges from “Futurama” episodes, seasons of Showtime’s “Dexter” series, “That 70’s Show,” and movies like “The Hunger Games,” “Resident Evil: Extinction,” and “The Addams Family.”
How to Watch TV Shows or Movies on Netflix
The simple answer to this question can be given in three steps: log onto the site with your username and password, search by title or genre for what you want to watch, and select it. Then sit back and enjoy. How you go about doing that depends on what device you’re planning to watch your show on.
If you’re going to stream video from the Netflix site and watch it on your computer, you need to bring up your browser, surf on over to the site, decide on what genre of TV show or movie you want to watch (horror, comedy, sci-fi, etc.), scroll through the choices, make your choice, and sit back and enjoy.
Using a Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 or other Internet-connected device isn’t much different. The main difference is how you make your selections. These devices don’t have a mouse to scroll across the page, so you move the pointer around the way you’d move a character in a game and make selections the same way you’d shoot.
As an example, let’s say you’ve recently discovered America’s favorite serial killer, “Dexter” on Showtime, and you want to see some of the back episodes. Log in to the site, click on the “Search” option and start typing “Dexter.” The search algorithm is programmed to start giving you selections to choose from as soon as you start typing, so once you type the third letter, you’ll be presented with a listing of the seasons and episodes available to watch. It’s just that easy.
Stream Through the Computer and Watch on the TV
If you’re like me, you don’t have one of the newer gaming consoles, but you do have an extra computer that’s either close to the TV or can be moved to the TV rack because it isn’t being used. All you need is either a VGA cable (good) or a HDMI cable (better, gives full HD video) to go between the computer’s video card and the TV’s VGA or HDMI input.
Next, get a 1/8-inch stereo headphone to RCS adapter cable with one of the extra RCA cables you have lying around (good) or an optical audio cable (better) to go between the sound card and either the TV or your home theater audio receiver (surround processor). You’ll get acceptable audio quality using the RCA cables to the TV, but if you want that “movie theater experience,” you’re going to want the digital optical audio cable to get the full surround encoding from the video source.
“But my extra computer doesn’t have a network adapter,” you say. That’s not a problem. For about $15, you can pick up a USB Wi-Fi dongle at your nearest Walmart and be streaming video in no time flat.
Who’s got the popcorn?