Electronics & GadgetsTV / Software / Apps / Tools

Why We Signed Up For Netflix Movies In The Mail… Again

I’ve had a Netflix membership 3 separate times in the past 10 years or so.

The first time was back when I was single. Then again, when Jim & I first got married.

And now… we just signed up for the 3rd time.

You’re probably wondering why we canceled our Netflix memberships before.

For practical reasons really:

  • The first time… I started traveling more and I simply wasn’t home as much to watch movies.
  • The second time… The selection of movies wasn’t nearly as good as it is today, and we actually ran out of movies we wanted to see.

So why did we sign up again for a 3rd time???

Why We Like Netflix So Much

Because it’s been about 5 years since we were last members, and a lot of things have changed with Netflix.

In addition to no late fees, and the ability to keep movies for as long as you want, there’s the low price. I honestly don’t remember what we paid in the past, but the plan that we chose this time ($13.99 for 2 movies at a time each month for as many movies as we can turnaround in a given month — ie “unlimited”) seems quite reasonable to me.

PLUS, we really like this one added benefit: Watch Movies On Demand… No Waiting & No DVD Disc!

Yep, Netflix now allows you to watch several hours of movies “instantly” on your own TV (with your laptop hooked up to a TV as a monitor — all you need is an S-video cable or HDMI/DVI conversion cable and an audio cable). Or, you could simply watch Netflix movies on your desktop or laptop computer monitor — without any additional equipment (you just need a high-speed Internet connection).

The number of “on demand” viewing hours you get varies, depending on the payment plan you’ve chosen. For example, with our plan (mentioned above), we get “14 hours of time to watch instantly”. This is in addition to the 2-at-a-time DVDs that we can check out each month.

UPDATE: Now you can watch UNLIMITED movies online via Netflix!

This is a fun way to watch movies. The instant gratification is amazing. And not only is it a great way to watch movies on the fly when you’re home, but think about those times when you’re having friends over and you want everyone to see the stand-up routine of your favorite comedian. Or you want to watch the entire first season of The Office together. Or everyone’s in the mood for a movie… just pick & play!

The only downside at this time is the fact that there are only 6,000 or so movies & TV shows available “on demand” through Netflix. I’m sure this number will grow quite rapidly. But it pales in comparison to the 90,000 titles that are available on DVD through Netflix.

In case you’re interested, you can also download movies on demand at Amazon There, they cost anywhere from $2.50 – $4.00 per movie.


You Can Watch Netflix Movies On Your Computer When Traveling

Netflix’s “instant viewing” will definitely come in handy whenever we’re on the road. Now, we we’ll be able to watch movies from our computer! All we’ll need is high-speed Internet, and we already have that capability when we’re out & about thanks to Jim’s Motorola Q cellphone. motorola-q-cell-phone.jpg

AT&T’s “Internet package” enables us to use Jim’s Motorola Q cell phone to provide high-speed Internet connectivity to a laptop computer. In effect, the phone acts as a “tether” — when it’s connected to the laptop, and the laptop is also connected to a regular wall outlet for AC power (which continues to charge the cellphone at the same time). I know, sounds kind of confusing, but basically, the cell phone itself acts just like the $59.99/mo Edge card that Jim used to have to use to get high-speed Internet on his laptop whenever he was traveling.


High-Tech Options To Monitor Your Netflix Queue

The Queue is the growing list of movies that lets Netflix know which movies you’d like them to send to you — and in what order. You can rearrange, rank, and order the movies in your Queue on the fly, and the changes take effect instantly.

One feature that I really appreciate is the RSS Feed For Your Netflix Queue.

You can copy & paste that RSS feed into any RSS reader. I use NetVibes (no relation to Netflix), but you can put the RSS Feed for your personal Netflix Queue into Google Reader, Yahoo’s RSS Reader, Bloglines or any other RSS reader of your choice.

Why is this RSS feed so great?…

Because, along with all your favorite news & blog headlines, you can see at any given moment which Netflix movies are at the top of your Queue. And how many movies you currently have in your Queue.

They also have a number of other RSS feeds. Two that I subscribe to are:

Movies Recently Shipped To Me — which shows which movies they think I currently have in my possession & notifies me when a new movie has been shipped to me.

Netflix New Releases This Week — which reminds me to add my favorite new releases to my Netflix Queue. By clicking on a title, you’re taken directly to your Netflix Queue, where you can add the movie, rate the movie, read more about the movie, etc.

They also have RSS feeds for:

  • Netflix Top 100 Movie Rentals
  • Top 25 Movies By Genre
  • Recommended Movies (based on the movies you’ve already rated on Netflix)
  • And more.

Netflix is the world’s largest online DVD rental service. In 2007, Netflix began offering members the ability to watch movies instantly on their PCs. Each month, Netflix provides movie entertainment to more than 7 million satisfied customers. Source