Use Your Netflix Subscription to the Fullest

My wife and I had used Netflix for a longtime almost since its inception and were very happy with it. Living in Michigan, it was very nice to receive movies in the mail and have something new to watch while we stayed indoors on a snowy day.

When Blockbuster started their online service, the turn around time to our place wasn’t that great so we didn’t continue the free trial. But, later when they sweetened the deal by offering free in-store rentals while we waited for movies queued online to arrive, we jumped ship immediately.

Netflix – Watch Unlimited Movies Online

Until now. Netflix has won us over again by offering unlimited hours of online movie watching free with our 2 at-a-time subscription. If your Netflix subscription is 2 or more at-a-time level, then you can enjoy online movie watching in your computer from thousands of movies available.

The way we use it now is to catch up on TV shows we have been wanting to watch online, in our computer. My wife watches her Desperate Housewives episodes and I watch Heroes and we are both at peace. :wink:

One reason we are sticking to watching TV shows is because there are a lot of shows we had missed and that’s available on Netflix. Another is a combination of a lack of popular movies in the online library and personal preference.

Netflix Movies

Netflix Watch Now Movies on TV

I like watching movies on TV and not on my computer. I can live with watching tv shows on my laptop while I am working on my desktop computer. You might be the same way.

One thing you could do is to hook up your laptop, if you had one, to your TV via S-Video or any other hook up your tv/laptop will support to watch online movies in your TV.

Another option, is to get Roku, the only set-top device available in teh market that supports streaming Netflix’s Watch Now movies straight to your TV.

Roku Features

  • Roku is priced at $99 and is definitely worth considering as the Netflix’s online offering gets bigger
  • No need for lugging a computer/laptop
  • Built-in wired and 802.1g wireless networking
  • Firmware can be upgraded allowing new features, bug fixes, etc. Roku Netflix Player
  • Equipped with ethernet port and audio/video outputs: HDMI, component video, S-Video, and composite video port, digital optical audio and the standard red/white stereo analog outputs making it compatible with any kind of tv/home theater system you might have.
  • Toggle switch to change aspect ratio so you can connect to old tvs as well as LCD flat Screen TV.
  • Gives a special key to link your online account with the box
  • Setup Instant queue to see movies queued in your Netflix Player and this is separate from your DVD queue.

if you’d like a detailed review of the Roku Netflix player, CNET has a great in-depth article on video quality and technicalities.

I liked when I read that a couple of competitions to Roku are slated to release later this year which will mean better pricing for us consumers.

So, we are all set with maximizing our watching movies online part. How do we know if we are using our DVD subscription effectively?


FeedFlix is a free service that analyzes your Netflix usage based on information available freely from your Netflix RSS feeds. They don’t ask for your Netflix login or password. Here are a few things FeedFlix can show you about your Netflix subscription:


  • A graphical analysis of your rental activity – stats like the average number of days you keep a dvd, avg dvd returns every week, avg dvd returns by month, etc.
  • Feedflix guesses your subscription and calculates the average cost of a movie for you based on your rental behavior. Could help decide if just renting from the store is cheaper for you.
  • Shows the movies in queue and movies that are recommended to you.
  • You get a url you can share with your friends or family to let them know what you are watching. Here is ours:
  • Feedflix uses this aggeragate data to show other statistics like Most Awaited Titles, Popular Movies at Home, Most Rented Titles, etc that could help you decide to arrange your queue.
  • There are also other interesting stats like Most shipped days, Most popular plan, Average rental period, Avergae queue size, etc. I was surprised to see that only 1% of people actually return movies within 0-2 days of receiving it. Glad to see I am not alone.

FeedFlix is probably not something you’d use everyday but every once in a while it’ll be good to check these stats that’ll help you learn a bit more about your usage and maybe fine tune it to get the most bang for your buck.

WIth this information in hand, you can enjoy watching movies or your favorite tv shows on TV or your computer that’s best suited for your personal style and preference.

Update: 6/24/08

Lifehacker has posted on how to use your XBox 360 as a streaming Netflix Player

Update 7/31/08

LG is releasing a Blu-Ray player with NetFlix streaming built-in. Something to consider if you are in the market for one.

Update 01/07/09

FeedFlix has made great improvements now. You can

  • see our entire Netflix rental history
  • understand yourInstant Watch patters as well and
  • get your ratings data

Do you use Netflix in any other way that gets you more for what you pay for? Share with us in the comments.

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26 Responses to “Use Your Netflix Subscription to the Fullest”

  1. Watch Movies Online May 21, 2008 at 12:07 pm #

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  2. Chuck May 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm #

    I love Netflix and have been waiting for a set top box. I’m holding out for HD content and a larger library before getting the Roku or competitor box. I need to check out FeedFlix now. Thanks!

  3. K May 21, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    Chuck, very true about HD content and a larger library! Hope you like what you see on Feedflix. :-) Plus, I really liked your site Sunday Nite Dinner clean layout. My wife is sure to become your reader.. you could enter one of your recipes in a contest she is running at the moment.

  4. John@Chicago Flat Fee MLS May 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm #

    When NetFlix first started back in the 90′s, I thought big guys like Blockbuster would eventually drive them out of business. The opposite happened. I believe they are currently the largest online DVD rental service. They kept reinventing themselves. Good for them.

  5. Michael May 22, 2008 at 7:42 am #

    Paying $99 for a box that allows me to watch streaming movies and TV shows on my TV sounds great but I really wish they would get off their butt and figure out how to stream that content to Macs as well.

    Michaels last blog post..3G iPhone coming on June 9th, Says Gizmodo

  6. Tracy Robinson May 22, 2008 at 12:05 pm #

    We’ve been using Netflix since 2002 and have been very happy with it. If you got in early, they let you keep your original plan at the original price.

    My husband has been watching online movies from them while he works (he is an intense computer programmer with 2 huge screens). I’m not big on online watching yet but I’ll check out the Roku box- that might make me a convert.

    Tracy Robinsons last blog post..Austin Police are getting a new BAT Bus – in hopes of catching more DWIs

  7. Martin Welch May 22, 2008 at 9:05 pm #

    I haven’t try using Netflix, but while reading through your post, I’m a bit interested to try this service. It feels good to use services that’s for free, like Netflix. Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. Warenwirtschaft May 26, 2008 at 12:56 pm #

    Never used it, thanks for the heads-up!

  9. Zath@Technology Blog May 26, 2008 at 5:30 pm #

    We don’t have Netflix here in the UK, but I definitely think that downloadable TV shows and HD streaming will be the way we watch our favourite shows in future – no more waiting months on end to watch our shows when we’re in countries other than the US. :)

    Zaths last blog post..Debt Consolidation – Garry Conn’s Latest Niche Site & Contest

  10. Nadine@body paint bikinis May 27, 2008 at 5:36 am #

    NetFlix is the best online video site I’ve seen since Youtube. Too bad youtube was limited to such short videos and the quality needs to be improved a tad. :/

  11. Aseem Kishore May 29, 2008 at 7:30 pm #

    Man, that was a good post. This should be something on NetFlix’s site! Very in-depth and very useful…going to try FeedFlix right now! Thanks!

    Aseem Kishores last blog post..How to change file icons in Windows

  12. Rich@Cheap Bargains May 30, 2008 at 5:04 pm #

    This is a good round up of a service I would like to see in the UK due to the fact that it is anoyying to make trips to and from the DVD rental shops. This would greatly benefit people as it would save loads of time and money given the rise in petrol prices.

  13. Tom @ Green Lighting June 2, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    Thats pretty cool. I can use my laptop hookup to my tv.

    Toms last blog post..Green LED Light bulbs Shine in a Variety of Places

  14. Avery@eBooks, AudioBooks, and Cybooks June 3, 2008 at 4:07 pm #

    FeedFlix looks like a really great tool… I had a NetFlix subscription a few years ago but got rid of it bc I wasn’t using it enough. Thanks for the info!

  15. mike@Music Teacher Software June 3, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    yea my laptop has an HDMI output so i can connect it to my HD TV :D works like charm.

  16. Xander@Katrina Kaif June 8, 2008 at 7:39 pm #

    Does NetFlix support Bollywood movies? I’ve been getting into the foreign film scene a bit and easy access to a wide variety of movies would be great…

    Either way one of my buddies has the HD Netflix option, definitely beats paying ~$35 per DVD/Bluray

  17. K June 10, 2008 at 4:04 pm #

    Xander, they do have a decent sized Bollywood collection along with other foreign languages.

  18. Nirmal June 20, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    I think you blog too little as it is.

  19. how to make jewelry last August 7, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    Anyone know if I’ll have any problems as I’m in canada. Sometimes when dealing with streaming content hosted on servers located in other countries there exists the possiblity of a bad connection. I got the standard T1 connection. 1.5mbps download and 386kbps upload speed from my ISP.


  20. Aaron@HR Software October 21, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    Roku looks like a definite good buy but FeedFlix seems almost unneeded for anyone unless you are paranoid about your netflix stats :) Thanks for the (old) post.

    Aarons last blog post..Political Discussions in the Workplace – Danger Zone

  21. Steve@trade show guru January 7, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

    hey K,
    Unlike some :) I have been a loyal Netflix fan from the get go, through thick and thin. I even wrote one of my first blog posts on how awesome they are. And they are one of the few companies that charge me LESS per month now than when I started with them (the wonders of competition).
    Anyway, are you saying that you and your wife can watch different things via the stream at the same time? I assumed it was only one per internet connection. We haven’t streamed anything yet because 1. we get movies in a day in the mail, 2. we just can’t watch that many (kids), and 3. we are old school and watch on the TV, though now thanks to your post I know how to stream to it, I think. My dad (who I converted to Netflix) loves the stream feature, someday I’m sure I will too…
    ~ Steve, the Firefox-and-Netflix-loving trade show booths trade show guru

    Steves last blog post..Trade Show Booths and Duct Tape

  22. Locke@MakeMoneyOnline January 11, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    Dang if Netflix had an easy affiliate program you could probably make a few bucks from this post lol.. I def. agree with the watch movies online, if you’re paying, you may as well get your money’s worth! It reminds me of the time when you could get unlimited movies from blockbuster and it was brand new.. Ahh those were the days :)

  23. Pop January 26, 2009 at 4:11 am #

    Wow, this is great news. I really don’t know there was another way for to watch entertainment. It will be great as you can always watch latest movies while just being at home and resting. That’s awesome.

  24. Chris S June 25, 2009 at 12:06 am #

    Nice blog, Netflix instant watch is a good way to see movies, however still there are movies which are not available instantly plus i enjoy movies on my TV instead of on my PC. Go to and take advantage of this special offer and enjoy movies with just a click away.


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