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.
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 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 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.
- 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: http://feedflix.com/wml-1339358
- 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.
Lifehacker has posted on how to use your XBox 360 as a streaming Netflix Player
LG is releasing a Blu-Ray player with NetFlix streaming built-in. Something to consider if you are in the market for one.
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.