Netflix UK – At Last It’s Here

Netflix UK – At Last It’s Here
10 Jan 12

Today saw the launch of the often rumoured Netflix service in the UK. From now on you can access the service from your PC, Wii, Xbox 360 (Gold account only), PS3, Apple TV2, iPhone, iPad or Android device for the lowly sum of just £5.99 a month. I say lowly because I vaguely recall paying this sum to rent two DVD's from Blockbusters back in the day. There is also currently a one month trial period but to use it you still have to give Netflix your credit card details and then remember to cancel at the trials end.

I have so far installed Netflix on my 360, Apple TV2, iPhone and iPad and can say I am very impressed with the results. The pictures look crisp and clean on even older standard definition files. HD with 5.1 looked and sounded fantastic on my 42" screen with very little noticeable pixelation. The media started streaming almost immediately and looked perfect compared to other streaming media I have tried in the past. However I must admit I currently enjoy a 50MB Broadband connection but according to Netflix's website they only require a connection of 500kbps (0.5MB) to allow you to watch media instantly.

Obviously this kind of service will live and die by it's content though, so what does Netflix have to offer right out of the bag. At the moment Netflix seems to be pretty cagey as to how many films they are currently offering but they have said the total is due to rapidly increase over the coming months.

A quick perusal of their library revels such gems as Pirates of the Caribbean, Sneakers, National Treasure, Sin City, Kill Bill, Face Off and Con Air. Ok, these are all guilty pleasures so don't judge me too harshly. There are many more but I can't do an exhaustive list.

TV shows are also well represented with series of Doctor Who, Torchwood, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Poirot, Arrested Development, Twin Peaks, Faulty Towers, The IT Crowd and many more.

When you compare the system that Netflix is offering it is very easy to compare it to the similar streaming service offered by Lovefilm. I have unfortunately used LoveFilm and although the recent addition of the LoveFilm app to the Xbox360 is far from terrible the rest of its streaming strategy as often left much to be desired with poor quality streams and a limited library even after several months.

Netflix appears to be offering a cleaner, simpler interface with an initial library that is satisfactory if not stellar. Hopefully time and licensing deals will rectify this in the future but for it's first day out in the UK Netflix is an impressive service and I look forward to see how it develops…and how the ISP's cope with the inevitable strain on their systems.

Karl Madden


Ewen Rankin


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