Tech Tuesday – The Best Ways to Get a bit of Netflix in your life.
Well it is now just around the corner. Netflix is coming to UK in the new year. But how do we access the instant queue? FRC Investigates
It seems like we have been waiting a life time for this to happen. I have always been very jealous of my friends across the pond that are always adding films to their queue. Even when the service put it’s prices up earlier this year I was still very jealous. I wanna play!!
OK, I know we have the brilliant LOVEFiLM service and their watch online section is getting better and better. But, I still think I am missing out.
Yesterday we got the news that Netflix had secured an early exclusive deal ahead of it’s launch. The company has now signed up LIONSGATE UK, meaning that UK subscribers will be able to watch new films like The Hunger Games, Expendables 2 and the new Dirty Dancing remake as well as older classics like Reservoir Dogs and Blair Witch all on their TVs and other devices.
Lionsgate’s UK Chief Executive Zygi Kamasa, says this on the subject…
“Netflix is the leading worldwide brand in steaming movies and they have an incredible service in North America, We are very excited to be working with them as they launch their service and bring our movies to audiences in the UK and Ireland.”
Exciting times are ahead for sure. I expect the only winner out of the battle of Media Streaming Heavy weights in the UK will be us, the viewer. All of this has got to spring board price cuts, package re shuffles and so on, all to try and keep our business.
To honour the launch of Netflix here in old blighty here are the top five ways to get Netflix in your life, when it comes over here!…
1 – Streaming Media Players
There are a handful of video players that can do so, including high-profile additions like the new Apple TV —with a custom Netflix interface—the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD Media Player , and Western Digital’s WD TV Live Plus (). These devices specialize in streaming content, and they do the job well—though as more networked Blu-ray players and TVs enter the market, the future of set top boxes that only stream content may be in jeopardy. Many of the streamers, support 1080p streaming—Apple TV can only output 720p—but Netflix doesn’t offer any content in 1080p resolution, and probably won’t for a long time due to bandwidth realities. And some players also offer component video output—useful if you’re already using all your TV’s HDMI inputs and don’t want to invest in an HDMI switcher.
2 – Games Consoles
Talk about a multifunction device—you can use your game console to stream the movie Iron Man and then play the game when you’re done. Sony’s PlayStation 3, Nintendo’s Wii, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 all offer Netflix streaming. The PS3 and Wii recently went disc-free—previously you had to run a disc with the Netflix software on it to watch content. Not all are equal though: for example, the Xbox requires an Xbox Live Gold membership in addition to a Netflix subscription, and the Wii can’t display high-definition video. If you’re looking for the ultimate in high definition, PS3 now offers 1080p streaming for video that supports it (Netflix is apparently streaming limit amounts of 1080p video to PS3 users, although it’s unclear what that content is).
3 – SMART HDTVs
These days, TVs are all about a different kind of network—connecting to the Internet for streaming content, not the old broadcast networks. Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Vizio, LG, and others all offer Internet-connected televisions in various sizes. Connect your set to your router via WiFi or ethernet and you have access to your Netflix queue without the need for any additional devices. However, since the main purpose of the TV isn’t being a Netflix steaming interface, you may find the interfaces less intuitive than dedicated devices.
4 – iOS Devices (iPad)
The beauty of Netflix on iOS devices is portability, but sometimes you want to watch on big screen—in a hotel room, for example. With the appropriate video-out cable, you can hook up your iPhone 4 or iPad to your TV and display content from the Netflix app. The drawback is resolution—something that looks good in your palm is going to look somewhat soft and blocky on that 42-inch LCD. According to Netflix, both devices are limited to 640 by 480 TV output resolution.
5 – Computers
A final way to add Netflix streaming to your TV is to lug your MacBook or Mac mini near the set and connect it directly. All you need for the latest Mac mini is an HDMI cable; MacBooks and older minis will require an adapter, such as a Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI version. This option gives you the full-featured Web interface, though you’ll lack the convenience of navigating with a remote. Another drawback is that your computer’s output resolution and the resolution your TV accepts may not match exactly, which means you may not see the edges of the video on your TV in fullscreen mode.
Are you going to sign up to Netflix when it arrives? Do you use it in USA? Is it a good service? Comment below…