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I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix 
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Post I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
Here's the deal: I'm considering dumping my cable subscription and getting a Netflix subscription. So for those of you who have Netflix, I just would like to know what you think of it. What's the streaming selection like? What's the DVD by mail service like? I'm trying to save a little money but keep myself entertained...is it a good value for what you pay? Help a brotha out if you can...

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Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:21 pm
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
I've been a Netflix member for 7 years and I'm a huge fan. However, there are a few things you should know:

I got Netflix because I wanted to be able to essentially see any movie ever made, within reason. With the by-mail service, that's what you get. There are certainly thousands of titles out of print or not available on Netflix, but the breadth of their collection is outstanding. An overwhelming majority of the movies ever made are yours for the taking.

However, if this is what you're interested in, DO NOT get streaming. Their streaming library is much, much smaller and I would estimate that less than 1/5 of the movies I want to see are available on streaming. It's meant to compete with Redbox -- it's for people who want to watch a movie and don't mind a shit selection. It is NOT for people like us.

I have both mail/streaming because they complement each other, but if you're going for one only, go for the mail order for sure.

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Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:35 pm
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
I've been a Netflix subscriber almost since the beginning and it's an excellent service all around. There has never been any significant problems with the DVD-by-mail service, other than a couple times near the beginning when they would send me a broken disc. That hasn't happened in a couple years though. There is a Netflix shipping facility in Phoenix, so for me it only takes a couple days to turn around DVDs. If I send them in on a Monday, I'll get them by Wednesday. I'm not sure if the service is that speedy in other states though.

The streaming service and the overall quality of instant watch selections are improving steadily over time. If you have a decent internet connection, you should have no problem accessing films at a fairly strong video quality. The selection is massive, with a wide range of solid films and full seasons of television programs. My instant watch queue is so overloaded I'll probably never find the time to watch everything I've added.

I think Netflix offers a 1-month trial before you have to pay anything. I say it's absolutely worth giving a try to see how you like it. The plan I'm using right now gives me instant streaming and 2 DVDs-by-mail, which to me offers a good balance.

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Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:45 pm
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
Wonderful replies.

You know, the thing that pushed me to really want to dump cable was Honey Boo Boo, I think. That show has forced me to imagine the world's two most hideous people having sex, and that's something I don't want to ever think about.

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Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:46 pm
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
Lately, Netflix streaming has been OK for TV shows. It has a decent selection and it gets updated pretty frequently, so you should be covered there. As for movies, their streaming library used to be infinitely better, but a bunch of movies were dropped soon after the contract/subscriber debacle. You can still get everything on DVD in the mail, though.


Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:43 am
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
I'll basically echo what everyone else has said. My package is streaming and one DVD by mail. I use the streaming mostly for TV shows. I'm not as down on the streaming option for movies as everyone else. Granted, everyone is right in saying that the selection pales in comparison to the DVD selection and that is used to be much larger, but I can almost always find something I'm interested in on there. I wouldn't use it as my primary source to watch movies, however.

I definitely recommend getting the streaming + DVD package. If you're dropping a cable subscription, you're still going to end up saving quite a bit of money even if you choose their largest package.

Personally, I don't think I could bring myself to drop cable. Sure, it's kind of a ripoff because you're paying for a ton of channels you never watch (at least I am), but I watch a lot of sports, enjoy Comcast's OnDemand feature, and use the shit out of my DVR. Plus, I like to stay current on the few TV shows I do watch, although there is some lure of going through a season at a time all at once.


Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:36 am
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
I don't even get basic cable where I live, so I have to settle for watching those shows online. I was on Netflix for a little bit and found on a few things I liked on streaming, but not enough to pay a monthly subscription, I prefer to get my films from my local video store, as some new releases on Netflix had a tendency to get stuck on the "very long wait" list.


Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:58 pm
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
I have the same plan as Blonde Almond but I also share selections with a friend since I don't always have time to watch two films every four or five days and it introduces me to films I might otherwise have missed. I love the DVD service because I like a lot of old and foreign films. It's great if you decide to watch a lot of Murnau or Lang films or discover who Ossi Oswalda was. (Answer: the gifted German equivalent of the silent comedienne Mabel Normand, who was also terrific.)

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Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:23 pm
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
I will echo what JamesKunz said. The hard content of Netflix is outstanding, the streaming is a fraction. However, I started out on Netflix probably 6 years ago and had for the most part the DVD and streaming option. I also had cable with HBO, Showtime and Skinemax. Then I dropped the DVD option and just went to streaming. The cost was such that I felt that if I didn't watch 4 DVD's a month, I wasn't really getting my money's worth (as opposed to a video store or, now, Redbox). It got to the point where a DVD would arrive in the mail and I'd be like "<sigh>...I gotta find time in the next 2-3 days to watch this...and I really don't have the time." So I dropped the mail service and just went to streaming. If you are looking for something specific, it can be hard to find. But if you are just looking for "something to watch", there is plenty out there.

Last year about this time I dropped cable altogether. I enjoyed a lot of the shows on the premium channels and A&E, USA, etc. But one day I looked at my series manager on the DVR and noticed that with all of those channels, 75% of the series I was recording were on PBS, ABC or the other broadcast networks. I would miss the cable offerings, but not "$2000 a year" miss them. So I dumped cable. I figured for any cable show I truly loved I would either buy the box set at the end of the year, watch at a friend's house (Game of Thrones) or get by (ahem) "other means."

For about $600 I built a media PC to act as a DVR. It has a dual-tuner TV card and a crap load of hard disk space. If you have Windows VISTA or Windows 7, then you already have the DVR software you need to manage recordings. It works great. (I did put the PC on a battery backup so if power is lost, nobody needs to be there to push the "power on" button.) You'd be surprised at how many "sub-channels" you get just with an antenna.

After a year of being cable free, between recording over the air (free), and Netflix streaming ($8 a month), I have never had a shortage of things to watch in the house.


Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:49 am
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
Hulu Plus can fill up the extra time you don't have.

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Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:31 pm
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
Syd Henderson wrote:
Hulu Plus can fill up the extra time you don't have.

I tend to be less-harsh on Netflix's streaming content than most people. It's not great if you have a specific movie you want to watch, but if you just want access to a bunch of movies, it's good. They turn over the content pretty regularly, and it's good for lots and lots of TV shows (usually about a year after the particular season airs on TV.

But if you want to dump cable, but have a couple shows you like to watch right around the time they air, I'd definitely look at Hulu Plus, as well.


Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:31 pm
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Post Re: I need a few of you to give me the skinny on Netflix
My position on Netflix streaming is that it's good for what it is: a one-stop online location for a bunch of movies and TV shows that you can pick out at random or on an impulse. Sometimes the quality or faithfulness of the presentation are inconsistent and you don't get the DVD extras, so you kind of have to do a cost-benefit analysis between those drawbacks and the convenience it represents.

But I still rent DVDs from a brick and mortar store, so I think I'm an anomaly in this brave new world.

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Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:24 am
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