Step-by-Step Guide to Netflix

So, you've just got a Smart TV with Netflix built in; or a Virgin Media TiVo box with a free 6 month trial of Netflix; or your granddaughter has said that you need to have Netflix to keep her entertained; or your kids want you to subscribe but you're not sure what Netflix even is... Well, help is on its way with this handy step-by-step guide to Netflix from MaFt at New On Netflix UK.


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What is Netflix?

Netflix on a TVNetflix is a paid-for entertainment service that allows subscribers to 'stream' thousands of films and TV shows perfectly legally. 'Streaming' is the term used to describe being able to watch (or listen) to something without having to wait for it to be downloaded beforehand. Think of it as being able to start watching a film before you've physically received the DVD from Mrs Postman. OK, it's not the greatest analogy but I challenge you to come up with a better one!

How Much Does It Cost?

There are 3 subscription plans available but for most people it will cost £6.99 a month. You may hear of people paying slightly less though; this is because in June 2014 Netflix increased the price for new customers by £1, but existing customers will keep their old prices for a couple of years.

 

 

Concurrent Screens

Quality

Usage

Cost /month

Basic

1 screen at a time

SD (Standard Definition)

Unlimited TV and films

£5.99

Standard

2 screens at a time

HD (High Definition)

Unlimited TV and films

£6.99

Advanced

4 screens at a time

HD (High Definition) and Ultra HD

Unlimited TV and films

£8.99

 

As a new customer to Netflix you will be given a free 30-day trial before your first payment is taken. This gives you chance to see what the selection is like and also get used to how it all works. Another advantage is that there is no contract – if you want to stop for a month then it is easy to cancel from in your account page on the website. Then, when you want to subscribe again it is just as easy (although you will only get 1 free trial!)

What Internet Do I Need for Netflix

Broadband speedBecause Netflix is a streaming service, you need a broadband internet connection with, preferably, at least a 1.5Mb/s (1.5 'meg') connection speed. With a slow internet speed like this you will only get lower quality video. As your internet speed increases, Netflix will automatically stream higher quality video; if you have a 5Mb/s (5 'meg') connection then you will be able to use the HD quality stream – this is what is needed on larger TVs without the picture looking too 'blocky'. You can check your broadband speed using sites like SpeedTest.net.

 

Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) enforce a limit as to how much 'bandwidth' (data) you can use in a month; it is recommended that you check if your broadband contract has a bandwidth limit. Higher quality streaming uses up more bandwidth and, if you don't check, you could get extra charges from your broadband provider. In the Netflix account page you can set the maximum quality for streaming video in order to reduce the bandwidth used.

What Do I Watch Netflix On?

Netflix-capable devicesThe simple, yet flippant, answer is "on a screen" but I'm aware that this isn't a very helpful one... There are a LOT of devices you can use to watch Netflix on and I'll list a few below, but for the complete list see the official Netflix devices page.

What Can I Watch on Netflix?

Netflix on a TVThousands of films and TV shows are available on Netflix as part of your subscription. There are no monthly limits to how many things you can watch. There is a wide range of films, TV shows and children's titles available and the catalogue is refreshed on a regular basis.

The full catalogue is available to view here: Full Netflix UK Catalogue.

How Frequently is the Catalogue Updated?

Netflix on a tabletThe best way to think of Netflix is like a large video rental shop (remember those?!) – their available films change on a regular basis. Some titles will be around for a long time, others for less time. In a nutshell, while new things get added, titles do also get removed. Don't be shocked by this; it's just one way to keep the service fresh. All upcoming removals are shown on the 'Last Chance' page so you can get a heads up if your favourite show is on its way out!

 

Most new titles get added at the start of the month with a steady stream throughout the rest of the month. Most removals happen towards the end of the month.

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