Netflix Instant is a service that provides streaming video-on-demand for a fixed monthly fee. You can watch Netflix on a television with a Netflix-enabled set-top box, on a computer or on an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad. Netflix offers many attractive features, but there are still some reasons why other video alternatives can be better.
Pro: Large Library at Low Cost
Netflix advertises that they provide thousands of selections over Netflix Instant, and regularly add more movies and television seasons to their offerings. As of the time of publication, a flat monthly fee of $7.99 provides unlimited access to their entire streaming library, which is one of the best bargains in the video rental business for heavy Netflix watchers. You can create a queue of videos you wish to watch in the future, or browse through their entire archive; if you get bored with a TV show or movie, you can switch to something else at any time.
Con: Newer Releases Not Included
Netflix Instant is best for movies and TV shows that are a few years old. Netflix negotiates with the distributors and copyright holders of these movies before they are able to put them into their on-demand library, and newer releases are held back so they can generate more revenue for the studios. You can have Netflix DVDs shipped to you for an additional monthly fee, but only rarely will a movie currently in theaters be available over Netflix.
Pro: Standalone Service Without Bundling
Other cable and satellite providers now provide their own video-on-demand services, but they do not sell these without a monthly subscription to their standard broadcast schedule. For example, Comcast On Demand is included at no charge with their premium digital cable service, but that will cost upwards of $50 to 60 per month. Netflix currently offers the largest library that can be accessed without signing up for multiple services.
Con: Internet Connection Needed
Netflix Instant requires an Internet connection fast enough to handle the video being streamed; they currently recommend a connection of at least 500 kilobits per second (Kbps), or 0.5 megabits per second. If you use a slower connection, you can sometimes still watch video, but at reduced quality. If you are watching Netflix on a portable device, it is best to use a Wi-Fi network; using your 3G data connection is possible, but it will use up a large chunk of your monthly data limit.
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