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Netflix is the best option for watching TV shows and movies on the internet, and it's the best option for streaming entertainment, period. It has more original series, films, documentaries, and specials than any of its many rivals, and a wide variety of well-known network shows. Netflix is still our go-to streaming service in 2021, thanks to its massive library of constantly updated content and its ease of use on a wide range of devices. As many Emmy Awards were awarded to Netflix this year as were awarded to the next two largest media companies put together. Netflix is a great place to find new shows and movies to watch.
Netflix has a range of pricing options ranging from $9 to $18 per month, making it more expensive than the average streaming service. In theory, you could split the cost of the more expensive package by watching on four screens at the same time and creating multiple user profiles. Netflix is also the best value for your money because of its wide variety and abundance of new content.
Netflix for beginners
In 1997, Netflix was founded as an online movie rental service. For the next ten years, it sent DVDs by mail, with recommendations for what to rent next based on customer preferences. Customers were able to watch TV shows and movies on their computers instead of waiting for a DVD to arrive in the mail in 2007 when the company introduced streaming.
When Netflix launched its first original TV series in 2013, it included House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black. There are more than 1,300 original TV shows and movies, including global hits and Emmy winners such as The Queen's Gambit; Emmy-nominated shows like Marriage Story; and Oscar-nominated films like The Irishman and Roma.
During the pandemic, Netflix saw a significant increase in paid subscribers, with more than 200 million paying customers in 190 countries. In addition to Android and iOS, the Netflix app can be used on a wide range of other devices, including Roku and Amazon FireTV as well as Apple TV and Android TV, as well as Chromecast.
What shows and movies does Netflix have?
Even though it was first to market with streaming services, Netflix has maintained its lead thanks to an increasing number of original series and films, many of which have received critical acclaim and have been nominated for major awards.
Compared to other streaming platforms, Netflix's original TV shows, such as Black Mirror, BoJack Horseman, The Haunting of Hill House, Queer Eye, and Russian Doll, are among the best of the modern era of television. Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are among the Marvel shows available on Netflix, but newer Marvel shows like WandaVision and Loki are only available on Disney Plus.
As well as movies and TV shows, Netflix also produces original comedies, dramas, foreign films and shows, documentary series, stand-up comedy specials, and dating and competition shows that aren't based on traditional television formats. Not all of them are massive hits, but many of them are, and there are enough interesting shows that may not have found a home on traditional network television to be explored in depth. As going to the movies has become more dangerous than it used to be, Netflix provides a platform for discovering new films: Netflix plans to release 70 new movies in 2021 alone, at least one a week.
You'll have to wait for a few months if you don't have cable or another streaming service like Hulu before you can watch a full season of a show on Netflix.
One gripe about Netflix is that some of its content disappears without notice. Aside from checking the show's or movie's details page, the only way to find out what's coming and going in a given month is to keep an eye on lists like CNET's on what's coming and going in a given month.
Some of Netflix's most popular content (such as The Office, which moved to NBC's Peacock and Star Trek and Friends that were moved to HBO Max) have been lost in recent years as other networks have launched their own streaming services. While it began as an online video store that aimed to offer every movie and TV series online, it may be gradually becoming more like the old HBO, with a focus on its own original programming, supplemented by a few licenced shows.
What's it like to use Netflix?
For those of us who started using Netflix in 2007, it's like second nature to us at this point. The interface is simple even if you've never used it before: When you open the app, tap on your profile (if you have one set up) and you'll see a homepage. Based on what you've watched before, you'll see Popular Picks for You, Continue Watching and Trending Picks for You as well as a variety of other categories. For example, I'm a fan of critically acclaimed witty TV comedies and shows about suburban dysfunction.
Many different categories and subcategories of shows and movies are available on Netflix, which encourages users to keep scrolling through the site. In order to avoid this problem, you can create a watch list, but it's easy to spend more time browsing than watching shows, so be careful.
The Netflix app works the same on all platforms. On my web browser, the content and layout are almost identical to those on my Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick. iPhone and Android phone screens have a more compact "Downloads" tab to find content that can be saved to your device for offline viewing.
For example, you may have a harder time starting a Netflix show from your device's home screen depending on the voice-capable device you have at hand.
On the Apple TV and iOS app on iPhone, for example, when you say "Watch Stranger Things," it will first ask you to select the show (Stranger Things or Beyond Stranger Things), and then it will take you to an Apple TV page for the show, where you can open Netflix and start episode 1. If you're logged into Netflix on Amazon's Fire TV Stick, you can say, "Watch Stranger Things," and Netflix will open automatically. If you say, "Watch Stranger Things," on the Roku Ultra, it finds a slew of options but does nothing. Stranger Things can be watched on Netflix by saying, "Watch Stranger Things on Netflix." Those are more hardware-related issues, but they're still worth mentioning.
In Netflix, voice commands are consistent across all devices. The easiest way to find a show is to click on Search, hold down the microphone button to dictate the title, and then hit enter.
You can fast-forward, rewind, add subtitles, and adjust your audio settings when you choose a show or movie to watch. With a 4K TV and a Premium subscription, watching in Ultra HD is an immersive experience. On the top of your homepage, the show or movie you've selected will appear in your "Continue watching" section.
What features do you get on Netflix?
If you have the Standard or Premium plan, you can create different profiles for different users and get a list of personalised recommendations for each.
You can watch certain shows and movies in 4K Ultra HD on 4K TVs if you subscribe to the Premium plan. Streaming quality should be set to Auto or High and your connection speed should be at least 25 megabits per second.
More 4K content is available on Netflix than on any other streaming service, and many of its 4K shows and movies are also available in HDR. High dynamic range, according to CNET's tests, provides an even greater improvement in image quality than 4K, with better contrast and colour, and the difference is particularly noticeable on large, high-end televisions, Netflix is compatible with both generic HDR (also known as HDR-10) and Dolby Vision, the two most popular HDR formats. If you have a Dolby Vision-capable device, Netflix will automatically play content in that format.
A typical hour of standard-definition video consumes about 1GB of data, while a high-quality 4K stream consumes up to 7GB of data per hour. Netflix claims that downloading and streaming consume the same amount of data. In order to prevent Netflix from eating up all of your data, you can follow the instructions Netflix provides on its website.
Downloading shows and movies from the Netflix app for offline viewing is available to all subscribers.
Should you get it?
Netflix continues to be my go-to streaming service among the ever-growing number of options. It has a huge library of both classic and contemporary films and TV shows, as well as a slew of excellent original programming and an intuitive user interface.
When looking for new shows to watch, it's still worth signing up for a month on Netflix, even if there is no free trial available.
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