Netflix

Snow day today. Probably tomorrow as well. The guys whose boats we were to have seen today cried off the viewings and rescheduled for next weekend. No biggie. I’ve got to be over in Van and Victoria next weekend anyhow. The money will be there for the right boat. So today I shall watch a little TV. Thereby hangs today’s tale.

I have a Netflix subscription. Instead of coughing up fifty bucks a month for a cable subscription, which is, I am often assured by friends and just about everyone I meet “Just not worth having.” I spend just under eight dollars a month on Netflix. Roughly five pounds. So for slightly under ninety six dollars a year – well under half the British licence fee, I get (relatively) high definition, advert free content. No trailers, no public service announcements, no drama queen TV announcers. Only the drama that I want to see. Apart from fighting over the remote control. And I don’t have to plough through the cable schedules to see the show I’m looking for when I’m in the mood to view. Or wade through ‘News’ coverage.

For example, should I take a shine to a given series like ‘Chuck‘ or ‘Longmire‘, I can watch one episode after another. Which is great if a series has multiple show story arcs, so you can watch the cliffhanger episode followed directly by the denouement. It’s also great for catching up after being out of the loop for a while. Even if the series isn’t the latest ‘Game of Thrones‘ (Loved Season 3). I can find that through other means. Hey, it’s only TV.

Which is very cool indeed. Well, it would be if only….. My one major beef with Netflix Canada is that I’m paying the same as a US subscriber for restricted choice. Significantly so. Apparently it’s down to the film and TV distribution companies who won’t license their output for showing in Canada. Well, not at the prices Netflix pay. So we have an Apple TV box as well, but that suffers from the same restricted catalogue issue. Which forces people to use VPN‘s, or browser plugins like Mediahint(Which is free) or Tunnelbear(Which isn’t) to access content and content providers. Plug or share your ‘pooter into your big screen, and in the vernacular, Robert is one’s Father’s Brother. Although being a little bit of a Techie is useful when setting up and accessing content in this way.

For your average punter, these methods are often too complicated by half. Their main problem is usually finding the right button on the remote control (or even finding the remote at all), not setting up and fixing issues like circumventing restrictions. The Internet for them is a dark and dangerous place, full of sexual predators, scammers, viruses and porn. For those in the know, the jolly old Interweb is a wonderful hall of mirrors, information and entertainment, and the small number of sexual predators, scammers, viruses and porn vendors are like Jehovah’s Witnesses. They can come a’knocking, but you don’t have to let them in. It’s what firewalls and anti-virus software were invented for. The NSA and anyone else can snoop all they want too, but all they’ll get is this. Nothing to see here, move along. Stand aside bub, you’re in the way. Quit hogging the bandwidth.

On the plus side, Netflix are putting out content like the rather amusing ‘Lillyhammer‘ and ‘House of Cards. Kevin Spacey, while no Ian Richardson, is still a respectable backstab at emulating the wit and wicked to-camera asides of the original UK mini series, which is also currently available on Netflix Canada for a compare and contrast.

Any old road up. That’s all for now, and me and my dog are off out for a play in the snow. Then we’re settling down in front of a nice log fire to watch a couple of episodes of something fun and fairly mindless. Without adverts or admonitions. Cool.

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