Netflix, an online movie-ordering service, has now eliminated the dreaded drive to the DVD rental store as it offers mail delivery and a no-due-date policy. The whole concept of Netflix is being able to go online, order a movie, and have it delivered either to your computer instantly or via mail to your house within a couple days. It is also part of the reason why rental places like Blockbuster are going out of business, because you can keep that movie as long as you want before putting it back in the mail in their handy return envelope. Netflix originally started in the States and now (finally!) it is available in Canada.
While there is the option of receiving movies in the mail for a monthly price of $11, you are also able to download as many movies and TV shows to your computer or TV for a monthly price of $8; these are available for instant play without waiting for a mail delivery, and is definitely an advantage for students living on residence.
However, the selection for Netflix in Canada is limited; the most recent movies are from 2009, and those are mainly just comedies (such as Superbad, as well as romantic comedies like Bride Wars). The drama section features older movies, with both recognizable and less well-known titles. There are some popular TV shows available (selected seasons of Heroes and Saturday Night Live), but certain popular titles like Gossip Girl and The Office are currently unavailable. However, if you are patient enough to order DVDs, there is usually a much better selection of programming. Mail delivery also allows you to set up a queue of movies and have them sent to you; as you mail each DVD back, the next one in the order you arranged is mailed to you (so make sure you still want to watch that gory horror movie before it shows up in the mail).
The other thing missing from Netflix Canada is the HD option for the best picture quality. This is a recent change in Netflix USA, but now all movies and TV programming that customers watch online are automatically converted into HD. I have yet to see this option on Netflix Canada, but this doesn’t mean the video quality is bad. Using Netflix with the residence wireless connection has not been a problem; the video loads quickly and rarely stops. Another cool thing about Netflix is when you have to stop watching, you can exit the window and then go back to it the next day and resume the video from where you left off. Also, if you have to reload the page, the video will automatically go back to where you were, even if you didn’t click pause.
There is still time for the selection to be improved for Netflix Canada, since the company has just expanded over the border. Sign up now if you just want to see what is available (there is a one month free trial), but if you have many titles in mind, make use of the website’s browsing option before you sign up for the trial (which will still ask for a credit card number). Either way, check it out at netflix.ca to see if it’s worth your time. After all, what else do university students have to do besides watch unlimited movies and