It also helps that the offering is simple and clear. Netflix is a subscription-only, streaming-only service.
You get unlimited access to films and TV shows for £5.99 per month, in standard definition, to one device at a time. You can get HD streams for £6.99 a month, and this allows you to stream to two devices at the same time.
And if you want to use up to four devices, it’s £8.99. Simple. It’s a lot less confusing than Amazon’s Instant/Prime/LoveFilm packages.
Netflix runs on every platform we could reasonably expect it to: PC and Mac computers; video game consoles; Roku boxes; Google Chromecast; every big brand of smart TV; Blu-ray players from Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG; and tablets and phones that run Android, iOS… and even Windows.
Netflix has the lion’s share of TV shows when it comes to content: big hitters such as 24, The Killing, Sherlock and Battlestar Galactica. Streaming Breaking Bad exclusively has no doubt significantly contributed to the service’s meteoric rise.
But Netflix isn’t content just supplying shows – it’s making them too. Exclusive content like House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black are Netflix Original programmes, and more are currently being produced.
There are also a huge number of films. Netflix wouldn’t specify how many, but they did say ‘tens of thousands’.
They’re not the latest releases – Amazon has an advantage here – but it’s safe to say there’s more than you could ever reasonably expect to watch.
The only issue is that films and TV shows sometimes disappear without warning whenever license deals expire.
More after the break
Where possible, Netflix gives 5.1 surround sound and video in 1080p resolution. It’s Full HD, but Netflix calls it ‘Super HD’, promising a higher bitrate and less compression than other Full HD streams. We can’t deny the picture is sharp; it rivals Blu-ray quality.
And it’s going to get better. Netflix is the only provider doing anything about Ultra HD 4K at the moment.
We’ve been told that the company is ready with its 4K streaming, which will come as soon as TV manufacturers release the sets capable of handling it.
Content will kick-off with House of Cards series two and some nature documentaries, and we’ve been told things will grow slowly from there.
Back in the here and now, we’re very satisfied with Netflix – it’s a joy to use. Across every device we’ve tested, the interface is simple and attractive.
It’s also practical: you can set up multiple user profiles, so video recommendations are catered individually. There’s even a kid’s corner. We love the massive catalogue of films and TV shows, and Netflix Original programmes are superb.
Then there’s the video quality, which is at the top end of what’s available, with the promise of getting better.
There’s even a free one-month trial. Sign up, right now.