No Longer Working Without a Net(flix)

I may run blogs, and record podcasts, and use Photoshop and InDesign a lot, and live my life on the Internet, but I am by no stretch of the imagination a tech-head. In fact, I may just be, at least in some ways, a technophobe. I'll always be the last one upgrading any given program or tool. I don't own a cellphone in part because it's technology that's slipped away from me. And yeah, until this week, I wasn't on Netflix.

But sometimes I take a leap. I finally decided to subscribe to Netflix for my free month (and beyond). And of course, for me, the impediment was technical. I wanted to play it on my Xbox, but ever since I'd done an old roommate a favor, my account was all wrapped up in his. Years later, I'm skittish of putting money into an Xbox Live that's in his name, and so my console has connectivity problems. So I fiddle around with it, it makes a massive update (oh yeah, that's right, I never got the console on the wi-fi after changing providers like 2 years ago), and there's the Netflix app inviting me to click it. It takes a lot of attempts before I finally make a new account from a different email which can act as my "Live manager" before it finally allows me to get on, but on I get.

Another reason I didn't particular feel the need to subscribe is that my preferred format is DVD. An old habit to be sure, but accumulating physical objects is part of the geek DNA. I DID throw off the shackles of the paper comic book however, and am currently all-digital (or trade), not that I've purchased or read a single new comic in almost a year. Point is, that stuff takes up a lot of room, whereas streaming does not. Since I buy a lot of movies sight unseen, on hunches and advice, I might be accumulating stuff I will then have no intention of watching again. But even if I stream some of it, my challenge will now be to nevertheless put time in clearing the shelves of new purchases. I can get lost on the stream and neglect the things I've actually invested money in.

So given these arguments, why get Netflix at all? Several reasons. First, there are more and more shows and films made directly for Netflix, some of them geek-sensitive (what I would call things that interest geeks and generate spoilers). Because Netflix has a vested interest in keeping its content exclusive to itself, DVDs are slow to come, and may never come at all. Daredevil is on its second season, for example, and no plans have yet been announced to make the show available in another format. And if I want to be a completist about it, I can't watch the much-heralded Jessica Jones without first checking out the not-so-ballyhooed DD.

And then there's the way our movie nights work. Someone from the group will say they want to present a film, and then expect it to be available to me. Well, they aren't always, and sometimes we have to change plans on the night because someone assumed someone else had a copy. Netflix doesn't have a complete archive of cinema history, obviously, but it puts chance on our side.

And look, at ±7 bucks a month, I get my money's worth pretty quickly. Should bring my Amazon bills down some. (Okay, that's a complete lie and I know it.)

How long did it take you to make the plunge? If you haven't yet, why not?


misterharry said...

I've not yet taken the plunge with Netflix, but I'm very close to the point of doing so - precisely because I want to see Daredevil and Jessica Jones. It's the lack of any feeling of "ownership" with streaming that's put me off until now - there's nothing physical I can place on a shelf and admire (or "gloat over", as my wife puts it). But with no news of any sort of DVD release, I feel the time has come... maybe.

Jean-Sebastien Levesque said...

I am the exact opposite in this respect. I tried Netflix the minute it was available in Canada. I basically harassed Bell and Rogers to make their online streaming services available to me (they were quite peculiar about who should get their services). I upgrade everything quickly to get used to the new format. And I almost never buy anything for collection reasons.
But I do understand why you were reluctant. Actually I think it's kinda cool that some people buy DVDs of movies.
With a streaming service you only get the movie. You can't look at a cover box. You can't hear a commentary track. You can't get all the features that you will like.
I don't think you will go all Netflix. But it will be a nice complement to your body of knowledge and it will contribute to your geekdome.
And I know you love food... Check out Cooked on Netflix, it's great.

Siskoid said...

I love food?

Madeley said...

I got Netflix strictly to watch only Daredevil for the free month with the intention of cancelling, and have now been subscribed for over a year with Mrs M threatening divorce should we ever get rid of it.

Apart from the Marvel shows and House of Cards I haven't found much that interests me on the service, but then it's got a pretty limited selection this side of the Pond compared to other places, presumably due to licencing.

Siskoid said...

Big difference between Canada and the U.S. too, as I understand it.

Anonymous said...

I live in Canada and Netflix seems to have a pretty limited selection. My wife and I are mostly interested in classics movies and the selection is pretty meager. So we maybe average a movie a month from Netflix. On the other hand, our boys watch Curious George everyday off Netflix so it is worth keeping for now.


Toby'c said...

The only times I've used Netflix were when my sister logged into her account on Dad's Apple TV and didn't log out before leaving. Still just enough time to watch Daredevil season 1.

JDJarvis said...

I watch the heck out of Netflix and Amazon Prime. I haven't bought a DVD for a couple years now but I do a a Creature From The Black lagoon compilation I got given for x-mas I gotta watch.


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