Netflix Not Worth the Money?

Netflix sounds like a great deal- thousands of movies available for instant streaming, right at your fingertips whenever you want to watch them.  Evidently a lot of people like the sound of this, for Netflix is more popular than competing services like Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video.  Despite all of these customers, however, Netflix remains under consistent criticism for its poor movie selection when it comes to on-demand streaming.

One important thing to remember is that complaints over selection are generally in reference to the online streaming, and not the original DVD mail-in plan that made the company popular in the first place.  When sending and receiving DVDs, the selection offered remains large, and generally warrants the monthly bill.  Streaming, however, is another story altogether.

Where Are The Classics?

The primary problem that Netflix needs to understand from user complaints is the disappointment factor of classic movies being unavailable for streaming.  If a movie came out 10 years ago, and it's clearly an instant classic, and an advancement for that movie genre, then it should be available for streaming through the service.

More often than not though, this is not the case.  If you take a look at IGN's list of the top 25 action movies of all time, you will see that the #1 slot goes to Die Hard, brilliant Bruce Willis work that it is.  Unfortunately, what many consider the best action film of all time, is not included on Netflix.  In fact, only 1/5 of IGN's best action films is available for instant streaming.  This type of selection is inexcusable, and it's what will ultimately drive customers away.  It's not just with action movies either.  0/5 of IGN's best comedy films of all time are up for instant viewing pleasure.

When you initially sign up for a service like Netflix, you think of it like a way of completing that library of movies you've always had lined up for yourself to watch.  But when you immediately find that some of the best movies ever made are "currently unavailable", the whole service immediately leaves that initial bad taste in your mouth, and unfortunately does not ever do much to wash it out.  

Yipee ki yay.

TV Shows- Where Netflix Redeems Itself

If there's one thing that Netflix has got covered, it's TV shows.  For whatever reason, hit TV shows have made the transition to instant streaming much better than movies.  There are dozens of very popular series all available to watch, which eliminates the need for purchasing them on DVD or Blu Ray.

The TV selection includes shows like The Walking DeadBreaking BadThe Office, etc.  There is also a large library of shows that are no longer on the air, if you have some catching up to do.  Another advantage to all of the TV shows that Netflix offers is that there are a lot of kids shows, so there is always something entertaining for children.  In addition, they also have set options like "Netflix For Kids", where you can guarantee that your children are only watching the types of TV shows that you approve of.

Everything Else That Isn't A Movie

When you think about it, Netflix really is an ironic service.  They advertise about having thousands of movies available on demand, but fail to mention that most of these movies are not the type that you are interested in watching.  They hype up the movies part of their selection, even though there isn't much there.

What you won't see them advertise in their commercials are the things that aren't movies.  We've already discussed their wide selection of TV shows, but the other thing that they have a lot of are documentaries and comedians.  If you are someone that is into Comedy Central and watch a lot of stand up comedians, then Netflix has a wide selection, and has allowed me to really get into particular ones like Daniel Tosh, Jim Gaffigan, and Bill Burr (just to name a few.)

The documentary selection is also very large, and topics vary greatly.  Some documentaries come in series and span across multiple episodes such as Ken Burns' Baseball.  Others are short one-hour stints that originally aired on channels like PBS, History, and National Geographic.  A vast array of topics are covered, showing you how everything works, from dreams to cannibalism.

It's hard to say if Netflix is right for you- it really depends on what constitutes for entertainment in your mind.  The movie selection that they always advertise is really not something that is worth the money, unless your a fan of forgettable flops.  However, if you are someone that is always on the hunt for something interesting or amusing, as oppossed to specific expensive and hyped-up movies, then perhaps you will find some satisfying streaming to the tune of $8 a month.

Stream Netflix in HD

Roku HD Streaming Player
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(price as of Aug 6, 2013)
If you need a device to stream Netflix on your TV, the Roku player is very easy to use, and works well for high-definition viewing.