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Netflix flickers into life in the UK
Monday 09 January 2012 09:33:49 by Andrew Ferguson

The market for subscription based on-demand films and TV shows in the UK just got a lot more competitive. Netflix has now launched offering a subscription based service for £5.99 per month.

There is a one month free trial if you sign up and link the service to your Facebook account, billing will start automatically at the end of the months trial. The service appears very similar to the US based service, with similar quality of video, with HD content running at around 5 Mbps, SD content is a similar quality to the existing Lovefilm service at under 2 Mbps. The PC player allows you to switch between HD/SD during playback. The PC based service uses Silverlight for video playback. A 90 minute film at 5 Mbps uses 3.4 GB of download allowance.

Content is the king and at launch in the UK, media from the following companies is available on the service All3Media, the BBC, CBS, Channel 4's 4oD, Disney UK & Ireland, ITV, Lionsgate UK, MGM, Miramax, Momentum Pictures, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Viacom International Media Networks.

Up until now online video rentals have cost around £3 to £4 for a 48 hour rental, the price of Netflix at the equivalent of just two rentals makes for a very compelling offer, and the HD quality while not at Blu-Ray levels exceeds that of many other subscription based services, and may even provide competition to Sky, where adding HD to a satellite package costs £10 per month extra, plus the price of any movie packages.


Posted by Apilar over 5 years ago
Silverlight? Hahahahaha.
Posted by James1o1o over 5 years ago
I get this when trying to watch, I don't think the site understands that American date is backwards to the British date!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Full UK version of Windows 7 with UK date settings and no date issue here.

Also happy with my PS3
Posted by James1o1o over 5 years ago
Managed to fix it by deleting a file in the "PlayReady" folder under ProgramData, was a known problem with silverlight.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Have had a few more minutes to play now

Android is up and running, PS3 working, XBox 360 no sign of the app yet.

iOS works too, and seems can be signed in on more than one device at the same time.
Posted by keith_thfc over 5 years ago
Looked like a decent service until I saw that it advertises what you watch on Facebook. One way to make sure I won't touch with a bargepole.
Posted by alex85 over 5 years ago
is there any way to avoid having to use silverlight?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Use a platform that does not have silverlight on it?

Easy enough to edit Facebook privacy settings, if you want to hide your bad taste in films
Posted by zyborg47 over 5 years ago
when i first looked at the site this morning, they had facebook thing on it, but in small print you could sign up with your email address bypassing facebook, now it seems they have done away with the facebook bit and gone straight to sign up via email address.

Still not sure about giving it a try, another American service, which no doubt store my details on another American server, so American privacy laws.
Posted by awoodland over 5 years ago
There doesn't seem to be any support for Sony BDP-S370 and ilk, even though there's support for netflix on those devices in the US. Looks like lovefilm may have wrangled and exclusivity deal on their support for that device in the UK :(
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
Just remember, every penny you spend on Netflix goes to taking your digital rights away, PIPA/SOPA etc.
Posted by mitchja over 5 years ago
Good start - Netflix is already down via my Apple TV!!!
Posted by kunjar over 5 years ago
The HD quality is probably better than Sky's crap HD bitrate aswell. Nontheless, rather have the content delivered through silverlight as opposed to "full of security holes" flash.
What's going to stop individuals from pulling the stream from their computers i.e. capturing the audio and video stream using some form of screen capturing? private torrent trackers are best.
Posted by FlappySocks over 5 years ago
I cant get Netflix from my AAISP account. Just says it's not available in my country yet.
Posted by dgpearce over 5 years ago
I may be missing something, but when I 'Browse Selection' before you sign up, there isn't much of one. Certainly nothing worth forking out £5.99 a month out for.
Posted by Swampster over 5 years ago
Same thoughts as dgpearce, film selection looks shabby. Is the 'Browse Selection' just limited or what? Even so, I'd have thought they'd list more 'headline' titles.. no point in paying £5.99 to stream garbage, when I can just get that for free on freesat/freeview..
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

Why would you want to rip them off Netflix anyways? They have to wait around about the same time DVD/Blu Ray's anyways before they can show films (56 days).

Web rips are also generally lower quality, Blu Ray rips being preferred giving you the choice of the original Blu Ray source files (up to 50GB) or a 1080p rip (8-20GB), 720p rip (2-8GB) or 480p (0.7-1.5GB).
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@FlappySocks don't you mean its just not IPv6 ready?
Posted by FlappySocks over 5 years ago
I managed to create a Netflix account on my mobile (which is useless on 2G), but at least I can see the selection listing. On my AAISP FTTC connection, I cant get to the login screen. Only series 1 & 2 of Dexter. Much the same on a number of other headline shows. Bit of a disappointment.
Posted by Stoobs over 5 years ago
I signed up for an account to check on the full listings - then promptly cancelled the account.

A really disappointing selection, a lot of it is content already available through iplayer/4od etc - some might find it okay, but the film selection looked especially limited.
Posted by Khan over 5 years ago

Sounds like Netflix use a country ip filter, much like tvcatchup do to block any ip not seen as originating from UK. I had the same problem at tvcatchup, they tried their best to help me but advised me to contact their filter provider directly to register my ip as a UK-based rather than an 'armed forces in europe' one. I contacted the filter provider and a technician changed it for me.
Posted by Khan over 5 years ago
(continued...) After that tvcatchup no longer blocked me and worked fine. Try contacting Netflix and convince them you are sitting in the UK. If they can't help, ask them who is providing them their country ip filter. Good luck!
Posted by mitchja over 5 years ago
Also canceled here as well due to the poor selection of films available.
Posted by FlappySocks over 5 years ago
Thanks Khan. I called them up and a nice American lady contacted their technical team, who said I was in Denmark, and would correct their records.
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