Curious about the arrival of Netflix in India, and how to set it up at home. Here's a list of FAQ to help you get started.
1) What is Netflix?
Netflix is an Amercian subscription-based video-on-demand service provider that allows you to stream movies, TV shows, and other exclusive content across devices using the Netflix app. It started as a DVD by mail service in 1997 in Los Gotas, California (US) and is now available in India as online video streaming service. Currently, it's the world's leading video streaming service provider.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gives a keynote address, January 6, 2016 at the CES 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pic/AFP
2) How is it different from the video-on-demand service offered by my cable/DTH service provider?
You do not need an active Internet connection to watch videos via the video-on-demand service offered by your cable/DTH service provider. But for Netflix, you require an active broadband Internet connection. Also, unlike DTH/Cable operators who offer pre-released movies or TV shows, Netflix offers exclusive content created only for the platform.
3) So, is it another YouTube?
Yes and no. It streams videos like YouTube. But unlike YouTUbe where content is free and mostly user-generated on Netflix you get access to the latest movies and videos available on the platform only
4) Why should I pay for it when I can watch videos for free on YouTube, or even better use torrents to download them?
Downloading pirated movies or videos using torrents is illegal as India is now a singnatory to the International Intellectual Property laws and you can be arrested if a content owner decides to do that. Note that using torrent as such is not illegal, but downloading unlicensed content is. So, we wouldn’t advise that. As we said earlier, on YouTube you can stream only those videos, which are available for free, or licensed to be streamed on it. In all likeliness, it doesn’t include commercial TV shows, movies and documentaries, which are what Netflix offers.
5) Will I be able to download videos after paying for subscription?
No, you can’t download videos on Netflix. It is video streaming service provider, and doesn’t allow downloads even after paying for subscription fees.
6) Do I need a smart TV to use the service? What devices does it support?
Not necessarily, but most Smart TVs come equipped with support for Netflix. So, if your Smart TV support Netflix you should be able to use it directly using your remote control. However, you can use Netflix across devices including smartphones and tablets (Android, Windows, iOS), plug and play devices (Android boxes, Chromecast and Apple TV), gaming consoles (PS3 and PS4, and Xbox 360 and Xbox One), Blu Ray player or home theatre system (check availability with manufacturer) as well as PCs and laptops. In other countries, it’s also available on set top boxes, but we have to see how it will play out with DTH service providers in India.
7) Can I use the same account to stream videos across devices?
Yes, you can use one Netflix account to stream content across laptop, phone, tablet and PC. However, the number of screens that you can use at a time depends on the type of your subscription. The Basic pack allows only one screen at a time whereas, the standard pack allows two devices, and the Premium account allows four devices simultaneously. We recommend to make your own inquiry to find the right plan for you.
8) Okay, I like it. How much do I have to pay for it?
In India, Netflix is offering three plans — Basic for R500, Standard for R650, and Premium for R800 with unlimited access to movies and TV shows. You can cancel your service anytime you want.
9) Can I use it on trial before paying for monthly subscription?
Yes, you get a free one month access if you register now. But the trial process will require to you pay R70 towards authenticating your credit card or Pay Pal account. You won't be able to use Internet banking or Debit card to use Netflix at the moment. The company says it will inform users three days in advance before charging them for the service.
10) Is there a limitation on the number of videos, I can stream in a month on Netflix?
No. Netflix offers unlimited access to movies and TV shows to its subscribers.
11) I want to watch un-censored TV shows and movies. Will the content on Netflix be censored?
We cannot say for sure whether or not the content on Netflix will be censored, and if so, to what extent. However, at the moment only those above 18 can open a Netflix account. So, we are expecting adult content to be passed down to users without filtration as seen on TV. However, if you are concerned about your kids accessing adult content, during signup you can create multiple users and label them as kids to prevent access to adult content.
12) Can I keep the videos with me forever?
No. You can access videos on Netflix as long as you are subscribing to the service. The moment you cancel the subscription, you lose access to all content on Netflix.
13) Does it offer content in regional languages?
No. At present, Netflix is not offering content in regional languages.
14) Will it be offering Bollywood/Hollywood movies at the same time they are released in theatres?
There's no clarity on same-day online release of Bollywood/Hollywood films as yet. But Netflix has began releasing films on the platform before they hit theatres. It latest releases include the highly acclaimed Beasts of No Nation and the Adam Sandler Western comedy, The Ridiculous 6. So, we expect more goodies in the future.
15) Will I be able to watch movies/TV shows at the same time as they are released internationally on Netflix?
The availability of TV shows and movies varies based on region. However, keeping in mind that it's a new service just launched in India, we can not see why it shouldn't be available in India at the same time.
16) what are the popular shows available exclusively on Netflix? What's the quality of videos on Netflix? Will it be high definition?
Marco Polo, Marvel's DareDevil, Narcos, Marvel's Jessica Jones, House of Cards, Turbo Fast are some of the shows exclusively available on Netflix. Apart from that Netflix has also commissioned continuation of popular but discontinued shows like Arrested Development, Longmire and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. As for quality of videos, it depends on your subscription. If you have subscribed for the Basic plan, you can access SD quality videos, under Standard Plan, you should be able to access all videos in HD, and if you subscribe for Premium Plan, you get access to UHD content.
17) what's the minimum Internet bandwidth required to stream videos with ease using Netflix?
Ideally you should have a broadband Internet connection to stream videos on Netflix. Netflix recommends 3MBPS connection for SD quality, 5MBPs for HD quality and 25MBPS speed for UHD streaming.