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Netflix, Hulu Plus ... Anyone Else Here Use Them? Has It Changed Your Viewing Habits?


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#1 HTPCFreak

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 04:47 PM

I've been using Amazon Prime Instant Streaming for more than a year now (used the trial with my Kindle Fire, and liked it enough to keep the subscription). Recently got onto Netflix as well, and currently doing the Hulu Plus trial, all using Unblock-Us.

I have to say that these services combined (will probably drop Amazon though, since Netflix has a lot of the same contents and more, plus the PS3 app isn't working very well at the moment) have seriously changed by viewing and disc buying habits.

I rarely watch Foxtel now, except for live sports. And my Blu-ray purchases have been limited to new releases and stuff that I want the best PQ/SQ for.

I've found that it's actually harder to decide what to watch when you have more options. With Foxtel, you watch what's on. But with Netflix, you seriously have to think about what you want to watch.

Anyone else feeling the same way?

#2 pgdownload

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:01 PM

Too much choice is a common affliction these days. With TV I think its a bit different because there's a lot of really good quality stuff to watch. Its just that quite often when you have a choice of watching say the next Game of Thrones versus say Bones you end up watching Bones.

As for US streaming, you should look into Hola.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

#3 tonyjg

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:12 AM

I'd love to meet these people whom have so much time to WATCH everything !!

Given the amount of shows on Free to Air - who has time or the inclination to spend further $$ on Poxtel ? And what extra are you getting - much depends if you are into sport (and given C9's Footy cum Waterhouse shows - I've given up on that sport)

But 'streaming' stuff..... the question i'd love to ask is.... why ??

Why stream ? I gather that with streaming that you don't actually 'save' the program locally to watch at another time ? Is this a bit like the ABCs iView - stream to the iPad, watch, but never save ??

Given my current lifestyle - wake 5am - gym - work - home - bed around 9.30 - i don't have the time to watch much TV, nor the increasing Blu collection, nor the massive existing DVD collection, and the every going avi files !! I'd much prefer to grab a show / series either via d/l (save files) or a Blu box set cheap off Amazon.

#4 kopthat

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:45 PM

Does Netflix have newer movies than Aus AppleTv and I know I need a unblock-us account or similar,
but how much does it cost per month and how do you pay for it.

Are the movies as HD as Apple's HD ?

#5 HTPCFreak

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:19 PM

I think streaming actually suits people who don't have a lot of time to watch everything. Instead of recording on Foxtel IQ or a PVR (and eventually running out of space, like I do all the time), all the shows are in the cloud, ready for when you are. And if you don't finish it in one go, you can continue on - and this is the brilliant bit - on a different device!

I watch on the TV via the PS3 though, since you can download all the apps for these streaming services on it quite easily. This is why Unblock-Us is so handy, since it supports devices not just web browsers (although the free tunlr.net does that too, but I haven't given it much of a test yet).


Does Netflix have newer movies than Aus AppleTv and I know I need a unblock-us account or similar,
but how much does it cost per month and how do you pay for it.

Are the movies as HD as Apple's HD ?


You mean on Aus iTunes? Different kind of service. iTunes is a transactional based streaming/download service, while Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime are subscription based streaming (meaning you pay a flat fee every month, with unlimited viewing, bandwidth quotas permitting). I guess iTunes is more like buying, while these others are more like renting.

Netflix mainly offers older movies and TV shows. There are some new stuff, but at best, they're 6 months old, and not all the new stuff gets on it. For me, it's all the stuff that I probably wouldn't buy on Blu-ray/DVD, but might still be interested (God Bless America, Adventureland, Submarine, Get the Gringo, A Royal Affair ...). Plus a lot of classic TV shows that you don't need to buy (The Wonder Years, Malcolm in the Middle, 24, Arrested Development, Louie, The Shield ... just some of the shows that I've gone through or is going through at the moment, although some not via Netflix). Also lots of solid documentaries too. There are also exclusive content, such as the excellent House of Cards, and this month, a new season of Arrested Development. All for USD $7.99 per month for unlimited viewing, it's well worth the price. I probably would have wasted $7.99 on an impulse buy for just one of the movies I watch on Netflix, and who knows how much buying seasons of TV shows. I can now understand why 40+% of prime time US Internet bandwidth is now consumed by just Netflix alone, and why Netflix is eating into DVD revenue in the US.

Hulu Plus mainly serves as a catch-up service for US network TV shows. Shows like Family Guy, The Office, Parks & Rec, Modern Family, The Following, Revolution, Once Upon a Time, plus shows like The Daily Show, Colbert Report ... the new episodes appear shortly after they air in the US (some are delayed a bit longer ... but still probably better than "fast-tracked" shows here). But a lot of shows don't make it on Hulu Plus, or it's available web only though, like The Simpsons for example. It's movie catalogue isn't as full as Netflix, but it does have the Criterion classics collection (http://www.hulu.com/movies/criterion), and some cult classics. It's also $7.99 per month, but it also has ads, and quite a few for newer shows. It's quite refreshing watching American ads though.

Both have an extensive kids sections, and are excellent babysitting tools, based on others and my own experience with my niece and nephew.

I also find that even when I have all the seasons of a TV show on DVD (eg. Scrubs, Arrested Development), I will still choose to watch it on Netflix rather than getting the discs out. It's much simpler, quicker (no need to sit through warning screens after warning screens), and you can resume playback (and again, across all your Netflix enabled devices) so much easier.

Between these two, the only major thing missing are the more premium cable TV shows, like the HBO ones, and AMC ones like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad. Some have managed to get around the fact that HBOGo isn't available in Australia though by various means though.

As for quality, Netflix's 4-5Mbps or so 1080p Super HD, available on newer content, is excellent if you have the connection for it (I'm on a top-hatted exchange, so getting about 14 Mbps via ADSL2+). It's not quite Blu-ray, but it would be hard to tell from my normal viewing distance (2.5m). It's better than Foxtel HD, in my opinion. The best thing about Netflix's streaming quality is that it's variable, so if your connection speed drops suddenly, it will seamlessly drop the quality to something that avoids buffering, and then bring it back up again once the speed is up again. Hulu Plus isn't as good or advanced, and it's limited to 720p. Still probably better quality than what we get on FTA anyway. Don't know how it compares to iTunes HD, but I would guess it would be similar (I think they're using similar technology to get more out of limited bandwidth).

For new movies, Blu-ray or iTunes is still the way to go for now (I would love a premium Netflix package that costs more, but features say all the new movies 2 or 3 months after their Blu-ray release - it takes me this long to find a free slot to "properly" watch my BD purchases anyway).

Edited by HTPCFreak, 01 May 2013 - 02:37 PM.


#6 com5984

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:51 PM

I have unblock us and used hulu and netflix, discontinued the hulu and just use netflix these days. I like the doco's more than the movies, I never watch fta, usually will download a whole series and watch at my convenience

Edited by com5984, 01 May 2013 - 08:39 PM.


#7 GaryCook

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:52 PM

This is one hell of an interesting thread, I hope it generates traffic. Our current mix of FTA, Foxtel and a couple of Blurays per week easily fills the entertainment void. The IQHD drive is always around 50% full and I have half a dozen or so unwatched blurays at any time. So streaming large amounts of content isn't yet on the list. For it to be, something would have to give way, possibly Foxtel. But currently there are too many programs that are not available streamed that we watch.

We do stream some content and while the picture quality is frequently (but not always) at an acceptable level, the audio quality is predominantly not up to my requirements. Have others found this to be/not to be the case? If so what service are you using and what programs?


Cheers
Gary



#8 HTPCFreak

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 03:51 PM

I just cancelled the entertainment pack for my Foxtel subscription, saving $25 per month, which I will now use on Netflix and Hulu Plus to not only get a lot of the same content, but much much more (and on demand, as opposed to IQ2 HDD filling).

I decided to make the change because during the last 5 days of my Netflix and Hulu Plus trial, other than live sports, I've not watched a single thing on Foxtel!

Still can't replace live sports on Foxtel, which is the main reason I still opt to keep it. The essential pack channels are the ones that I will probably watch from time to time. Plus broadcast vs streaming is a different kettle of fish altogether - sometimes it's easier to leave the decision on what to watch up to what's actually being broadcast, rather than taking the time to choose something.

So for me:

Foxtel: Live sports and random junk TV
FTA: The local exclusives
Netflix & Hulu: New US TV shows, some classic shows, plus movies that I probably wouldn't buy/keep normally
Blu-ray: Movies that I want to buy/keep

I should end up watching a lot more (finding the time is the most difficult part) while saving money under this arrangement.

#9 kopthat

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:58 PM

I've so far opted for a US iTunes account with cards purchased from http://www.itunesandpsncards.com
so I can get movies about 6 weeks sooner on AppleTV and cheaper. Lincoln was $4.99 in HD

I may give Netflix and Hulu Plus a free trial along with unblock-us for $4.99 a month

#10 tonyjg

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:16 PM

I just cancelled the entertainment pack for my Foxtel subscription, saving $25 per month, w


Dare I ask 'what' your original Poxtel subscription was costing per month ??


Further - whilst there's the Netfix option - are you also including the internet 'cost' into those subscriptions (for streaming) ?

#11 pgdownload

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:05 PM

are you also including the internet 'cost' into those subscriptions (for streaming) ?

Internet isn't really a cost these days. Unless you want no internet then having a connection is the same as being connected to water or electricity. $50 pretty much gets you unlimited downloads so if you want to use some of those streaming its not a cost.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

#12 HTPCFreak

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:52 PM

Dare I ask 'what' your original Poxtel subscription was costing per month ??


Further - whilst there's the Netfix option - are you also including the internet 'cost' into those subscriptions (for streaming) ?


$107 per month with Essential, Entertainment, Sports and HD. Now "only" $82, which is the cheapest way to get live sports in HD (a total rip off, but what can you do?). Netflix + Hulu Plus + Unblock-Us costs just under AUD $21 per month.

I'm already on a 300GB Internet plan, so I now actually get to use up a good portion of this quota every month (can easily go through 10-15 GB on days when I do have time to watch a few things).

Agree that you really need 200GB+ or unlimited to get the best out of the likes of Netflix, but as pgdownload says, high quota and unlimited plans are fairly affordable now.

#13 hazzad

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 09:45 PM

I have netfilx but hasnt changed my habits at all. Someone above summed it well. To much selection is a bad thing. I already have a hard tme chosing what to watch out of my BD laibrary little lone what is available via Netflix. I mainly have Netflix for the kids anyway as there is heaps fo stuff for them to watch. Im happy to stick with physical discs for the forseeable future.

#14 Coops22

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:30 AM

I would really like to give these services a go, however my Internet speed is on average only 3mbps. The only way to get the shows I want to watch is to set a download up over night and while I'm at work. Real time streaming is but a dream.

Having said that, I only watch fta TV for the news and sport. The odd local show is recorded on PVR and watched whenever I get a chance. I watch live tv about 10% of the time.

#15 yasitha

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:50 PM

Signed up for Netflix yesterday on a recommendation from a mate and it's excellent. Like others have said I only have foxtel for the sporteven for that it's a rip off (although you can get it for a fair but cheaper than advertised if you're prepared to cancel).

The convenience of on demand viewing is the best thing about it, I've often found with foxtel even with 100s off channels there's often times there's nothing interesting on where as with Netflix I doubt you'd ever have that problem.

If HBO released some of their newer shows like GOT onto hulu that would be the complete package. Not good for foxtel but great for ISPs with everyone upgrading their plans

#16 kopthat

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:54 PM

I signed up for unblock-us and Netflix.
Netflix may have slightly older content but there is plenty of it.

unblock-us allowed me to set up my Samsung tv as being in the uk, so that gave me ITV player, BBC iPlayer, 4 on Demand
4 on demand has a lot of the lifestyle shows like Grand Designs.

If not for the English Prem League Foxtel is looking less of a need.

Been with foxtel over 10 years so don't a TV antenna, so may take up their $10 for FTA using IQ2 as a PVR

#17 HTPCFreak

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 01:52 PM

Sorry to bring up an old thread, but I just wanted to add you can get a lot more out of Netflix by using the region switching function that comes with most DNS geo-unblocking solutions (eg. Unblock US, UnoTelly ...). I've found that you get a lot more content, and newer content, on Netflix UK, Canada and the non English speaking regions (English movies will almost always have the English audio option, although subtitles may be locked to a foreign language). In fact, Netflix US seems to be the worst when it comes to new and classic movies (eg. Life of Pi, Taken 2 and Flight all just made it to Netflix Canada, but not on Netflix US - also, out of the IMDb Top 250, around half are on Netflix around the world, but only a small percentage are on Netflix US).

This website is also really good for finding something to watch in the non US Netflix regions:

http://www.moreflicks.com

#18 kopthat

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:31 AM

I watched Red recently and it was only on Netflix Mexico or Brazil, and I noticed that Olympus has fallen was on the Mexico version.
It's strange there are some movies they get around the same time as the US iTunes, it could be deals with the studio that released the movie.

#19 yorac

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 11:46 AM

So I gather this Unblock US means that I could download digital and UV content from my US blu-ray purchases ?........

#20 kopthat

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 12:47 PM

I haven't tried it, but when reading this post on Whirlpool it mentions that unblock-us or unotelly DNS
don't allow the UV download but Witopia VPN does www.witopia.net
http://forums.whirlp...archive/1857619

#21 figjam

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 01:30 PM

I use hola.org to download UV content for both my US and UK discs (as well as streaming from netflix). Works great and is free too.

#22 JimmyB

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:56 AM

yorac: I use unblock-us plus Vudu to redeem and watch UV content. The family account sharing options are great (e.g. my dad has access to my entire UV library via his own Vudu account) and the HDX quality is rather good!

#23 yorac

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 01:33 PM

This looks like a pretty good deal for OS viewing .........

#24 JimmyB

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:35 PM

Having used both approaches I'd recommend a DNS based service (e.g. unblock us or unotelly) rather than a VPN (I have used StrongVPN before). DNS based services are faster and work on more devices. Most hardware (e.g. streamers, bd players, tv's) don't have a VPN client but they do let you mess with the network and DNS settings.

#25 com5984

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:51 AM

Having used both approaches I'd recommend a DNS based service (e.g. unblock us or unotelly) rather than a VPN (I have used StrongVPN before). DNS based services are faster and work on more devices. Most hardware (e.g. streamers, bd players, tv's) don't have a VPN client but they do let you mess with the network and DNS settings.


Same here, tried strongvpn but unblockus is so much easier and also faster.