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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone want to explain Netflix streaming to an old fart?

    To be honest, I hear the word Netflix and I sort of shudder. I have had a membership twice, and both times I ended up owning the videos that I never returned. I'm talking multiple months maybe years! The most expensive DVDs in history! So of course I am determined that I will never again belong to anything that sends things to my house that must then be returned.

    But the thread about West Wing got me thinking. I have paid no attention to the fact that Netflix can now be streamed, whatever that means. I do know it means no DVDs! So pretend you're talking to a child, and tell me what the scoop is. Does it require a computer? A TV connected to Internet/wifi? Do you download the movie (so stopping/pausing is possible) or is it like a broadcast, just starting and running till it is over. What else do I need to know?
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  2. #2
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    Default

    I'm kinda pretty bd at this, too, but it's not bad. I do Netflix streaming for $8 a month. You can just go on your computer, log on, and see anything you want.

    You can also use something like a Roku, which I've had about 6 months and seriously just figured out tonight, and I think some gaming systems where you can stream it through your tv.

    You just click on whatever you want to watch and can pause or stop whenever you want. It's pretty easy.

    People who understand better can explain how to make it work through game systems. The Roku is a tiny box that costs about $80 that's pretty idiot proof to hook up with about three plugs and a remote.

    We also just got an Ipad and you can watch it on there, too.

    I never do DVDs. Too hard for me.



  3. #3
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    Default

    the Wii lets you watch netflix through your computer (I am assuming wifi required, I would ask my kid, but he's on vacation)

    You can also watch stuff on your computer - no extras needed.
    it is really that easy.

    but you can also do reb box - but that is more for new releases: at the grocery store there are now the kiosks that dispense DVDs, a dollar a day...return at any redbox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  4. #4
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    Dec. 22, 2000
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    Default

    I was actually just looking at the Roku and thinking it looked like a good idea.

    How is the Netflix selection of current tv shows? I'm thinking of scrapping my satellite dish.



  5. #5
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    I think Netflix is about a season or two behind on current shows if you stream, which is all I do. I'm just discovering how to use Roku beyond watching Netflix on there. I have Amazon Prime (gives me free shipping for a year and their streaming tv) and just discovered a new Dr Who!!! It seems to have a lot of more current tv. There are also a lot of other options I haven't even looked at.

    You can also find almost any current tv on the internet. http://www.free-tv-video-online.me/



  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MHM View Post
    I was actually just looking at the Roku and thinking it looked like a good idea.

    How is the Netflix selection of current tv shows? I'm thinking of scrapping my satellite dish.
    I bought my aunt a Roku player after she refused to watch TV or movies on my computer -- even though it has a really nice 24" monitor. It's very simple to use. The remote is ridiculously simple. And with a Roku, you can also stream from Hulu and Amazon, and Pandora, as well as all sorts of other channels you can install from Roku's website. There's news, weather, sports, talk shows ... I even found one channel that streamed old commercials and school films they showed students in the 50s and 60s. (They were hysterical!) Most channels are free, but some require a small monthly fee.

    But honestly, outside of Hulu and Netflix, I haven't found anything I'd be willing to pay for.

    Here's a breakdown of the services I use:

    Netflix: They don't have quite the selection they did a year or two ago, since their deal with Starz ended, but there's still plenty to watch. You'll find Hollywood releases you've actually familiar with, as well as those you may have heard in passing, all sorts of B and C and D movies of course, older movies from the 60s-70s-80s, documentaries, foreign films! (I'm a sucker for dark Scandinavian flicks), cartoons and Disney and lots of stuff for kids, too. As for TV shows, again, there's a TON of shows -- new and old. BUT -- they only release TV shows a few weeks after they come out on DVD. So, you can't watch a current TV season on Netflix. Just the ones that have already aired.

    It's one of those things where, it might would benefit you to sign up for a free membership trial just to be able to browse what they have on streaming.

    Hulu / Hulu Plus: I basically only use this to catch up on current shows that I miss due to work. Hulu will save the past 5 episodes of current TV seasons. So, if you miss Grey's Anatomy, or Once Upon a Time a couple of weeks in a row, you can go to Hulu and watch them all. They don't show everything on broadcast or cable TV, but there's enough there for me. I think they also have full seasons of older shows, but I've yet to explore that.

    Amazon: This comes in two flavors: Amazon Prime and the normal 'Buy/Rent This Movie / TV show' thing.

    Amazon Prime is their premium service that gives you free 2-day shipping, various discounts on goods you buy, and oh yeah -- access to all these streaming movies and TV shows for free. Basically, Amazon Prime has some TV shows and movies that Netflix doesn't, but they're almost identical. So, unless you really want the other benefits of Amazon Prime, if you have Netflix, you can do without it. The biggest downside to me is the fact they charge you a one-time fee of $80 to get Prime, instead of paying monthly.

    What I use Amazon for is new movie (or TV show) rentals and purchases. I live in BFE Georgia, and the nearest RedBox is 20 miles in any direction. So, I can rent a new release for $3.99. They also have sales where you can get $1.99 rentals or even purchase movies for $5 or $10, etc.

    Now, I know owning a non-physical copy of a movie might seem odd to some people, but it's great. It doesn't take up space and it's always available to you, no matter where you are. I can pull up my whole library at a friend's house and watch a movie there if I choose, or at an airport, etc. I think I own around 13 TV seasons of various shows and about 9 or 10 movies. And I've rented dozens and dozens.
    The dude abides ...



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoZ View Post
    But the thread about West Wing got me thinking. I have paid no attention to the fact that Netflix can now be streamed, whatever that means. I do know it means no DVDs! So pretend you're talking to a child, and tell me what the scoop is. Does it require a computer? A TV connected to Internet/wifi? Do you download the movie (so stopping/pausing is possible) or is it like a broadcast, just starting and running till it is over. What else do I need to know?
    -- You can play Netflix on a computer, or a tablet, and even on a cell phone ... or you can buy a streaming box (Like a Roku player) that hooks directly up to your TV at home. You can also now buy Blu-Ray DVD players that are able to connect to Netflix. But at $49 for the cheapest model, it's hard to beat the Roku.

    -- The cheapest 3 models of the Roku players connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. So, you'll have to have that to stream. The top model does have a wired connection in addition to Wi-Fi, so if you don't have wireless, you can just plug in your ethernet cable directly into the box. (And the most expensive model is about $100. Not cheap, but not horribly expensive either.)

    -- Netflix is like watching a YouTube video, in that you can pull up the movie or TV show, play, pause, rewind, etc. It's a virtual DVD library. In fact, if you only watch a movie 1/2 way through, it'll save your place for you the next time you go to watch it. You don't download it, but, like YouTube, it will load the movie while you watch it online. So, there's no downloading and no waiting. (If you have an absurdly slow internet connection, there might be some minor wait times while the movie loads a little. Maybe 5 minutes?)

    Netflix also lets you save movies and shows to list you can access under 'Your Queue.' That way if something interests you, you can click on a button and save it for later. Like a bookmark. And you can keep as many movies and shows there as you like. There's so much to watch on Netflix, it's hard to keep up with everything you might want to watch.

    Keep in mind, Netflix has a good amount of movies and shows, but due to the various rights with TV and film companies, Netflix Instant doesn't have as big of a selection as the physical DVD side. So, while you may get some big name movies, you won't get them all. (In my above post, I mentioned how I use Amazon's rental service for new releases.) But there's still plenty to watch.

    But, what it lacks in movies, it makes up for in TV shows. When it was just DVDs, you'd rent one DVD, watch 3 episodes, then have to wait for the other DVDs to arrive. With instant, they're all right there for you to watch, all at once if you want.

    There's also no limits on how much you can watch, and they won't charge you anything for watching too much. If you want to watch 20 straight hours of The X-Files in one day ( ) you can do it. And it all costs the same amount every month.

    Also, if something like a Roku interests you, here's how easy it is:
    This is what the Roku remote control looks like. It's very simple. If you ever get lost in a menu, all you have to do is hit the little 'home' button, and it takes you back to the main screen.

    On the home screen, you move your arrows left and right to select the channel you want. Click on it. Then it brings up walls and walls of movies and shows to browse. (Side note: The more you watch Netflix, the more it will come up with suggestions for other movies/shows you may like. These are actually not half bad suggestions either. It's another way to find things that may interest you.)

    Here's what a screen shot looks like.

    My aunt is NOT tech savvy. She refused to watch Netflix on a computer, so I bought her a Roku and she LOVES it. We've had no problems with it at all. I don't think I've even seen it stutter, even when several people were online at the same time.

    You will need a computer (or smartphone) to set up your Netflix and Roku accounts, but you can always get someone to help you, if you don't have one handy.

    And really, as cheap as the streaming-only service is, it might be worth it to try one month, even if it's just on your computer, to see if you like it. And if you do like it, then maybe see if you want a Roku. And for the record, there are plenty of other streaming devices out there like a Roku player, that do the same things, but these are great little boxes and it's hard to beat the quality and price.

    Hope this helps. As everyone can probably tell, this is my little area of expertise. I spend a shameful amount of time watching movies and TV shows online.

    If you have any questions, either now, or even later, shoot me a PM and I'll answer as many as I can!
    The dude abides ...



  8. #8
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    May. 26, 2005
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    Default

    Another question from a not super tech savvy person - if your TV has HDMI input choices, can you get a cable that goes from your laptop to your TV and you can watch on the TV what you watch on your laptop?



  9. #9
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    Yes, there are HDMI cables you can buy to go from your computer to your TV.

    I have Roku, and have to say it makes the computer/TV transition a non-issue. If you have wireless internet in your house, you may want to consider Roku, as it allows you to watch everything on your TV, that you would have on your computer, without the hassle of extra cables.



  10. #10
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    I use a blu-ray player to stream netflix to my TV- it was only $50, and unlike buying the ROKU thing, you now don't have to go buy another DVD player. It's super easy to easy to use- turn it on, click on the netflix icon, and there you have it. I sometimes try to work on my laptap while watching tv so I don't want to tie up my computer with the streaming process.
    They tend not to have the current TV lineup on netflix, but I don't care. I like to watch an entire series, from beginning to end, so I usually wait for series to actually be cancelled before I start watching them.



  11. #11
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    Along with Roku, there are now DVD players with the availability to stream netflix, hulu and other video options.

    I have found Netflix very easy. The best thing I found to do was to log onto my Netflix account and add what I want to watch to my Queue. When we stream to the TV, we do it through the Wii and it is the easiest to get to what you want to watch by having it in your Queue already, otherwise using the digital keyboard to search for something on the Wii is a pain.

    Also, for some reason, something that is available on Netflix instant watch is not always available through the Wii or other devices. No idea why that is. No idea if that effects Roku or if it is a licensing issue with Nintendo only.

    We have streamed netflix from my phone before, when the power was out and it was my niece's bedtime but her little 2 year old brain couldn't comprehend that power outage meant no Spongebob before bed.

    I have the subscription with unlimited DVD's per month - three out at a time and streaming and love it. While I am waiting for the DVDs to come in from one TV show, that is not available on streaming, I am watching another one that is. I have gotten into a lot of Canadian and British TV shows this way.



  12. #12
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    Thanks to everybody for all the useful information! So if I don't have a wireless router in my house, does that mean I will have to tie up my computer whenever I want to watch something on the Roku?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    We have streamed netflix from my phone before, when the power was out and it was my niece's bedtime but her little 2 year old brain couldn't comprehend that power outage meant no Spongebob before bed.
    I'm right there with her on that, and I haven't been two for a long time.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    So if I don't have a wireless router in my house, does that mean I will have to tie up my computer whenever I want to watch something on the Roku?
    no idea, but wireless routers are CHEAP and are the best thing for those who prefer to not think about technology- all the the gidgets just talk to each other without you having to do anything after you plug in the router.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MHM View Post
    Thanks to everybody for all the useful information! So if I don't have a wireless router in my house, does that mean I will have to tie up my computer whenever I want to watch something on the Roku?


    I'm right there with her on that, and I haven't been two for a long time.
    What is the layout of your network? Is your computer connected directly into a DSL or Cable modem? If so, you need to add a router unless you're using a gateway, which already has routing functions built into the design.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  15. #15
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    No one has mentioned the internet connection ... If you're on dial-up. the wait will be painful.

    Then there's the connection from the modem to the box/tv/Wii ... wireless is nice but sometimes painful to configure. A cable is best. I have 100 feet of ethernet cable between my modem and the bluray playerl for netflix.



  16. #16
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    Wait -- do people actually try to use dial up to stream Netflix? Wow.

    And actually, I would have preferred to have the Roku with the ethernet plug, but for us, the wireless connection has been very solid and only took two quick attempts to get it to link up with the router. I think I've only seen it stutter once while watching an HD movie.
    The dude abides ...



  17. #17
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    Netflix doesn't support dial-up as far as I know and it's certainly not capable of sustained video streaming for the service.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  18. #18
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    Yeah, I think you'd need Fios or other high-speed internet (not dial-up or DSL) to effectively stream Netflix...

    My parents live in BFN, no cable or Fios comes anywhere near their property, but fortunately they have reliable Verizon cell phone service. My mom has internet access through Verizon Wireless via one of those little MiFi-type devices, and it's faster than DSL but not Fios/broadband fast... we've tried streaming at their place, and Netflix "stutters," often having to stop and buffer content in the middle of a show (usually multiple times). It gets annoying...

    At home, on our middle-of-the-road Comcast broadband access, we never have buffering pauses. It rocks.

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure you can try Netflix on a month-to-month basis, so for $8, it's worth a shot. If it works, I think you'll find that IT'S AWESOME-- soooo much content to watch!!

    Oh, and add me to the "hate to watch it on my computer" camp... If I want to watch a movie, I want it to be on my nice big TV from the comfort of my sofa with some popcorn and a glass of wine, not squinting at my phone/laptop or squirming around in my chair at my computer desk. (I have a big monitor too, but my TV is 3x bigger.)
    *friend of bar.ka

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  19. #19
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    Netflix: sucks for movies. Mostly b list stuff. It's ok.

    For tv shows, it's pretty darn good.



  20. #20
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    I believe Netflix has a one month free trial offer going on now, so it's a good time to give it a shot.



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