Netflix has announced on the 6th of January that they would start offering their on-demand streaming media services in 130 additional countries, including our own Cyprus.
We ofcourse did not miss the chance of getting to play with the one month of free unrestricted trial they are offering and here is what we think is good and whats not with the service, and if it will be a success with Cypriots or will they stay with subcription services from the local network providers.
First, we got a subscription to the Standard €9,99 which offers up to 2 simultaneous streaming, and HD contents. While there is a Basic subscription of €7,99 it only offers the option of 1 streaming and non-HD content and ofcourse there is the Premium that will cost you €11,99 offering 4 simultaneous streaming and Ultra HD, which we thought it is a bit of an overkill. If you want to share your account with other people so you can split the subscription cost the Premium might be the one for you.
There is a Windows 8 and Windows 10 application in the the Microsoft store but we choose to stream content over Chrome instead, which only supports 720p instead of the full HD 1080p. You may use Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft Edge if you are on Windows 10 which will offer you full HD streaming.The Netflix application is also available on Google Play and Apple App Store for free. On most of the platforms the way you navigate is pretty much simillar so changing from one to another will not confuse you.
Now, down to the reason we are writing this hands-on review. Is it really a game changer? Or just another on-demand service. The answer? It depends on what kind of a person you are.
We found the streaming to be awesome, without any buffering on an 16mbps Primetel line, were there was Youtube playing and torrent downloading limited to 10mbps, thus leaving 6mbps for the netflix and Youtube streaming.
If you own a Smart TV, now is the time to use it. When i first got my LG Smart TV i go 3D movies and tried the services that were installed on it, but would barely use the Smart Apps after 1 or 2 weeks. Only to show some Youtube clip i found to my wife over the pairing of my Android phone to the TV through WiFi. After requiring an update, Netflix on the LG Smart TV fees me of using any other media center like my XBMC box or connecting the laptop to the TV.
I really liked that i first asked me what movies and series i’ve already watched so it would find and recommend more on what is my style. It will keep doing that after watching more series and movies, which i find is a great feature as i found out a great timekiller series called Trailer Park Boys and got to re-watch one of my childhood favorite series Power Ranger the first generation – where now i’m disapointed on how bad the acting was.
Now to the things i’ve found that might disapoint some.
I did not think that this is a real downside, but since i was talking with a friend that thought that Netflix would be his savior for the overcharged subscriptions of the local providers i think is good to mention it. So, if you are a Cypriot football fan, then do not cancel your subscription to the local Cypriot networks as Netflix will not be showing any football matches.
The content that is unlocked to our region is poor. While we get some great series and movies like Orange is the new Black, Arrow, DareDevil and Breaking Bad there are still several held back some seasons and even not offered at all.
If you are a tech guy that knows his or her stuff then you will find that most of the content offered over Netflix can be found free all over the Internet. While the subscription to Netflix is not that expensive, still i found that most content that i saw offered over Netflix is content i already watched.
Now that you have read what we think about Netflix offering its service in Cyprus, is really up to you to make the choice.
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