Netflix for the iPad

Words Marcus Bloom | April 05, 2010
Netflix by itself is a great way to watch movies and tv shows, and thanks to the Netflix iPad app it just got a whole lot more portable
Words Marcus Bloom April 05, 2010

If you haven’t figured it out, we’re pretty big geeks here at eMercedesBenz, which may explain in part why we’re bringing you another story related to the new Apple iPad.  But if you’re not into the iPad, don’t worry – this story is less about the iPad and more about the wondrous service is Netflix.

If you’re unfamiliar with Netflix, the service is pretty straightforward.  You pay a monthly fee, and in return you get to watch movies via one of two ways.  You can 1) watch movies via traditional means (i.e DVD or Blu-ray), or 2) watch movies via their instant-streaming service.  To watch DVD or Blu-ray movies, you select how many you’d like to watch at one time (1, 2, etc.), go to the Netflix website and pick the movies you want, and Netflix will mail them to you.  Pricing is $8.99 for one movie at a time, $13.99 for two movies at a time, and it goes up from there.  There’s also a $3.00 additional fee if you want Blu-ray movies.  Once you’ve watched the movie, you simply put it back in the prepaid Netflix envelope, pop it in your mailbox, and you’re done.  There’s no late fees, hidden charges, or anything else.  Once Netflix receives the movie you watched, they immediately send out the next movie on your list.  Based on my experience, if I send out a movie Monday, I receive the next movie Wednesday.

Your second viewing option, and the option that led me to become a member of Netflix, is the instant streaming option.  Included in the aforementioned pricing (starting at $8.99), you can watch an unlimited number of movies via the instant streaming Netflix service.  That doesn’t mean you can watch every Netflix movie – the instant streaming library is significantly smaller than the list of available DVD and Blu-rays – but there is plenty of content to keep you entertained – somewhere around 20,000 movies and television shows.  All you need is a high speed internet connection and a Netflix streaming device (I use a Sony PS3), and you have the full Netflix streaming library at your disposal.  Both the DVD/Blu-ray and streaming Netflix services work beautifully and exactly as advertised – I’ve never had a single problem with either.

Now that you’re familiar with Netflix, on to the Apple iPad.  Up until now, your options for streaming Netflix were limited to either your television (via Netflix compatible streaming device) or your computer (assuming your computer runs a compatible operating system).  While that’s fine for home use, out in public you can’t always pop open your laptop.  Thanks to the new Netflix iPad app, however, Netflix just got a whole lot more portable.  It works just as it does on your home devices, meaning you have access to some 20,000 movies and tv shows, but it’s the first truly portable version that will actually be easy to use in public. The best part: the Netflix iPad app is completely free, meaning all you need is one of the unlimited $8.99 or $13.99 packages to start using it.

If you were one of the first to grab an Apple iPad and want to either connect an existing Netflix account to it or test drive Netflix with a free trial, you can find the full details of the Netflix iPad app in the iTunes store.