3 Days In And I Am Loving The Australian Netflix

First everyone seemed cynical, and they had every right. When is the last time Australians paid a fair price for anything tech related? Getting screwed on consumer products is a national pastime.

Why should Netflix be any different?

Then there was the surprise. The surprise that, when Netflix announced its pricing strategy in Australia, it was entirely reasonable. More than reasonable in fact: downright fair.

I mean really? Come on now! This is Australia. You’re charging us a reasonable price for goods and services? There has to be a catch…

So of course, there was that cynicism again. What about the library? It has to be borked if we’re paying a fair and reasonable price, right? We won’t be getting this show or that show, this movie or that movie.

This was shortly followed by a round chorus of ‘I told you so’ when the details of that library were released.

So yes, the Netflix offering in Australia doesn’t quite match up to its US counterpart. Yes, there are shows we simply can’t watch. Yes, there are seasons of certain shows tied up in licensing disputes and, as such, we have to wait until certain dates before watching on Netflix. Those Foxtel meanies have to drink their fill before us plebs can get in on the action.

Yes, this sucks. Actually, ‘sucks’ is probably too extreme. Let’s just say it’s ‘not the ideal situation’.

Not the ideal situation, but not a terrible situation. Far from it.

Here’s my own personal experience: I woke up on the morning of the Netflix launch. I turned on my PS4. I installed Netflix. I signed up for Netflix. I flicked around the super slick interface. I bookmarked about a dozen documentaries. I marvelled at the depth of the offering — honestly, I did. I showed my wife Netflix, she had the precise same reaction. Simply put: she lost her shit. I lost my shit.

Shit was being lost. Collectively.

But when I arrived at the office the internet seemed to be losing its shit about Netflix for different reasons. Most of them were negative: this show wasn’t available, that series was missing. For the most part I think these criticisms are fair. Nitpicky but fair.

But from my perspective, as someone who a) never used Netflix before, b) has a whole lot of TV to play catch up on, I couldn’t care less that [insert show/season here] is missing. There is simply so much content to watch. More quality content than I have time to watch.

I understand the complaints, particularly if you’re the kind of person who’s been using the US version of Netflix for years now. But I’m coming from the perspective of the everyman here. I feel as though I represent a larger segment of the population. I am the person coming straight to Netflix from terrestrial TV, ABC iView, and that’s about it. This is the perspective — I’d argue — of most people currently subscribing to a Netflix-esque service for the first time. I am swamped with content, nicely categorised using a slick interface, with HD streaming capabilities that actually work as advertised.

I’m sort of amazed by how good Netflix is for how much it costs.

I have Netflix on my tablet, so my son can watch Mike the Knight while I watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I have Netflix installed on all three on my gaming consoles. This weekend I had to travel to Melbourne for a wedding. I brought my PS4 with me to play Bloodborne and — added bonus — I can easily watch an incredible number of TV shows in my downtime. That is amazing to a pleb like me. I can do all of this without that weird, gross feeling you get when pirating a show — and the quality of the experience in incredible.

My point: yes, the Netflix selection isn’t all it could be, but it is still an incredible service, particularly for people like me who are discovering this new world for the very first time. We have 4k streaming that works. We have a price that works. We have great sized library that will expand as time goes on.

I’m really, truly happy with that.


Comments

    My only real gripe is I can only choose between 280P, SD (480P) & HD (being 1080P or 4K). Whilst my connection streams 1080P fine it seems, it's just my quota doesn't like it. I would like to be able to have 720P as an option :/

      Good point 720 is about half the data of 1080 but still looks good on a HDTV

        Yeah, I get the majority of my torrents in 720P and my TV up scales them quite nicely. Even up scales 480P blu-ray rips pretty well too.

        I can totally justify ~1GB for a single episode of a TV show in 720P, can't really justify ~3GB for the same in 1080P though :/

      You can access a control panel for Netflix which allows you to change bit-rate by hitting control+alt+shift+S while watching something that should give you a little more control over data usage ^_^

      There's some other commands too for stats just hit D instead of S and for a log just hit L.

      In theory you're supposed to be able to bring up a single menu to access all of this by alt+shift+left click but that one doesn't work for me, I just double checked all the others on Aus netflix in case something had changed and they all work fine.

      Hope this helps ^_^

        Oh neat! But alas i'm using my PS3 & PS4 for streaming.

        But saying that Telstra just upped me to 500gb a month, so I might be okay now haha..

    It's been pretty gnarly. My Smart TV is a few years old now but a Netflix app was there for me to use on launch day and it worked great. Plus I've installed it on the blu ray player, laptop, PC, phone and will probably put it on the PS3/PS4/WiiU because why not?

    The other night I was lying in bed watching Arrested Development on my phone. I love living in the future.

    Yo, Everyone should watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Tina Fey shows once again she's the funniest woman on earth.

    First item watched on my Netflix: Maid In Manhattan

    thanks wife.

      At least it allows you to have sub-accounts so that stuff doesn't ruin your recommendations.

        Oh no....I was thanking my wife for telling me it was on there.......the choice was totally my own ;)

    I think people have been a bit harsh on it because they like to complain - there's stuff that I wish they had on the US version that they don't (I'd like more 80s sitcoms for example) but then there's a lot of great stuff too - I can watch the entirety of Lost and Heroes in marathon sessions as they were intended! That's pretty cool

    Value for money from my point of view already - just watched Ralphie May: Unruly, crude but funny bastard

    It's pretty great, been watching it using the Wii U app which is surprisingly good.

    I love Netflix! Maybe it's a pale offering compared to the US (don't know as I never had Netflix US) but I still love it.
    Got it for my parents as well for their new TV and they are amazed that they no longer have to wait to watch something.

    Aziz Ansari stand up special on there is pretty damn good.

    I love it! The best part is that I actually think it's better than pirating a show. It looks better and it doesn't impact on my data limit. It also makes me feel good that I'm paying a FAIR price for the content. Everyone is happy!

    Pro tip: Kodi.tv

    Loving it. Connect to chromecast without a hitch. Unmeterred data usage (iiNet).
    Also found some shows that are not on the US library like The Raid 2!

    If you're in to adult animated shows, I highly recommend Bojack Horseman. Binged watched the first season over two nights, great show, cant wait for the 2nd season now.

      Bojack Horseman is a great one, isn't it? I was a little dubious at first, seemed to be just using the same schtick I've seen from other shows, but as the season goes along, it really shapes up well. Downer Ending is one of the funniest damn things I've seen in a long time, and that's including Archer.

    OK so I signed up for the free trial, works great on my browser but my Samsung TV doesn't have the app...bummer dude. Looked for recent firmware updates etc but no dice. No TV = no deal for me

    Now I've just got to wait for a company to offer my unlimited broadband way out here in the sticks, aka the Gold Coast. The way my Mrs binge watches shows our cap would be reached in less than a week.

    I wish I could figure out how to force Netflix to play HD. I messed with the settings putting it on "High", but it still plays in SD.
    I may have a connection not completely ideal for it, but if I want to watch in HD and just have to wait for buffering then that's my choice.

    Unmetered on iiNet.
    Been watching Top Gear, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Rubber, Arrow, and Orphan Black.

    I've been pirating mostly TV for a while and hoarding seasons.ill never catch up ( haven't stated warehouse 13 ,helix,agents of shield )etc .but if I can just binge on old series,that's good enough for me.so I'm sold on Netflix,maybe stan if it keeps me up to date on Gotham,arrow or whatever
    I still don't know who owns what

    I'm watching Netflix's GLOBAL catalog, hehe!
    P.S. I'm using SmartDNS technology, which is faster than a regular VPN connection. (My provider is OverPlay http://overplay.net/?a_aid=OVRPLY)

    Last edited 28/03/15 11:10 am

    My company has a few websites and apps that are now ready for Netflix Australia and New Zealand. These will make it much easier to see what's available AND to compare it against other Netflix countries. We provide complete lists of what is available PLUS daily updates on what has been added.
    * Our app iStreamGuide is available for iOS and Android on their respective stores.
    * whatsnewonnetflix.tv lists what has been released in 22 countries worldwide (Including AU and NZ)
    * netflixaustraliacompletelist.blogspot.com and netflixnewzealandcompletelist.blogspot.com updates daily with a post for what's been added in the past 24 hours

    Check them out and let us know if you find them useful! From what I've seen, Netflix USA does have the most titles, but they also have the most crappy titles...every other Netflix country seems to have less garbage and more quality, so the title count isn't as important.

    I'll consider getting it once NBN is finished here (hoping that i'm lucky enough to have got in quickly for FttP - grr still disgusted in their new plans with FttN and the cost of upgrading for those that wish to!).

    It's not like I watch many new TV shows anyway (I don't really care to watch Game of Thrones, and my interest in Doctor Who is on life support at the moment given how poor I felt series 8 was), but it sounds like some of the older stuff on offer (or that potentially may be over time) is some nice incentive. Between that and especially CrunchyRoll (particularly for Naruto Shippuden), i'd be pretty much set, especially once they probably/inevitably bring in that anti-piracy crap. Supporting Netflix in spite of Foxtel (using "keep away" tactics for rights to shows) is actually more incentive to me to support netflix. I sincerely hope it becomes a big success in Australia though.

    still easier to pirate the shows you want rather than chopping and changing between streaming services

    Loving it! I already have enough shows in my list to keep me going for a few months . Wil defiantly be paying my monthly $12.00 . Works great on appletv, Alienware laptop iPhones and iPad . Will still pay my season pass for shoes I want to see now like twd, shameless and got . Already have talked a few mates into the free trial :)

    I cancelled my US acct and signed up for oz netflix the day it launched. I've had the US version for a few years, but want to support the local branch. Mainly in the hope that, the more customers, the more content it'll get. I haven't actually used it yet. I'll keep the dns active for the time being.

    Now watch the decline of Piracy of movies in Australia.

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