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Netflix review

John Archer




  • Recommended by TR

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Our Score:



  • Plenty of HD content
  • Attractive interface
  • Great value with no hidden extras


  • Needs more film content
  • Interface doesn’t show many titles at once
  • More 5.1 audio would be peachy

Key Features

  • Online video streaming service
  • HD films available
  • Surround sound audio
  • £5.99 a month covers everything
  • Multiplatform availability
  • Manufacturer: Netflix
  • Review Price: £5.99

Like it or not, the future of watching films at home looks likely to be streaming. With this in mind, over the next few weeks we’re going to look in depth at all the main players in this new video business, before rounding up the results into a handy digestible guide.

We've actually done a head to head between Netflix vs Lovefilm before, back in March. But things have changed a lot since then, especially where LoveFilm is concerned, and it's high time we spent more time with both these platforms and their main rivals.And we’re kicking the process off today with the newest kid on the video streaming block, Netflix.

Any Americans stumbling across this review will probably wonder what the heck we’re talking about here, as Netflix has been a major player in the US for ages. However, it only launched in the UK in January - but since then it’s had a major impact on what had previously been a rather small streaming world dominated by Amazon-owned LoveFilm.


For instance, Netflix’s aggressive £5.99 a month price forced a pretty much immediate price cut from LoveFilm, while the major advertising campaigns both companies launched are still running now, giving vastly more exposure to this once niche content field.

Wide availability

Despite its newness, Netflix is already available across an impressively wide array of platforms. The Xbox 360, the PS3, almost all brands of Smart TV, PCs, Macs, mobiles and tablets can all be used for accessing Netflix content.

Also impressive is how well the interfaces for all these different platforms work. The onscreen graphics carry the same visual identity - key for branding - and all generally try to make the most of the different platform technologies. The tablet and Smart TV interfaces are particularly impressive, working speedily and slickly.

Predictive search

Also commendable is the search utility carried by all the Netflix interfaces. This starts to filter titles from the first letter you type in, whittling the title list down with each extra letter you input. This is a much better approach than only starting to look for stuff once you’ve input a text field in full and pressed enter.

We also really like the look of the Netflix menus. The use of big, bold, colourful ‘DVD covers’ for all the films and TV shows available immediately draws you in and keeps you browsing the film ‘shelves’ for much longer than you would with a less attractive front end.


The genre breakdown approach used by the Netflix menus proves a pretty sensible way of organising the available titles, too.

Another great user-friendly touch of the Netflix interface is the way it tracks any viewing progress you may have made with a title even if you switch devices. So, for instance, if you start watching a film on an iPad and then decide you want to finish it through a games console, when you fire up the Netflix ‘app’ on the second (or third, or fourth, etc!) device, you get the option to resume the title you’d started at the point you left it, rather than having to play it from the beginning again.

Interface limitation

There is a practical price to pay for the attractiveness of the Netflix interface, though. For no matter what platform you use it on, the large size of the title icons means that you can’t see many titles on your screen at any one time. This makes it hard for Netflix to ‘promote’ as much new and high profile content on its home screen as both it and we would like. And it makes browsing a little more longwinded than we’d like too.


July 12, 2012, 5:30 pm

Glad to see you reviewing all these streaming services (especially smart widgets) as it's all a bit of a minefield. Hope you cover Sony's movie unlimited and the samsung movie widget too.

I use Sony the most because it has the most up-to-date movies and it's easily available on my blu-ray player. The search is not great though - it wont let you list ALL of it's movies by release date - I usually don't know what I want to watch and want to browse movies from the last few months but cant easily. I'm sure there are films I would watch but they never present themselves.

I would have tried Netflix (on my smart tv) but you had to sign up before you could see what it had to offer (I wasn't tempted). It's a pity we cant browse all the content online somewhere for all the companies.

As for all the license deals which can come and go along with the fact that not all smart tvs/players etc have the access to all the competitors makes it difficult to want to sign up to a subscription.

Better dnla (like samsungs allshare) may make it easier for everyone to simply use their laptop/tablet to push the movie from any provider to their tv. I'm also surprised that the studios haven't created their own versions yet - why do they need a middle man?


July 12, 2012, 9:18 pm

Content in the UK version of Netflix is definitely a problem.

I solved that by using a VPN service called "Unblock US" that gives me access to an American DNS server. It costs $4.99 a month (about £3). I only had to specify the IP address of the DNS server on my router and all my networked devices were connected straight away. As a result, I can access the full US catalogue when I use Netflix. It's a huge improvement, and it's definitely worth the extra money since you can also access other US services like Hulu.

I realize this is starting to sound like a marketing pitch for Unblock Us, but I'm honestly just a very satisfied user who's enjoying the "real" Netflix experience.


July 17, 2012, 6:44 am

Netflix is awesome. They did a great job of putting categories and subcategories to their website, however one big issue the loading can be painfully slow.


July 30, 2012, 10:24 am

I totally agree with someone saying that Netflix is one of the greatest apps available on smart TVs. I am using an LG LM760T and I love watching movies on Netflix. I can rent high quality movies anytime and enjoy watching them on my wonderful LG TV.


March 13, 2013, 9:07 pm

I use Netflix as my primary TV source.I don't have cable so we watch Netflix a good amount of time. The content may be sparse on new things but the older titles are great.


January 24, 2014, 6:33 pm

Generally, I think that the Netflix streaming option is a good value.
But, the movie content for streaming is hopelessly and utterly lame. In no time at all I had gone through the paltry A-list movies that they tout in their p.r. material.
There are many favorite TV sitcoms that are not available, such as Mash, Taxi, The Honeymooners, Newhart, I Love Lucy, etc.
And finally, the consumer interface is painful to use. It is s-l-o-w and unwieldy, and just downright annoying. It seems like every time you watch new show, netflix adds a whole 'nother category, i.e. "Because you watched (insert name of show here)...". There are something like 36 categories that each time that you are looking, for a movie for instance, you have to click down through...and then all the way back up through to get to your list of favorites...(how stupid is that)? It is just as tedious as it can be.

Miyako O'Conner

November 29, 2014, 11:37 pm

John, This is a great selection of movies for this month. I look forward to watch Drive. For those who live outside USA like me, you can use UnoTelly or other similar tools to access Netflix overseas.

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