Australian T3 - - FIELD OF STREAMS -


WEB Net­flix is like the Kleenex of SVOD ser­vices. It’s the first that springs to mind, and some of your more Amer­i­can­ised friends prob­a­bly use the brand name when they should just be ask­ing for a tis­sue.

The ser­vice has an enor­mous cat­a­logue in the States, but due to the frag­men­ta­tion of broad­cast­ing rights in Aus­tralia Net­flix has had to take a ma­chete to that im­pres­sive li­brary. The re­sult is that while the US ser­vice has over 8,000 ti­tles on of­fer, so far Aus­tralia only has a lit­tle over 1,300. While that’s a huge dif­fer­ence, the Aus­tralian li­brary will grow, and there are plenty of gems within that 1,300 to fill your telly-watch­ing hours.

Net­flix’s orig­i­nal shows House of Cards and Or­ange is the New Black are front and cen­tre, as is the out­stand­ing new 13-episode Mar­vel col­lab­o­ra­tion, Dare­devil. This gritty su­per­hero series, which ties in with The Avengers and the larger Mar­vel Uni­verse, is worth the price of a sub­scrip­tion alone. Other Net­flix orig­i­nals in­clude Marco Polo, Blood­line (fea­tur­ing Aussie ac­tor Ben Men­del­sohn), and the very funny BoJack Horse­man.

If movies are more your thing, then Net­flix has a solid se­lec­tion. A deal with Vil­lage Road­show En­ter­tain­ment means The Lord of the Rings, Ocean’s Eleven and The Ma­trix trilo­gies are on hand, which should be a bonus for view­ers who like their movies to come in threes. Other high­lights in­clude Mar­vel’s Thor: The Dark World, Cap­tain Amer­ica: The Win­ter Sol­dier, and Guardians of the Gal­axy.

Par­tic­u­larly com­mend­able is the ser­vice’s wide se­lec­tion of doc­u­men­taries, with David At­ten­bor­ough gems like The Blue Planet and the in­cred­i­ble 11-part Planet Earth.

When you’re af­ter some­thing to keep the kids oc­cu­pied, Net­flix has a truck­load of car­toons and other con­tent for the lit­tle ‘uns. And the child­friendly set­tings and in­ter­face al­low them to browse con­tent by them­selves with­out ac­ci­den­tally bump­ing into some­thing too bloody or naked.

Net­flix has by far the best of­fer­ing when it comes to ac­cess and sta­bil­ity, with apps on a huge range of smart TVs, Ap­ple TV, FetchTV, Chrome­cast, and iOS and An­droid tablets and phones. And if you’ve bought a gam­ing con­sole in the last ten years chances are there’s a Net­flix app for that, too.

Fi­nally, image qual­ity varies de­pend­ing on which sub­scrip­tion you sign up for, but Net­flix im­presses by of­fer­ing 4K, even if it’s for a pre­mium price of $14.99 per month. If you’re happy to set­tle for plain old SD you’ll only have to pay $8.99.

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