So I’ve been playing with the Australian Netflix for a week now.
And it’s good.
I’ve checked out a few movies, watched the Netflix exclusive Bloodlines and a few episodes of The Returned- another Netflix show. Flicking through all the content available is a bit overwhelming, but I’m starting to spend less and less time search for stuff and more time just watching.
Netflix is absolutely perfect for me.
I’ve got a massive DVD collection and love my US TV. Spending the last decade away from the UK, living in NZ and Australia means that I’ve missed out on quite a few TV shows. Also, having kids has meant that it’s virtually impossible to schedule my life around network TV programming anymore.
Netflix Australia allows me to watch over a thousand shows and movies without having to get off my arse. Also, compared to Australia’s absolutely shit digital Freeview service (nasty Pixelated SD and only stereo sound), Netflix’s rock solid HD Dolby Digital playback is a godsend.
But it’s not all good news. Whilst Australians and New Zealanders are not getting stiffed on the price like we thought we would, we’ve only got access to a fraction of the content that our North American cousins have…even though we pay the same amount.
Veteran Aussie Netflickers are, no doubt laughing at all these local Netflix newbies with their measly 1700 titles compared to the 7000-odd that the tech-savvy have been enjoying for ages via their VPN access to the US site.
Due to licensing and localisation issues the ANZ Netflix catalogue is a bit sparse. But the launch of the local Aussie service has made access to the US content one hell of a lot easier.
A few things have put me off bothering with the US Netflix service in the past. Firstly I’ve had to faff about with setting up a Netflix account pretending I’m in the US. Admittedly, it wouldn’t have been the most nefarious thing I’ve done in the pursuit for a good deal, but it’s still an issue. Secondly it’s a bit of a chore to get Netflix apps installed on devices where Netflix isn’t available. And then there’s circumventing the geoblocking. All doable, certainly, but a bit tiresome, nevertheless.
Of course, now we have Australian Netflix accounts- and can download the app to our tablets, and tellies everything changes. It’s just a case of making the Netflix application think that we are in the US. The easiest way to sort it out on your TV is to invest $5 a month and subscribe to a DNS service like Unotelly.com.
Using their DNS servers you can fool Netflix into thinking that you reside in any one of the 20 countries that Netflix operates in. As well as the huge US library, you can also access content exclusive to other countries.
Whilst it’s certainly worth the trouble, there’s still a bit of fiddling around to do and, after the 8 day trial, your DNS provider will cost you US$5.
If you are content with the ANZ offering, but would like to sample the US library on your mobile device or PC things get a lot easier. It only takes a couple of minute to unlock all the programming that the Netflix US has to offer using your ANZ account and there’s no extra payments.
On Android devices simply download Hola from the Google store, run it and launch Netflix from within the Hola app and you are away. On PC you just need to download the Hola extension for your favourite browser, switch it on, select the US and unlock Netflix.
I moments you’ll have access to all the Netflix US content, just like that.
By setting up shop in Australia and New Zealand Netflix have made easy for us to access their massive US catalogue. In fact it’s so easy that you’ve got wonder if it’s by design.
With thousands of titles on offer and exclusive new shows like Marvel’s Daredevil coming soon, Netflix it’s certainly making waves in the ANZ region!