Monday, December 13, 2010

I watch a movie, I watch another movie, I watch anoth... zzzzz

Netflix is one of the most amazing inventions! Any movie lover who agrees with me say, “I”! (Unfortunately the echo of my enthusiasm is limited to those living in the US and Canada.)

Founded in 1997 Netflix has been entertaining audiences for just over a decade by means of internet video streaming (“watch instantly”) and DVD and Blu Ray rentals – disks delivered right to your door. When you’re done watching it you simply seal it in the return mail envelope, leave it in your flagged mailbox and the mailman collects it on his next trip. The turnaround time is pretty good – usually around two to three days.

How do they know what disk you would like to watch next? Each customer has an online account/profile. Any movie that you want to see (not available online) can be added to your queue. Whichever is next in the cue is delivered to you. 

When you create your account you complete a rather comprehensive questionnaire which indicates the kind of movies you enjoy watching and based on that movies of all genres are recommended to you when you search the online database. This is very helpful considering that the online collection alone is in excess of 17,000 movies and recorded TV shows. How’s that for choice? You can search for movies by title, director, actor or genre. The Netflix service is available at a subscription of only $8 per month. It reminds me of an “eat all you can” deal at a restaurant;  everyone knows you can only eat that much, but it is there for the taking.

Although the Netflix catalogue does include films with explicit sexual content Netflix largely avoid offering pornography. I can certainly appreciate that!

A while before leaving South Africa SABC has decided to fill prime time television viewing hours with more local is lekker content. Many of the foreign produced programming that I enjoyed was either removed or rescheduled to the late evening or early morning hours. I was not impressed! Prior to that there used to be an hour of family viewing each night between 7:30pm and 8:30pm on SABC3. That slot often coincided with my cooking dinner and I enjoyed watching titles such as Sue, F.B.Eye, Cold Case, Bones, Law & Order and Monk (to just name a few) in between the clutter of pots and pans.

South Africa has 11 official languages. That is a very diverse audience if you’re a broadcasting company offering 3 channels (4 if you include e-TV). If you were not subscribed to DSTV you either had to come to terms with (almost) every program – feels like - containing English subtitles or find something better to do. Eventually I felt like I was reading television rather than watching it, so I found something else with which to occupy myself.  Finally I got to see the murder solved, the bodies found, the bad guys tried and locked up and the happy ever afters... or not.

Enjoying movies as much as I do you can be sure that you’ll be seeing some of my personal movie reviews on here as I get to watch them. I’ve got to tell someone what I think, right?

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and I’ll be starting dinner soon, but until then I think I’ll curl up on the couch and lazily watch a movie. If it’s not a great one I can always “Return to browsing” or take a nap. Better set the clock then just in case ;-)  Either way it sounds like a cozy idea on a -17*C afternoon!

1 comment:

  1. I like this one... Chandre would really have liked the Netflix thing... In fact, she'd be a VIP...