Netflix on the iPad

One of my favorite apps for the iPad is Netflix's streaming service. I started out watching tons of documentaries. I really enjoyed two recent ones: Beer Wars and The Union

Beer Wars is an inside look at the world of microbreweries and how it's nearly impossible for them to sell at major stores thanks to the near monopoly held by Bud, Coors, and Miller. The Union is yet another "pot should be legalized" movie, but it's better than any I've seen before, with a long slow exploration of all the angles of the "why is pot illegal?" that doesn't fall for cheap tricks or emotional pleas and comes off as an intelligent run-down of how crazy the US laws are around pot and how they got to be that way.

Eventually, I found I didn't always have 90 minutes to sit around watching films and I eventually found the streaming TV shows listing at Netflix. It's really fantastic to have all three seasons of Arrested Development just a click away, or any number of TV shows I've never watched when they were first broadcast.

I thought my favorite app for the iPad would be Air Video, but that requires me to seek out shows and movies, download them, then stream. Netflix has surprisingly become my go-to app for relaxing and enjoying video on the iPad. It's a bit buggy and crashes whenever I finish an episode, but other than that, it's pretty great.

6 Comments

  • I’m right there with you Matt. Another reason I love it is that I can use it as a sort of ordering control device for streaming things through my Wii, which I just hooked up this weekend. The menus, navigation and selection is a little limited on the Wii, but with having the iPad handy I can just launch the app and find/browse and add something to my queue and it’ll show up in my queue on the Wii. Netflix is slowly regaining it’s status as one of my favorite/most useful companies.

  • I was thinking that netflix streaming would also be a got to app and push me over the tipping point into buying an ipad. Then I tried a friends and met with a crushing reality. Closed caption data is nowhere to be found in Netflix’s streaming offer. My hearing impaired partner is left out of the fun. Until this is corrected, netflix is a non starter for me.

  • Hello Matt,
    Alex from Canada calling. I peeked in on Netflix but there doesn’t seem to be much I can see from Canada.
    I was wondering if you were familiar with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) iPhone/iPod Touch app – http://www.nfb.ca/free-downloads/nfb-iphone-app/. They’ve got a lot of great free material ranging from documentaries to animation. Check it out. If you’re a hockey fan you and your daughter might enjoy The Sweater – a great story full of humour and pathos that centres around a young boy getting the wrong team’s sweater through a mail order catalogue.
    I also wanted to thank you for MetaFilter. I hadn’t heard of it prior to last week. My new blog PlayGroundology was referenced which resulted in a considerable amount of traffic. If interested, you can check the blog here – http://playgroundology.wordpress.com.
    I’m enjoying poking around a whole lotta nothing – plenty of interesting and useful stuff.
    Cheers
    Alex Smith

  • maryanneschmidt@gmail.com

    I love the Netflix app, but have trouble when watching a season of a tv series. For example, when I watch LOST Season 5, I can only watch the first episode. Am I missing something??

  • Susan Carley Oliver

    I don’t know about Lost, but I have watched entire seasons of Dexter (seasons 1 & 2), Firefly, MI5/Spooks, Angel, Buffy, um, and lots more. You should be seeing a folder called “Firefly” in your Netflix streaming queue – click on that folder and you should see a list of all of the episodes. If you’re only seeing episode one of any of the series I mentioned then yes, something’s wrong and you should contact Netflix.

  • Susan Carley Oliver

    This bugs me when I’m watching a British show like MI5 or Coupling and I have a hard time understanding the accented English. I just googled a bit, and apparently Netflix has just released a few titles with captions:
    http://blog.netflix.com/2010/04/subtitles-now-available-for-some-titles.html

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