Yesterday, I gave my early opinion on Netflix’s Canadian service, which I just signed up for this past week. Since then, I read several other reviews of the service, most of which were critical of the selection, or lack thereof.
As such, I thought I would make a post about my personal thoughts on the selection.
I will start by addressing the greatest criticism: you can’t watch first-run movies or TV shows on the site. At best, the newest films on the site were released on DVD a year ago and I don’t think there is a single 2010 film on the site. I have been reading that this is likely a mix of delays imposed by the film studios, as well as rights issues over what films can be streamed on the Canadian site.
I would estimate that the lack of very recent releases is enough to scare away most casual users. However, for a serious film lover like myself, there is still lots to choose from. Despite the lack of newer films, there is a very large selection of older films to choose from. Since getting the service, I have been using Netflix to catch up on films that I never got a chance to see during their original run. For example, yesterday I finally saw Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine, which has been on my “too see” list for a few years now.
That said, I have to admit that there is also a lot of garbage on the site that needs to be sorted through. Since Netflix is based on films that are released on DVD, there are quite a lot of low-quality direct-to-video films on the site, especially within certain genres, such as horror and comedy. However, it’s very easy for me say on the site that I am not interested in those types of films and I never see them again.
My highest praise for the selection available on Netflix comes when I compare the selection available on Netflix, to my previous source of older films – The Movie Network’s MPix OnDemand. MPix only features a small selection of films that rotate each month. On the other hand, Netflix has a much larger selection that is available all the time to subscribers.
The bottom line is that Netflix Canada is only a month and half old. I’m sure that in time the service will greatly improve its selection. However, to say that the current selection is no good is saying that films more than 1 or 2 years old is not worth watching and I look forward to watching many more of these classics.