Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Netflix in the Philippines: Things you need to know

Netflix and chill fans, rejoice! Finally, after a long time, Netflix is now available in the Philippines! I honestly thought this day would never come but I guess competition truly is advantageous towards consumers. Just in case you are not familiar with Netflix, this service is similar to iFlix. One movie or TV show can be available in one but not in the other and vice versa. In case you don't know what iFlix is, you must be be hibernating in a cave for a looong time to not know it. Just read about iFlix here.

Netflix is one of the more known on-demand internet streaming media in the US, among many other known internet video on-demand providers. And since iFlix first launched here in the Philippines, a lot of people may know iFlix more here than Netflix. Even before Netflix launched in the Philippines, I was already subscribing to it. The thing is, before, I need to also subscribe to a VPN service (In layman's term, a VPN is like telling Netflix that you are watching from the US rather than from the Philippines.) because Netflix was still not allowed in the Philippines back then.

Here are 5 things you need to know about the Netflix service in the Philippines:

1) 3 Netflix plans to suit your needs
We've heard a lot about it and most just say Php 370 per month. The truth is, you have 3 options and the Php 370 per month is just one of them. The two other plans are Php 460 and Php 550 a month. Here's the only difference:
Php 370 - 1 user only. Standard definition videos only.
Php 460 - 2 simultaneous users only. Videos available in HD.
Php 550 - 4 simultaneous users only. Videos available in HD and Ultra HD.

The video quality is already clear. Based on the plan you pick, you can either watch in SD, HD, or Ultra HD. So, what does the simultaneous users mean? It just means that if you are logged in, no other people can log in your Netflix account and watch if you are on the php370 per month plan. If you are on the Php 550 per month plan, 4 people can log in and watch simultaneously.

2) The faster the internet, the better.
With any apps or internet based application requiring a lot of data (like videos), the faster the internet is always the better. Even in simple browsing, the faster the internet is still better. With Netflix, you can subscribe to their service plans depending on your needs, right? If you want to enjoy HD and Ultra HD, you need a fast internet, otherwise, it will buffer a lot. based on my experience, I never had a problem with buffering using my long-time internet service provider, Smart. Yes, I also watch even on mobile. Check out my speedtest result below.

*Speedtest using Smart LTE. Quezon City area.

3) Do not expect ALL Netflix US shows to be available in Netflix Philippines
This is the sad truth but I do believe that it is better than being not available at all. Maybe one at a time, perhaps? According to available data, 93% of US Netflix shows are not available here in the Philippines. To make sure that the show you want to watch is available, head on over to www.Netflix.com/Ph and try out their 30-day free trial. This way, you'll know if the Netflix shows you want to watch is available here.

4) Like iFlix, it has continuity
For me, this is the best feature these internet video on-demand services has. I'm not sure if this feature is available in all video on-demand service providers but I can speak for iFlix and Netflix as I've tried and is subscribed to them. If you are watching on your computer and you need to go out, you continue to watch even in the car by watching using your smartphone. If you have those media boxes that are running on Android, you can simply install Netflix and continue to watch the videos where you left. Other than that, you can "favorite" shows where later on, you can see a list of shows you are interested to watch in a single place.

5) No credit card? No problem! Pay with mobile!
Currently, only two payment options are available for Netflix Philippines. What if, you want to subscribe but you don't have a Paypal account or a credit card? Well, it's good to know that some of you have a third option. Are you a Smart prepaid or postpaid subscriber? Do you know that you can pay for your subscription using your prepaid load or charge it to your postpaid account?

Here's how:
1) Text "reg" to 4949 using your Smart prepaid or postpaid.
2) You'll receive a credit card number you can use for paying for your subscription. You'll get a message like this:
"You've successfully registered to Smart Pay-With-Mobile for purchases on iTunes & the App Store.  etc.etc...."
3) Attach that credit card to your iTunes account. Instructions are sent with the SMS message.
4) Download Netflix using your device (In my case, my iPhone). Subscribe with Netflix using via iTunes.
*As service fee, take note that 15% will be added on top of the actual purchase value.

Since I already subscribed and got my free trial before, I'm not allowed to claim another free month. BUT, I can pay with mobile via iTunes!

Netflix is such an awesome service. Same with iFlix, it provides thousands of hours of entertainment wherever you are! No more need to just be stuck at home with your TV or be limited to just watching in one device. You can watch using your tablet, smartphone, Android box, media player and more! And with genres suitable for ages 0 to 99, even grandma can enjoy watching the TV while the kids watch their cartoons on their tablets! No more need for VPN to access Netflix! Netflix, welcome to the Philippines!

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