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I had a rather fun experience last week; I was enjoying an absolutely amazing cup of coffee at Acre in Montgomery Village when a gentleman struck up a conversation with me.  He asked what I do and I told him lots of things, among them I write about TV for the PD online.  He asked if I knew anything about a new series called Orange is the New Black.  I answered in the affirmative and shared with him that not only had I seen the program, but it is one of the best series to come along in quite some time.  His next question floored me, “What channel is it on?”  I stared blankly for a moment, and said, “Netflix” to which he replied, “Oh I don’t know anything about that, guess I will have to wait for it to come on TV.”

I live in a world where EVERYONE knows about Netflix; my retired parents use it, my grandmother uses it, all my friends use it, I’m even pretty certain oysters down in Oyster Bay use it!  The thought simply never occurred to me that someone wouldn’t have a Netflix account.  I pondered inviting him to join me for a one-on-one tutorial (I had my notebook computer after all), but that simply didn’t seem grand enough; so I jotted down how to find this blog and told him to check back on Tuesday when I write about technology and I’d do a brief tutorial for him and anyone else that doesn’t use the service:

Netflix is a popular DVD-by-mail rental service and a streaming content powerhouse, it is a great place to watch movies and TV series.  Netflix offers new releases, classics, and even some excellent original content.

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Access the service by visiting Netflix.com – Here you can sign up for an account; a month-long free trial (streaming only, there are different options) is offered but you will need to provide a credit card, after that streaming is $7.99 per month.

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Once you have signed up for an account you can go directly to the sign in screen and enter your credentials.

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If more than one family member is using your account, profiles are easily set up in preferences, this avoids commingling grandma’s Downton Abbey with Junior’s Spongebob Squarepants.  Once the profiles have been set up select yours to continue.

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Upon entering your personal profile you may search for shows, browse your queue or click on something you wish to watch.

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If you are selecting a TV series as in this case, you will then have the opportunity to choose your season and episode.

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Your video will then buffer and begin to play.

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It’s as simple as that!  The great thing about streaming services like Netflix is, unlike traditional TV that has an ebb and flow to programming, one can always find something worth watching.

In addition to accessing Netflix through your web browser there are a number of devices that support streaming such as smart televisions, tablets, consoles, DVD and Blu-ray players, and a multitude of other devices, click here to check out the list.

Sometimes I wish I got a kickback from Netflix and other content providers every time I win a new convert, but no such luck!  Regarding my new friend, I like to think that after reading this post he will make a quick trip to buy an Apple TV (I will be reviewing some streaming players in the future), take it back to his place, set it up and get going on adding to his queue.  Maybe a couple days later he will curse my name as the poor guy is glued to his sofa watching the highly addictive Battlestar Galactica series from a few years ago.  Another couch potato convert and another person potentially saved from the endless pursuit of physical fitness and well-being (warning, sitting and watching hours of TV and doing nothing else is not good for your health, or so both my doctor and mother say).

- John Morton 

 

 

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