Netflix review: is it still the king of video streaming?

Easy to set up and available on a vast range of different devices

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  • Growing library
  • Fantastic exclusives
  • 30 day free trial


  • Could have more content

Netflix is without doubt the best video streaming service on the planet.

There are others out there - Amazon's Prime Instant Video and Sky's Now TV being the closest paid-for competitors in the UK. But Netflix stands head and shoulders above the rest in practically every area.

It's got the best library of content, it's super easy to set up and use, it's available on a vast range of different devices from computers to mobile phones to smart TVs and Blu-ray players and it offers truly excellent value for money - what's not to like?

How it works

Netflix is simple - you pay your monthly fee in exchange for unlimited access to a huge library of video content. That library includes movies of all genres as well as TV series', documentaries and a truly vast selection just for the kids - we'll come back to that.

There are three price plans available to choose from - basic, standard and premium. For £5.99 per month, basic allows you unlimited access to the Netflix library in standard definition on one device at a time. At £7.49 the standard plan is probably the most attractive, offering the same unlimited access but on two devices at a time and in HD where available.

Premium costs £8.99 per month, allowing access on up to four devices at a time - idea for families - and will stream HD and Ultra HD, the latter being available on only a limited number of items thus far.

Apps and devices

Once you're up and running you can access your Netflix account from any number of different devices. Netflix has poured a lot of money into its development team, putting together streaming apps not just for computers, phones and tablets but also smart TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, games consoles and streaming gadgets like Roku and Chromecast.

If it's got a screen and an internet connection, there's a good chance it'll have access to Netflix.

Mobile apps are available on Android, iPhone/iPad and Windows Phone and they're all pretty much the same, offering the same design, features and performance.

No matter which devices you log in with, your first task with a new Netflix account is to create a user profile. You can create as many as you like - usually one for every person who will be using the account.

The functions of each person having a different profile are two-fold - firstly, each person is encouraged to rate movies and TV shows so that Netflix can start working out what you like and what you don't like. It can then do a better job of recommending things to you, surfacing content it thinks you'll like.

And secondly, it allows progress to be tracked for each person. So if you get half way through the first episode of Netflix's impressive original show Bloodline, next time you log in it'll allow you to resume from where you left off even if you're on a different device. You can also limit user access so if you want the kids to stay in the kids section, you can do that.


The way Netflix displays its library is constantly evolving but the philosophy is very visual, always. Movies and TV series' are represented by tiles with a 'DVD cover' style image and the name of the title in front. It makes it very easy to browse and pick things out.

You'll probably hear mixed reviews about Netflix's library of content. If you're expecting a Spotify-like experience of having access to practically any movie or TV series you can think of, you may be disappointed.

The fact is that there is no service anywhere in the world that offers such a comprehensive video streaming experience - but Netflix is certainly as good as it gets, and it's getting better all the time.

In the UK, the selection on offer is already excellent.

The library is divided into sections, so you can either search for something specific or browse by digging deeper into each category individually. Each category has sub-categories and different ways for you to display them - the default is for Netflix to display its recommendations for each section first, but you can easily have it display in a different way if you choose, for example you can ask it to list content with the top rated stuff at the top.

You'll find a fantastic mix, with many award winning movies and TV shows on offer. It's a brilliant mix of licensed content that Netflix is paying to have access to with a growing list of 'Netflix Original' TV shows, movies and documentaries which are exclusively available on the service.

And we're not talking crappy low budget stuff. We're talking critically acclaimed big budget, high production value series' like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, the aforementioned Bloodline, plus Marvel shows including Daredevil with more to come.

The Netflix Original badge is also used to highlight content that, while not created by Netflix, has never been shown through local TV broadcasters. In the US, that means there's a lot of BBC drama that's listed as Netflix Original - in the UK it's shows such as the US remakes of The Killing and The Returned.

So no, this isn't a library as comprehensive as a DVD store. But we can say that the main complaint we hear about it isn't that there's not enough choice, but conversely that there's too much choice. "There's so much there I never know what to pick" - not a bad problem to have, really.


One of Netflix's many strengths is its excellent performance on practically any compatible device. Using video streams with adaptive bitrates means that Netflix can detect what your internet bandwidth is and then serve you the best possible video quality without having to resort to buffering.

That means it runs on practically any internet connection, with the whole service remaining responsive.


As mentioned, one of Netflix's best features is its library just for kids. It's a separate section, so you can give the little ones access to it without worrying they'll end up watching Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 when you're not looking.

There's a huge selection available, whether it's Disney movies or TV favourites like Peppa Pig or Fireman Sam. There's no reason to spend loads of cash on DVDs for the kids - Netflix offers more for less.


Netflix isn't perfect but it's the best there is and as you can tell, we're big fans. The library of TV shows and movies is absolutely huge and ranges from summer blockbusters to old classics. Best of all, it offers all this for less than the price of a Spotify or Apple Music subscription and you can't say fairer than that.