We tried Netflix some years ago. As I recall the deal was fifteen dollars a month and three movies at a time by mail. The movie selection was so-so and the price was a little high so we let our subscription lapse.

Since then we have been critical customers of all three cable and cable-like services in our area. We started with Direct-TV. Then tried Dish Network to get their ‘deal’ on multiple receivers. Even tried Comcast but unsuccessfully because the installer they sent out was a hopelessly incompetent boob. We sent him packing and told Comcast we could not do business with them. Against company policy.

Now we have ATT U-verse which is a combination broadband internet and cable service at a very reasonable price. Yes, U-verse is okay but it has the same programming content we got with Direct TV, Dish Network, and would have had with Comcast. Hundreds of channels but most of them not worth watching. Lots of infomercials and offers of pay per view. My feeling is that they should be paying me for bringing infomercials to my TV and I already pay to view. I don’t see why I should have to pay more to view.

We recently got an offer to upgrade to the next level of U-verse. Free for the first month and twenty dollars additional per month thereafter. The upgrade would add about 100 stations to our present selection. My wife took a look at those 100 additional stations and concluded that none of them were worth paying an additional twenty dollars per month. What we really need is the ability to be able to select the programming by station or channel. There is lots of trash I would like to get rid of an not be billed for and there are several channels I would like to receive that are not included in my standard, one size fits all, package.

About a week ago we took another look at Netflix. It is hard to ignore their commercials, ‘movies instantly on you pc’. Free trial offers. I finally had to investigate.

Turns out that the Netflix deal is better than anything else out there. They really do provide unlimited movies instantly on my pc. Well, it is not really instantly. It takes a couple of minutes to download the first part to start the movie but it is as fast as any pay-per-view rip off I have ever had the misfortune to be abused by.

The instant Netflix feature is just like cable pay-per-view except you only pay once monthly and can view as many movies as you have time for. For about eight dollars a month you get an unlimited viewing capability of thousands of movies. The price, content, selection, and convenience is far better than anything that cable has to offer.

I have alway wanted the ability to pick and choose the channels in my cable package. Netflix takes this one step further by allowing me to pick and choose an unlimited amount of programming content. It is like having real time access to the HBO movie archives. Well worth the eight dollar a month charge.

You need a fast broadband internet connection and at least a pentium III computer running XP and Microsoft software, but these requirements are not unreasonable.

If you get tired of sitting in front of the computer monitor to watch the movies, you can route the signal to a TV by using a video card that has a TV/out feature.

The Netflix instant movie feature is going to make movie rental stores obsolete. It is also going to take a huge bite out of those pay-per-view ripoffs cable services are famous for.

Consider this: Say you are retired with nothing better to do than watch movies eight hours a day. Each movie runs about two hours so we are talking about viewing at least four movies a day. Lets say we do this every day for a month before getting tired of this. That is four times thirty or 120 movies over the one month period. If we were to go the pay-per-view route it would cost us about three dollars per movie or a total of $360 to watch 120 movies over a one month period. You can do the same through Netflix for a single payment of eight dollars for the month.

So, instead of wasting twenty bucks a month on 100 extra channels devoid of content, we decided to spend eight dollars a month for instant, unlimited pay-per view and access to more movies than we could ever expect to get on HBO, STARZ, and CINEMAX combined.

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