My Impressions of Netflix on the iPad


After years of operating exclusively in the United States, Netflix has expanded to Canada after a somewhat bumbled launch. It works on Nintendo Wii, PS3, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch if you downoad a free app. Support is built into many newer TVs and the new Apple TV. Of course, you can also use a standard web browser from a computer.

For me, the iPad app is especially convenient. I already use the iPad with my TV for other apps, making this addition icing on the cake. Away from the TV, the iPad’s screen is big enough to take to any bed or couch in the house.

For $8 bucks a month, Canada’s Netflix allows you to stream as much as you want without limits. Video quality is excellent, without any buffering issues on my connection, though your experience may vary. Content selection is a bit weak, but finding a good movie to watch is no trouble at all. If you watch at least 2-3 movies, the service is already paying for itself when compared to movie rental prices. There’s also a selection of TV shows, including many documentaries that don’t air often, all free to browse in a list at your liesure.

I did encounter a couple of small, but annoying iPad compatibility issues. First, Netflix will not rotate to landscape mode when using the TV-out cable, resulting in some strange status bar and keyboard issues when leaving movie mode again later. Having a Wii disc negates the need for using the iPad app with the TV, but full compatibility would be nice.

Second, pressing the iPad’s sleep button stops video playback. Netflix does dim the display to black on its own, but it remains on nonetheless. Other third-party apps such as Air Video keep playing video with the screen completely off after you press the sleep button.

Overall though, it’s working well for me. I expect this to be the future of TV as we know it. [Netflix]


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