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back to article Netflix FREEZES prices for existing UK users to stop them quitting vid-streaming service

Netflix is hoping to retain its UK subscriber base by fixing its price tag for existing customers for two years, in a move designed to stop them abandoning the video-streaming service and its relatively small catalogue of films and TV shows. Meanwhile, the company has jacked up its prices to £6.99 for newcomers in Blighty. …

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Silver badge

If binge is your think and they don't have that many shows you want, you could always binge or a month or two, leave and then go back in six months or a year and repeat the process.

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Anonymous Coward

So wtf am I paying Virgin for ?

Sorry, this fragmentation of services is only accelerating piracy.

I have a Virgin TiVo subscription. But can't get any Sky Atlantic shows. Now there's Netflix with *some* content I might want, but am not going to pay an *extra* £5.99 (or whatever) a month.

There's also Amazon Instant (although being a Prime subscriber, I have that for "free").

Considering VM get £50+/month from me, I use their (excellent, it has to be said) broadband to access content I want in other ways. Content I would be willing to pay Virgin an extra £5/month for, if it were bundled.

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What are you playing virgin for?

I'm the opposite, I don't buy any TV services from Virgin, only broadband. Netflix is amazing, for a measly £6 a month there is no end of content available, I haven't even bothered to use DNS / VPN hacks to access USA content. There is no need. The UK services is fine with plenty of content available to watch,.

I have used Amazon Instant but found the whole service terrible. The Amazon player is awful; sometimes it was hit or miss for content availability. Once it decided I wasn't a subscriber right in the middle of a show and just stopped playing.Oh and it wouldn't play on my PC becuase my monitor wasn't compatible!

Oh well, carry on Netflix, I've been a subscriber for over a year, and really happy with the service :)

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Re: What are you playing virgin for?

Second that - 6 quid for an ad free service with tons of content. Compared to Virgin who's cheapest option is closer to £30 and quite frankly at that price I REALLY don't expect to have to watch commercials. And I can only watch Virgin in the living room. They want even more money if I have the temerity to want to watch something in another room.

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Re: What are you playing virgin for?

"Compared to Virgin who's cheapest option is closer to £30 and quite frankly at that price I REALLY don't expect to have to watch commercials."

Actually Virgin's cheapest price appears to be a negative one: (Broadband + landline + cheapest TV package - discount for all three) < (Broadband + landline). Well, based on what they offered me when I upgraded my broadband recently, anyway.

Having said that, as someone upthread pointed out, at the moment Netflix do appear to still be offering the £5.99/month options, so I figured what the hell - just as I did when Amazon offered the £49 (for the first year) prime + instant video earlier this year.

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Pint

Re: What are you playing virgin for?

"Once it decided I wasn't a subscriber right in the middle of a show and just stopped playing"

Good job you had high speed broadband, by the time you made a cuppa(or as per icon) the pirate download would have finished and you could pick up where you left off with your legitimately paid for content.

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Re: What are you playing virgin for?

I have used Amazon Instant but found the whole service terrible. The Amazon player is awful; sometimes it was hit or miss for content availability. Once it decided I wasn't a subscriber right in the middle of a show and just stopped playing.Oh and it wouldn't play on my PC becuase my monitor wasn't compatible!

When it was Lovefilm it was great. Now the new Amazon branded Prime Instant crap is truly awful. The new UI is painful to use. The way stuff for separate purhcase is embedded in with what is included in the subscription is terrible. Trying to get you to accidentally buy stuff I guess.

About the only still usable part is the disks by post for content that is not yet available for streaming.

As for Netflix they've been brilliant and their customer service (that I needed to use once) was faultless.

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Anonymous Coward

Useful link for UK Netflix customers

Full catalogue - http://netflix.maft.co/

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Anonymous Coward

Er........

Well I've just signed up, new customer, and the fee is £5.99 a month.

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Anonymous Coward

According to xe.com

5.99 GBP = 10.09 USD

They pay $7.99 in the US for Netflix, so we're paying more and due to geolocking, we get less than they do.

Tip: Get a VPN to the US

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JDX
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Don't use a VPN, use something decent instead.

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Anonymous Coward

"Good idea...for now.

Hulu blocks VPN users, Netflix and Amazon may join the league"

I've just tested this by loading family guy up on Hulu (from the UK) using Hola on chrome and it works fine. So looks like they are doing a really good job blocking it!

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<<<5.99 GBP = 10.09 USD

They pay $7.99 in the US for Netflix, so we're paying more and due to geolocking, we get less than they do.>>>

Add in the VAT to the US price, and the difference in price is small.

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AOD

RE: VPN usage

Don't bother with a VPN. Yes you can use them for your PC but using one on a console or other media player is decidely non trivial.

Use a DNS based service such as www.unotelly.com instead which means you get to stream at the full speed of your connection and as I understand it, it's less trivial to block than a VPN. Oh, and as it's DNS based, you can use it with any Netflix client where you can set the DNS.

With this I can choose to access the US or UK Netflix catalog (amongst others). I can also access BBC iPlayer when I'm overseas using this as well.

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JDX
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Re: RE: VPN usage

Uno is what we use. Very good - it is supposed to cost £2/month which is worth it IMO but by tweeting about the service every couple of months they keep giving us free service.

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Re: RE: VPN usage

I create a cheap US hosted cloud instance on say Digital Ocean, and then use SSH to create a tunnel to it.

On Linux that's just a case of typing ssh (user)@(instanceip) -D10000 and setting firefox to use localhost:10000 as a socks proxy.

On Windows, you'd probably use Putty, instructions here: http://blog.ashurex.com/2012/03/15/creating-ssh-proxy-tunnel-putty/

The advantage of this is that Netflix can't block you, even using IP blocking, because you are not connecting from a known proxy.

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Refreshingly nice business model

Netflix - Prices for new customers are going up. Loyal customers get to keep it cheaper.

Most other companies - Prices for new customers are heavily discounted. Loyal customers get large price increases.

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Aye, I pay 6 quid, a good amount of content for adults and kids, AND NO BLOODY ADVERTS.

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I find Netflix excellent value for streaming HD video with no adverts, and accessible on a range of devices. It doesn't have a perfect range of content yet, and probably never will thanks to lock ins and exclusives. However, it does have a good range of content as it stands now and it is improving all the time. I'd be happy paying a tenner a month if it came to it!

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re: However, it does have a good range of content as it stands now

That's why I left Netflix. It's cheaper than buying boxsets - until the series you want to watch disappears. They had a big cull of almost all their British comedies at the end of last year. They also get a bit annoying pushing their latest home made product to the top of all your searches.

Their selection has got better. I signed up when it first came here and you would get search results like: "Star Wars isn't available - we recommend, Star Spangled Banner: a history of beauty pageants"

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Got my email today for my subscription here in the US. The only thing I use it for now is movies for my kids on pizza Fridays. Seriously thinking about cancelling it.

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Thumb Up

Ah yes, I had the email today about my account price being fixed. Reminded me that I meant to cancel it a couple of months ago, so when and did it

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Pirate

As a friend of mine put it; "Netflix? That's a bit like the pirate bay but with less choice right?"

Practically a ringing endorsement from today's youth.

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My biggest issue and why I've not signed up for netflix is they won't even let me view the content on offer without signing up to the free trial.

What have they got to hide that they want the trial sign-up before you can see what's on offer? Maybe they'll have things I like, maybe they won't. Until I can freely browse the catalogue without adding myself to their spam machine, like I did before signing to LoveFilm many years ago it's a no-sale here.

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well...

...I succumbed in order to watch the final series of Breaking Bad after crashing the box set 1-5: sad, I know.

Got a month free trial (actually wasn't expecting that, felt faintly guilty). Yes they asked for my c/card details. I cancelled after watching BB6 free; it was extraordinarily easy.

Received a polite email regretting me leaving reminding me (in terms) that I had approximately 20 days left and I should feel free to indulge.

Perfect marketing. Netflix will be my supplier of choice should I ever subscribe to a streaming service

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JDX
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Re: well...

Yeah they are similar to Amazon in that free trial means free trial, not making it as hard as possible to quit so you end up staying subscribed.

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lack of content

I tried Netflix for a while until i realised that about 80% of my searches came back with no content. One of these services really needs to start stocking up on older stuff.

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Re: lack of content

I'm on netflix until tmrw.

Largely because since I started using it my ISP has managed to deliver a download rate of 600kb/sec.

Buffer..Buffer..goodbye.

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JDX
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Re: lack of content

I am actually seeing lots of old stuff like original Dr. Who, Bottom, etc but "old stuff" is a pretty wide category :)

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Who would I want to...

sign up up to multiple streaming services because each one has some of what I want to watch?

You'd think in this day and age of the internet and other new fangled things like credit/debit cards, secure content delivery, micro payments, DRM and other suchlike, it would be possible for a content delivery service to offer pretty much any content on the planet to any customer by now.

Why should a stream service have to negotiate "rights" to stream content? Why can't they just stream anything and everything and then pay the rights holder for each subscriber who watches it? Likewise, why should I pay a fixed, flat rate price per month for a limited selection when I could pay 10-20p per show I watch, some of which pays the streaming provider and some to the rights holder?

Unlike "traditional" broadcasters where the views are the product being sold to the advertisers, streaming services don't have ad breaks so the viewer is the customer. Offering what the customer wants would appear to be the primary way of getting more customers and more revenue.

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Re: Why should a stream service have to negotiate "rights" to stream content?

Because the rights holders will sue to the ground anyone who streams stuff without their prior permission. They do that because they have the mistaken impression of living in a world where they decide what is on offer, thus "managing availability", and where it is on offer.

Unfortunately for rights holders, the Internet means two things : firstly, everything is available everywhere as soon as it is posted, and secondly, whatever is available now will be available forever. If rights holders attempt to limit content availability or accessibility, they are attempting to artificially limit content access and the Internet is bloody good at routing around artificial limitations.

That is why the content majors have not set up their own portals - they do not want to take the brunt of the backlash they will be getting if they set up shop on the Internet like they are used to doing on the street. That, in turn, explains why streaming services are continually short of content to stream - rights holders are handing out limited contracts with the same generosity as Scrooge before that fateful XMas night.

So let's make one thing clear : the only acceptable user experience is where the user logs on to a major's portal, finds the entire catalog available regardless of his worldly location, and clicks on what he wants to watch and starts watching. Anything less than that and piracy will continue because piracy is providing that experience.

So, Hollywood, RIAA, MPAA et al, you set that up for a price we're willing to pay and you will do away with piracy overnight. Guaranteed.

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Same for Canada

Just received the email to tell me that it will be $7.99 Canadian for the next 2 years. $8.99 if you sign up as a new user.

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Last week I dumped my Netflix subscription due to the poor streaming performance I receive using my Comcast connection. Then today, I received a notice saying the price is going up by a couple of dollars but they promise not to raise it again for two years if I don't change anything. I do think that the price increase helps cover the payout Netflix is having to make to cable providers, to accept their data streams. I'm only one voice, but I refuse to take part in this extortion. See ya.

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Adverts? We don't do adverts.

We cut off our cable TV and went streaming only years ago. Except for the annual armored wankball tournament on free digital broadcast, we now only watch Netflix and the occasional Redbox bluray disk at $1.50 for the night. There is plenty of enjoyable content. The savings is a really big deal - we have saved more than enough to put a FullHD big screen in every room if we wanted. Even better though is we almost never have to waste the precious moments of our lives waiting for the stupid adverts to end. Having been dis-acclimated from adverts we now find them an unbearable intrusion.

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