Should You Subscribe to Netflix in India?
Netflix announced that its taking measures to stop subscribers that use proxies in order to stream shows and movies that are only available outside their own country. “In coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are,” David Fullagar, Netflix’s VP of content delivery architecture, wrote in a blog post. “We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.”
The internet streaming giant recently went global at CES 2016, launching its services in a number of new countries including India. However, the launch of Netflix also comes with a few potholes. Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of having Netflix in India, and whether those who have been eagerly awaiting the service should go for it or not.
Netflix is Completely Legal
Online streaming, be it music or videos, is the next big thing. Gone are the days of actually owning physical CDs and a DVD player (Well, almost). And rightly so, when one can now find all the content available online. The only contention is does one take the privacy route or does one go completely legit. The problem was for a long time that privacy allowed people to get the latest of content in entertainment quickly through torrents and other ways that aren’t legal.
Netflix, however, is one of those companies out there that’s trying to fight online piracy. It’s channel and the contents are completely legal and are available though subscription. Yes, you have to pay, but it is worth given the content Netflix is offering.
Censor Board’s Got Nothing on Netflix
Netflix is completely and 100% uncensored. In a country where the censor board is looming around every corner, waiting to censor explicit (even mildly explicit) content. Netflix, however, does not fall under the jurisdiction of the censor board, as of now. And there are some shows and movies out there that just need to be seen the way they were meant to be seen. So for those who just abhor the beeps and cuts when enjoying their favorite movies and shows on television, can watch them uncensored on Netflix.
Netflix Guarantees Top Notch Quality, No Pop Ups
Being a paid service mean subscribers expect some benefits. When it comes to watching videos (and streaming them more importantly), one expects quality and clarity. This is what Netflix promises with its service. The Subscription plans are divided into three – the basic plan which costs Rs. 500 doesn’t provide HD quality, while the Rs. 650 and Rs. 800 plans do. The best choice for customers would be the middle one where HD quality and unlimited streaming are both offered. So, the one thing you can expect, if not anything else, is good streaming quality.
Another piggy back pro that can be included here is the lack of any pop ups or ads. While there are many free streaming sites available online that can give you shows and movies for free, these sites come cluttered with pop ups and possible viruses as well. So Netflix is the way to go for a clear screen with high quality streaming.
This is the main selling point of any online streaming site. The whole idea is that you can watch your favorite content anytime across multiple devices. That’s the one downside to television, isn’t it? Fixed airing times mean that one is bound to miss out on some shows a or movie.
Netflix lets you watch any content (that’s available in its catalogue) anytime, and through laptop, mobile, tablet or even PlayStation and Xbox consoles. You can resume where you left off or binge through an entire season, the choice is yours.
Bandwidth Still a Problem in India
India is still catching up in terms of bandwidth. Speeds are good these days but still has a ways to go before we’re quite there in terms of seamless connectivity. Netflix is a guzzler of bandwidth and you will you require a decent broadband speed (2 mbps and above is good), and a ton of gigabytes in your plan. In effect, your total cost (subscription and broadband) will be above Rs 1000 at least.
Movies will drain a lot of data, be it on broadband or cellular, which means you will have to shell out a lot more for that. 3G connectivity will be needed while streaming and you may experience regular buffering.
Few Takers in the Indian Market
At least initially, Netflix in India is going to find a very niche audience. Many are yet unaccustomed to the online streaming site or the content it has to offer. Moreover, indian streaming sites like Hotstar already enjoys a huge population and these sites also deliver a great variety of Indian content, more so than Netflix. So, audience may prefer sticking to local streaming sites rather than dabble outside.
Lack of a Full Catalogue
Netflix subscribers do not have access to a lot of content due to a number of restrictions that are country specific. Netflix has arrived in India with a number of shows and movies that are still wanting. In order for subscribers in India, for example, to stream a show like House of Cards (which is unavailable on Netflix India), they would have had to bypass their own country and jump on to say the US region using proxy applications to watch the show. This is due to television channels owning exclusive rights to broadcast these shows in India.
The practice of using VPN, proxies and unblocking tools to bypass viewing restrictions has become pretty common these days. Indeed, since the launch of Netflix India, a number of stories have emerged online suggesting applications and tools with which one can do this. Netflix says it is working on bringing a full catalogue of content everywhere, and is working hard to stop proxy access.
While the pros and cons seem evenly matched, there is no denying that Netflix is here to stay. Despite not having a full catalogue, Netflix has some pretty great shows on offer which are definitely binge worthy. The first month is free so there’s no harm in trying it out before you make up your mind, is there? We suggest you start binging on Black Mirror, Narcos, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Orange is the New Black, for starters. Lastly, their original content is brilliant so go ahead, Netflix and chill!