If, like me, you felt that the arrival of digital TV channels was like all your Christmases come at once, then you probably grew up in my era. Three main channels, all closing down before midnight, then joined by a fourth….and the rest is history.

Except, these free to view (see what i did there?) are still dependant on an aerial for reception, and, as our friendly local TV guy told us, we have the wrong kind of leaves on the trees that form part of our boundary and for part of the year, Freeview becomes Noview….

Until now that is. Given the chance to test Netflix for TheGayUK, and report back on its content, I nearly bit the hand that feeds me DVD’s and books to review!

Now, I’m no tech nerd, nor am I a net novice but accessing Netflix is so damn easy, and with the onslaught of tablets and smart phones, it’s truly portable too.

But first, a spot of history…

Netflix is American and was established in 1997 to initially provide DVDs by mail much like LoveFilm. It has since grown and moved into streaming TV via the net and as of earlier this year, had around 36 million subscribers – because this is the genius bit, its subscription only. Not only does it stream older series, and not just US ones but Brit ones too, it also commissions its own. It’s responsible for the resurrection of Arrested Development for a final series, it commissions original series like Hemlock Grove and House of Cards. It’s won Emmys stateside for this last series….so it’s not just a simple streaming or rental service.

I know, I know….some of these deals rip you off, but having tried this for around a month, I truly feel that this service doesn’t “diddle” its customer base. But it does depend what you want. For instance, some of the series it streams aren’t the most up to date ones and there are series you’d think it would carry that it doesn’t. But, for me, if you’re bored with the usual X-factors-got-a-Voice-no-talent show or hooked on re-runs, then this service is amazing. If you love old movies or schlock horrors, you’ll love this….

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For instance, the entire back catalogue of Buffy? Really? OMG?! Warehouse 13? Yes please! Gossip Girl? As if…

And there are several films and documentaries that cover gay related issues. I’ll cover details of these at a later date.

For now, I have to say, I’m a fan…

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It was easy to create my account once I had my activation key, and then download the app for both my iPad and iPhone to watch on the move via my mobile wifi… at home, I can watch something downstairs via Apple TV, whilst the boyfriend watches White Collar upstairs (apparently it’s got good story lines and not just the gorgeous Matt Bomer? Who knew?)

So, if you want the latest movies or series, maybe look elsewhere for now, but if you want some old fashioned class with a mix of originality, then give Netflix a go….it has a reasonable monthly charge, free first month….and did I mention Matt Bomer?

About the author: Chris Jones
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