Until sometime within the last year or so, Netflix wasn’t available in the Philippines. Even when it became available, I didn’t feel like subscribing.
You see, I get to see most broadcast TV series within days of them being broadcast in the United States. I get to see the movies I want to see at one of two theaters, each with multiple screens.
One theater is at SM City Olongapo and the other is at the Harbor Point mall at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Both cost way less than the price of going to a movie theater in the United States. That includes snacks and drinks. 1000 pesos (about $25 USD) goes a long way, for more than two people.
Netflix Philippines will never have as many movies or TV series as in the United States. It has something to do with cross-border licensing, rating restrictions and other such nonsense.
One of my many contacts gets around it by using a VPN that causes Netflix to treat his connection like he’s in the United States. He’s effectively paying twice as much as anyone who doesn’t.
I don’t remember how much it costs to subscribe to Netflix in the United States, but there are three tiers in the Philippines:
I was in Phoenix, Arizona for a few months at the end of 2012. I was staying with my older son, Joseph, and his family.
He had a smart TV and both Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions. Even with all the videos he had available, his family watched mostly family oriented stories. A lot of it was child-specific videos for one child. The second child wasn’t born until 2014.
Whether Joseph was wasting his money or not depends on your perspective. He wasn’t paying for cable TV – just cable Internet, Netflix and Amazon Prime. He probably paid less for all three than cable TV would cost by itself.
Regardless of what he paid back in 2012, I’m paying even less.
Netflix offers the first month for free, billing at the beginning of the second month. Yesterday, I subscribed for the trial run. More than likely, I’ll unsubscribe before I have to pay anything. I chose the cheapest tier, without HD, because I like smooth streaming more.
I have to use Google Chrome to watch Netflix on this laptop. There isn’t a dedicated client for Linux Mint or Ubuntu like there is on Windows. Although I can use the official client on my mobile phone, watching anything longer than a few minutes is painful.
I already had my Windows 10 laptop hooked up to the 42-inch TV in the living room. Since I don’t have a smart TV, it’s connected using an HDMI cable. It works okay, I guess, but I’m not willing to invest in a smart TV. I’d probably have to practically give it away if I decide to leave this place.
My monthly budget is tight enough as it is. What Netflix has to offer, what I’ve seen so far, doesn’t impress me enough to pay for it.