Netflix is an online movie rental service, offering thousands of movies and TV shows on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming video. To access the library of movies available on Netflix, you have to register and pay a monthly fee. However, your Netflix membership will not allow you to download a movie and watch it later.
Netflix does not offer video-on-demand downloads, because the site exists as a rental service. It is intended to provide continuous entertainment instead of the permanent ownership provided by paying for a digital download. However, Netflix does offer many options for watching its video content.
Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” service provides streaming video of movies and TV shows. Even though these video streams cannot be downloaded, they can be accessed on many different devices. These devices include any computer running the Microsoft Silverlight plugin, Apple’s line of portable devices — iPod touch, iPad and iPhone — as well as Windows Phone 7 smartphones, Blu-ray players, game consoles, HDTVs and digital video players like the Roku Player and Apple TV.
DVD and Blu-ray Rental
Another way to use Netflix to enjoy movies at a later time is to rent DVDs through its mail-order rental service. DVDs can be kept as long as you want with no late fees charged. You can also rent Blu-ray movies by activating “Blu-ray Access” from the “Your Account and Help” link at the top of the Netflix website (netflix.com). As of the time of this publication, to rent Blu-rays will incur an additional $2 fee to your monthly Netflix bill.
Services for Downloading Movies
If you do not wish to use Netflix’s rental service in lieu of downloading movies, you should consider using a different video-on-demand service. Several different services exist for buying digital downloads of movies and TV shows, including Amazon Instant Watch, Apple’s iTunes Store and YouTube Movies.