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How Does Netflix Work?

Updated on July 16, 2011

Now is the Time for Netflix!

The days of driving to the movie rental store and pacing the aisles for the perfect Friday night film are over. Now, with services like Netflix, the movies come to you.

It's very cool.

Netflix is the latest and greatest way to watch movies at home on your TV, PC, MAC and portable devices and is taking the country by storm. I hardly know anyone without a Netflix account at this point.

By becoming a Netflix customer, you will have the choice of either streaming movies over the internet via your computer or gaming system (XBOX, PS3, Wii) or having DVDs sent to you directly in the mail ... or both.

You choose how you want to watch movies and then Netflix does the rest.

To join Netflix, visit

Once you have filled out the necessary account information and chosen the rental plan that works for you, you will start being able to rent and view movies from Netflix.

Netflix is a Must for Movie Lovers
Netflix is a Must for Movie Lovers | Source

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DVDs on Netflix

If you have chosen a rental package from Netflix that includes receiving DVDs by mail, you will want to update your queue with new releases and some of your old favorite films.

Your Netflix queue is located in the top left of your account homepage. It is where all the movies you have requested from Netflix are stored and prioritized.

To add a movie to your Netflix queue, simply type the name of the film into the search field on the right side of your screen.

Once the correct film appears, click "Add" and the movie will appear in your que.

If you don't know the title of the film you are looking for or if you have no particular movie in mind, you can scan through the different genres available at Netflix or pick a movie that Netflix has specifically recommended for you based on previous titles you have rented or prior preferences.

In some ways Netflix is the movie version of Tivo.

Once you have added a movie to your queue, you can rearrange its priority on your list. By putting the movie at the top of your queue, it guarantees you that once the film becomes available it will be the next movie you receive from Netflix.

Otherwise you can leave the movie at the bottom of the list and wait till you have seen the rest of the movies in your que.

Your Netflix DVD Has Arrived!

When you receive a Netflix DVD by mail, you can take as much time as you like to watch it. There are no late fees.

After you have watched the DVD, place it back into the envelope it arrived in and place the envelope back into your mailbox.

Once Netflix receives the DVD, they will access your queue and send you the top DVD on your list, assuming it is available.

Generally it takes two-three days after returning a DVD to Netflix to receive your next movie.

Renting DVDs on Netflix
Renting DVDs on Netflix | Source

Streaming Movies on Netflix

Streaming is the latest technology in watching movies from home. By streaming movies on Netflix you are able to access a wide variety of films with the click of a button and watch them then and there from your PC, MAC or TV via your gaming system.

Currently both Netflix plans include streaming films.

To stream movies from Netflix to your PC or MAC, all you need to do is go to and search the movie you want to watch. If the "Play" button appears under the film title, it means you are able to stream the movie and enjoy it right away.

Streaming movies on your PC or MAC doesn't require accessing your queue or adding the film to the list.

To stream movies from a gaming system, you will need to access your XBOX 360, PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii dashboard. Somewhere on the dashboard there should be link to Netflix as all three systems currently provide the service.

The first time you enter this link a code will appear on your TV. Once you have the code, go to the Netflix website and click the "Instantly to your TV" tab at the top of your screen.

Then choose the streaming device you want to sync your Netflix account to. Once you have chosen the device, you will enter the code from your TV. After a few moments, your Netflix account and gaming system or portable device will be synced to your Netflix account.

Once the synchronization is complete you will be able to access the entire catalog of Netflix movies on your TV.

Netflix is in the process of adding even more films able to be streamed in the upcoming year.

Streaming movies is great for watching entire TV series on DVD without having to rent each individual disc. It is also a great way to expand your horizons as you may be more willing to try a new movie with it being available to stream.

Join Netflix Today!

If you haven't joined Netflix yet, I honestly don't know what you are waiting for. The fee is added to your credit card bill every month and almost unnoticeable compared to constantly getting out your wallet for the video store cashier.

Netflix has every movie you can imagine and their catalog gets bigger every week.

With the addition of streaming movies and TV shows online to its service, Netflix has supplanted itself into the world of home entertainment for the next decade and maybe beyond.


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    • profile image

      Michelle1974 6 years ago

      I stream movies with my Roku and I get 1 movie at a time from Netflix. It is going up in Jan about a dollar. But I don't mind. I love Netflix!! And all the video stores in my area have all shut down! So I had no choice but to either sign up with Netflix or another source. I couldn't figure out why they was all shutting down. My family was thinking maybe Redbox. But imagine a dollar for 1 night. I cant fit a movie in sometimes in 1 night. So then you are charged a dollar a day. And Redbox has in the past charged my card way to much. Like $28.00 once. So Im sticking with my Roku and Netflix. Im glad my friend told me about the Roku. :) Happy New Year!!!!

    • bogerk profile image

      bogerk 6 years ago from Midwest

      Hi Tammy L -

      We still have the plan that offers both streaming and DVDs. But if Netflix increases their online catalog I could see us dropping the DVDs for sure.

    • Tammy L profile image

      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      We have the new "watch instantly" only plan which does not ship DVDs at all. We stream our Netflix from a blu-ray player. Netflix changes their titles available for streaming periodically. We usually watch older television programs and some movies.

    • bogerk profile image

      bogerk 6 years ago from Midwest

      Hi Michelle1974 -

      I use my Netflix account mainly for streaming movies online with a Xbox 360. It's a great way to watch movies at home.

      Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Michelle1974 6 years ago

      I have Netflix and I love it!!! Its not expensive and easy to use. I use mine on the Roku. I love mine. I a huge movie buff. Great hub!!!