A few days ago I signed up for Netflix Philippines!
Yes, that’s right, Netflix is now available in the Philippines! They have a free one month trial and you can cancel any time.
|Price per month||
|Number of devices allowed||
|Max # of screens watching at the same time||
|SD & HD||
SD, HD & Ultra HD
SAME CONTENT EVERYWHERE? NOT QUITE YET
Netflix just launched globally in 130 countries last Jan. 6, 2016. Netflix’s stated goal is globally accessible content, meaning whatever shows are available to US users should also be accessible to users in other countries. The reason I signed up was because I was very excited to think that maybe, just maybe, I could access the same shows as Netflix users in the US.
Unfortunately, at the moment, Netflix is still being hobbled by territorial licensing and is legally restricted from making some shows available to regions and/or countries where another company holds the content license.
I have always figured that I might probably have to go the VPN route if I ever wanted to try Netflix, but it was never really a pressing issue since I can get the content I want via other means. Also, Netflix has started cracking down on users who use VPNs to access restricted content.
Despite the restricted content, compared to iflix or HOOQ, Netflix Philippines has more shows and movies that I would actually want to watch. It has shows like The Blacklist, Pretty Little Liars, Arrow, The Flash, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Mission: Impossible movies until M:I 4, etc… the only problem is that they usually only have previous seasons available. No current seasons, no current episodes. For Netflix Originals, everything is available, so yes, it has the complete set of all the episodes of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Narcos, etc… available. But for some reason, I can’t find House of Cards!
Netflix vs. iflix vs. HOOQ
Compared to iflix or HOOQ, Netflix is more expensive. Netflix does not have a limit on the number of devices you can use with your account, but does limit the number of screens. iflix and HOOQ both have limits on the number of devices.
|Price per month||
P370, P460, P550
|P99 (if Smart customer), P129
*FREE with some promos
*FREE with some promos like GoSurf
|Number of devices allowed||
|Max # logged in at the same time (using same account)||
1, 2, 4 (depends on plan)
|Ability to adjust streaming quality||
YES – Low, Medium, High
|NO – Automatic||
YES – Low, Medium, High
Also, with iflix, I get a 30-day access voucher (FREE) via SMS every time I register to a Big Bytes 299 promo.
To sign up for a Netflix account, you must have a credit card or Paypal. Signing up for an iflix or HOOQ account did not require any payment details.
I find that the Netflix interface is more stable – using the web version, the Android app, or the iOS app, I did not encounter any hiccups or crashes whereas I do experience these with HOOQ and iflix once in a while, but not so much that it becomes a problem. I am also able to adjust the streaming quality to Low, Medium or High in Netflix.
I plan to post a tutorial on how to register for a Netflix Philippines account soon! The How to Register to Netflix Tutorial is here.
With iflix and HOOQ, I can scroll through their entire catalog. When I browse the movies section, for example, I can see their entire catalog. With Netflix, I can’t find where I can do this. What Netflix does is just serve up content suggestions based on what you like. I don’t like this system very much because I would like to be able to see the entire content library if I wanted to. I don’t want to be limited to what Netflix “thinks” I like. All of them have a search box where you can look for specific shows, but I much prefer browsing the content and stumbling upon something interesting.
In terms of content, Netflix is the one I like the most, although it is still missing a lot of shows I hoped was available. The shows and movies are usually more updated than iflix or HOOQ, and there is more to choose from. Netflix does not have local content whereas iflix and HOOQ both have Asian / local content.
During the US TV summer hiatus a few months ago where all the shows I watched took a break, I entertained myself by watching iflix instead (FREE vouchers from Big Bytes). iflix and HOOQ mostly had older TV shows. I started on Stargate: Atlantis, an episode or 2 a night to help me unwind. After the Season 2 final episode, I was all like, what happened? It’s over? I googled and found out that there were actually 5 seasons, but iflix only had the first 2 seasons. I had the same experience watching Doctor Who, with the seasons incomplete, and iflix did not have the special episodes, too. That made me a little annoyed with iflix. Now I have to find some other means to get those seasons I missed.
And speaking of which, Netflix Philippines doesn’t have Doctor Who! What?! No Stargate, either, nor Continuum, nor Highlander (yeah, I wanted to re-watch it in case I missed an episode on TV), no Star Trek: Voyager, no Babylon 5, no Dark Matter, no Downton Abbey, no BBC Sherlock Holmes (Cumberbatch version).
It’s not all bad – iflix had the complete episodes of The Closer, and HOOQ had the complete episodes of Nikita, the only show on HOOQ I was able to finish before my trial expired.
By the way, both iflix and HOOQ can let you download a certain number of shows/episodes that you can watch offline (with limitations).
YOU NEED INTERNET ACCESS TO USE NETFLIX, iflix and HOOQ
Just to make sure that everyone is clear on this – you need to have your own internet access before you can use Netflix, iflix or HOOQ. Netflix, iflix and HOOQ are content providers – you pay them so you can have access to their library of TV shows and movies. You access them by using the internet. This is called streaming. It’s like Youtube, but you have to pay for access, and you only get movies and TV shows instead of user-generated content.
Since iflix is partnered with Smart and HOOQ is partnered with Globe, they also offer promos bundled with some mobile internet (usually 1 GB). However, the best way to maximize your subscription is to have a fast, unlimited internet connection like DSL or Fibr.
Why unlimited? A high quality stream of a 1-hour episode will use up almost 0.5 GB of data! If you are on a data-capped internet plan, you most likely won’t even be able to finish an episode if you also use the internet for other things.
WHO SHOULD SUBSCRIBE TO NETFLIX?
Anyone who has a good internet connection and wants to watch TV shows and movies on demand. Netflix still has the best selection, although they don’t have everything.
This is a good service to get if you want to watch old TV shows that you missed watching in real time when they were airing, or if you want to watch old movies that you missed. They have The Godfather I & II, all 3 Lord of the Rings movies, some Batman, Roman Holiday (Audrey Hepburn), Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, etc… if you want to revisit the classics, Netflix has quite a few.
Right now, I started watching The Originals series (The Vampire Diaries spin-off) to try out Netflix, but only when I have nothing else to watch. It is okay, but not that interesting that I can’t wait to see the next ep.
At the moment, I won’t recommend Netflix Philippines for people who are up to date on their US TV shows because Netflix Philippines only has previous seasons available, mostly (except for some Netflix Originals like Daredevil and Jessica Jones).
WILL I CONTINUE TO SUBSCRIBE TO NETFLIX?
I’m still on the fence, but probably won’t continue any time soon. I’ll probably cancel before my trial period expires. Why?
- it doesn’t have the latest episodes of the shows I currently follow, and I don’t have time to start watching a new series now that my shows are coming back (Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, The Blacklist, etc…)
- the price is more expensive than what I currently get for iflix (FREE)
However, I think I will probably subscribe to Netflix when TV summer hiatus time comes around again in a few months, just for those few months when there is nothing I like on TV. It’s a toss up between iflix or Netflix – it depends – if they have improved their content offerings and I see plenty of shows I want to start watching, then yes, I’ll pay for Netflix. Otherwise, no.
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The Barat Queen
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