Netflix invades Zim! Should you be excited?

The on-demand entertainment channel launched to much jubilation on social media. We tell you the pros and cons…

The international streaming giant Netflix is now in Zimbabwe, to the elation of several aficionados who have been waiting with bated breath for the shows to hit this side of the world, or those streaming it over masked US Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Now that the service is here, let’s see if it’s worth your time and money.

What you need to know

Netflix is a streaming service offering shows that you can play across devices for a nominal monthly fee.

In addition to several syndicated shows, Netflix has its originals like the critically acclaimed House of Cards and Marvel shows like Jessica Jones and the awesome, but violent Daredevil. Some of these might not be available due to the fact that the rights to the exclusive distribution of these shows may belong to other companies at the moment… i.e. Multichoice.

How much does it cost, both in dollars and bandwidth

The first month is free, so you can try before you buy. If you want to commit, the prices are pretty good, and you can leave anytime you want. Not so good in terms of bandwidth. You will need a really good speed and an unlimited bandwidth to fully appreciate the service.

$7.99 for the regular Plain Jane standard definition service that allows you access to all the shows on one screen. Which is the best for our skimpy, sorry bandwidth.

$9.99 for the high-definition plan, which will be exactly its cost in gigabyte bandwidth, streaming 720p to 1080p content.

Quality-wise, this is amazing but it will make your GBs drop faster than your bank account, after salary day. You get access to content on two screens, so you and your significant other can watch two different shows on two devices at the same time.

For those who want nothing but the best, there’s an Ultra HD plan for $11.99, which let’s you play content suited for your Ultra HD TV. This also allows you to watch content on four screens. The Zim pricing for Netflix is on a par with what’s available for US subscribers. And this includes the free one-month trial.

The Good

Netflix is a seamless experience across all devices. Just log into your Android or iOS device, PC, Mac, Laptop; even your old Xbox 360 or PS3 can be your Netflix machine.

This works on new consoles too. Depending on your plan, you can have up to four people watching simultaneously.

We loved how fast everything streamed, it was almost instant. It works on Chromecast and several other streaming devices too.

The Netflix original programming has now some of the best shows out there; Narcos , Master , Orange is the New Black , The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt , Master of None. More are coming up, like Marvel’s Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and the reboot of the sitcom Full House called Fuller House with the original cast. For kids there’s the loveable Adventures of Puss in Boots and more. Netflix Originals are one of the best excuses to get this service.

Kids have it the best with Netflix. There’s a Kids channel that has some of the most incredible content from Danger Mouse to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles , and yes a healthy serving of kid-friendly anime. There are more mature anime selections available for the adults in the normal mode.

The Bad

Bandwidth in India being the top of the list, Internet providers really have to offer more Netflix-friendly plans. While Netflix may be an exciting proposition, we strongly suggest you take the free plan first.

We noticed the lack of several shows and seasons, not to mention the complete no-show of Netflix’s Emmy nominated Kevin Spacey-starrer House of Cards.

The pull of Netflix is the uncensored programming, not much in terms of the obvious, but in terms of the stories they boldly tell.

Taking a superhero character like Daredevil, and transforming it into a violent masterpiece that follows the origin story of a blind hero. Looking at what happened to Spectre , after our Censor Board is done with Netflix, it’ll be Notflix.

The Vague

There is no original Zimbabwean content as of right now; however, it is a possibility. Going by the success of TVF Pitchers and more, there is a space here where Netflix can grow with original content.

The Others

Netflix comes in to quite a crowded house with HotStar and their ‘On Air with AIB’ show, and Eros Now with their large collection of regional content. Not to mention players like Ogle, Spuul, Hooq and more. There is also the dominant presence of YouTube with its never-ending treasure trove of content.

Conclusion

If you are a big fan of Netflix’s original programming, then it’s the biggest selling point of the service. That and the kids stuff. We urge you to check out the free month and see if the content is fit for you, and test if your bandwidth can take the rigours of streaming.

The good part is you can opt out anytime from the service, if you choose to pay and continue. For us, we got our first taste, and we like it, but we would still like to wait and watch to see if we get the full glory of the Netflix catalogue.
Bandwidth in Zimbabwe being the top of the list, Internet providers really have to offer more Netflix-friendly plans. However, we would recommend ZOL’s Fibroniks Family Entertainment Package for great Netflix viewing in Zimbabwe, but this is only available in some parts of Harare, Bulawayo and Vic Falls.

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