What Is Netflix?

by John Eshan

Netflix is one of the premier streaming video services. It offers a vast selection of original programming and has become the top competitor for cable TV. The service is available in 190 countries and territories. Its original content includes the political drama House of Cards, the cult show Arrested Development, and the dark crime family saga Ozark.

Streaming Video Service

Netflix is an over-the-top video streaming service that offers a large catalog of traditional and original movies and TV shows. Its service is available on most computers, mobile devices and most smart TVs, as well as set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and game consoles. It also streams on 4K resolution, but only if your Internet connection can support it. The company has a strong reputation for its recommendation system, which is based on an algorithm that analyzes your viewing habits and recommends new titles. Its basic ad-supported plan does not include every title in its library, but it promises roughly four to five minutes of ads per hour of content.

It also allows you to download some titles for offline watching, though this feature is limited to certain plans. If you’re worried about data consumption, you can use the Netflix app to monitor your usage and adjust your settings. You can also add up to two extra members who live outside your home for an additional $7.99 a month.

DVD-by-Mail Rental Service

Most of Netflix’s 238 million streaming customers might not know that the company first launched 25 years ago as a DVD mailing service. But it’s finally putting the brakes on the business, with its last five US hubs sending out their final DVDs this Friday. Subscribers will get up to 10 DVDs in their queue as a farewell gift, and they can keep them without returning them. The company will donate a portion of its DVD inventory to organizations focused on film and media, and the rest will be recycled.

The DVD-by-mail business was innovative even in its early days, using automation and embracing machine learning before it became cool. But as the industry shifted to video streaming, it lost its edge. The business was eventually spun off into a separate company, Qwikster, which will close in 2023.

Original Programming

Netflix is the leader in original programming, offering a wide range of series that span almost every genre. From prestige dramas to mind-bending sci-fi, the streaming service offers something for everyone. Netflix started out by offering a library of movies and TV shows, but soon began producing its own shows. The service has a huge advantage over competitors like Amazon Prime, which only offers licensed content.

Some of Netflix’s best original shows include Stranger Things, which owes much to Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and Twin Peaks; GLOW, a sports comedy with terrific performances; and The Crown, a history drama about the British Royal Family. Other popular series include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a Tina Fey sitcom; Narcos, a crime family saga; and Squid Game, a South Korean drama about a bloody survival game. Netflix offers a number of different plans, including a free trial period. You can find the right plan for you by visiting the official website.


Netflix offers a variety of subscription plans that differ by the number of screens and video resolution available. Depending on your plan, you can stream in Standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD). Some titles are also available to download.

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