Netflix for iPad

Highlights: Pros – browsing and to find new movies are easy. Videos look and play great.

Cons – Collection of movies is limited.  Cannot rate movies.  Few Bugs Present.

Bottom Line – Netflix for iPad provides movies and TV shows with a Wi-Fi connection, anywhere.

While on bed or couch, Netflix for iPad shows streaming movies in a big-screen iPad for hours of video.  An online movie service, Netflix is  capable of working on several platforms like Macs, PCs, Playstation 3, TiVo, Xbox 360 and wii.  Subscribe $8.99 per month to get access to Netflix library of streaming films and TV shows and you can watch the provider’s entire lot.

Interface, Video Quality, and Library

Instead of a true iPad app Netflix for iPad interfaces and feels like a spinoff the Netflix Web site.  Like any other site, you have to start with inputs of your user name and password to load up the app for the first time.  The interface of the app’s look like the site exactly, once logged in, instantly tap Watch, Browse DVDs, Queue tabs to select or browse movies to watch.  Though it is not all that elegant, it just works all right.  Seventeen thousand movies and TV shows are offered by Netflix’s Watch Instantly feature with a decent selection though not the whole lot of Netflix library.

A navigation bar is above the screen that lets you skip to any point in the film and the videos play easily and they look good also.  Wi-Fi signals are displayed in the iPad status bar along with time and the battery life that does not go away while watching the movie.  In a way it hurts as it is not the theatrical way of watching a movie.  If the hide option is provided it would have been better which could be expected in future releases.

While watching a video, if you tap the screen a control panel appears which has four icons that let you go 30 seconds back, play/pause, skip to the end and minimize the video.  The minimizing button seems to be buggy as it leaves the video sound playing in the background without getting back to the playing video.

During a playback, if you pause the movies and select Don in the left-top corner, the movie resumes from the point where it stopped later on any watch Instantly devices like TiVo or PC.  With strong Wi-Fi connection, the videos are quite good to watch.  A fast connection is absolutely essential for a good Netflix experience.  With a five mbps connection or better if you watch video the quality should be good enough but going lower than that speed will certainly start the playback hiccups and inferior video quality.

Bugs and Conclusions

Watching movies with Netflix may be okay except for those buggy Minimize button and the inability to rating of the movies, which is an important feature in Netflix.  Movies could be seen in a larger screen with the iPad’s VGA adapter when Netflix works with the above.  Your iPad is turned into a great mobile video player with a fast internet connection.  For a first version of the app Netflix is all right though there are few issues.

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