Netflix is the world's largest online DVD movie rental service. They offer over two million members access to over 25,000 titles. Their tremendous success is the result of consistently providing the most expansive selection of DVDs within a simple interface for selecting movies, combined with quick, free delivery and return delivery.
How many times have you been reading a review or watching a commercial and you think, “Ooh, I’d really like to see that movie,” but then you get to the movie rental store and you think, “Now what the hell movie was I thinking of? Oh well, I guess I’ll just get Jaws again. And again and again.” Ok, so maybe Jaws isn’t your cup of tea. Bad example. But the idea is the same. When it’s time to choose the movie that best suits the moment, you can never remember what it was. Netflix has the answer. It’s in the queue. Anytime you think of a movie that you would like to watch, simply open your queue on Netflix.com and enter it in. The site automatically sends the next movie on your queue as you return the movies you already have checked out. Watch your movie, send it back, get the next movie on your list one day later (ish).
Here’s how it works: You, the customer, join Netflix and become a member. You now select your queue. Fill your list with movies and television categories that are organized in many different ways for easy access. You can browse DVDs by genre (action and adventure, Anime and Animation, Netflix Blu-ray, Children and Family, Classics, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Faith and Spirituality, Foreign, Gay and Lesbian, Horror, Independent, Music and Musicals, Romance, Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Special Interest, Sports and Fitness, Television, and Thrillers) Or you can see what’s popular by viewing Netflix Top 100 which tracks the 100 most popular titles. You can also search by Critics’ Choices or by Award Winners. You can even sign up some friends to your account so you can suggest titles for one another. So now you have your queue, filled to the brim with all the titles of movies and television you’ve been wanting to see. You’ve read the Netflix reviews, how you need to preview and select one of the Netflix Plans.
There are many different types of plans that companies can employ. Netflix’s most frequently used plans are Unlimited. The Unlimited Plan means that for a flat monthly fee, the customer can have a certain number of movies out a time. The more DVDs out a time, the higher the flat monthly fee and the plans range from one movie out a time to eight movies out at a time. But no matter how many discs you have out at a time, the benefits are the same. You can exchange DVDs as often as you want, you can watch instantly as often as you want on your PC, Mac, or TV (which means that there are certain movies which are available to watch instantly…just click to download and watch…those movies are available on an unlimited basis) All of the premium unlimited plans include Starz Play Service. Blu-ray service is available at an additional cost. There is also a Netflix Limited Plan which allows the customer to instantly watch moves up to 2 hours a month on their PC or Mac, but a Netflix ready device cannot be used with this plan, Starz Play and live Starz Play TV channel are not available and again, Blu-ray access can be added at an additional cost to the customer.
OK, now you’ve selected your plan. You have your queue all set up. You are ready to receive your movies and get your watching on. How do the movies get to you? They come to the customer in one of two ways. The movies can be individually mailed to you via the United States Postal Service from many regional warehouses located all throughout the country. Right now, there are more than 100 shipping locations around the United States. The customer keeps the disc for as long as he or she would enjoy and when he or she is done with it, he or she simply returns the disc in a prepaid specially made envelope (which is actually made from the same envelop that the disc arrived in) and use the United States Postal Service to return the disc back to Netflix. Upon receipt of that disc, the next disc on the customer’s queue is sent (based, of course, on availability). The other way to view movies is the “Watch Instantly” feature which is available only to eligible subscribers. This feature allows the customer, as is included in his or her membership fee, to stream videos at lower or higher qualities than that available on DVD. With a simple click of a button, the customer can instantly watch the movie. On the website, the movies that are available for watching instantly are marked with an icon that indicates them as such a movie. Initially, Netflix allowed one hour of instantly watchable media for every dollar of their membership fee. Netflix lifted that particular restriction, though, now allowing any member access to certain movies via the watch instantly function. If the customer has Netflix Roku device, they are in for a real treat. In addition to their membership plan of however many DVDs a month, which will continue to arrive at his or her door, the customer will also have access to immediate movie watching via the Roku device. With over 12,000 choices of movies or TV episodes, the customer can watch on their own TV anything in as little as 30 seconds. A high-speed Internet connection is a pre-requisite as well as any Netflix ready device (which the Roku is). Any movie that is marked as “watch instantly” in the customer’s queue can then be downloaded directly to the device for instant viewing. Setting up the device is easier than the customer may or may not fear. Simply connect the device to the Internet via an Ethernet cable pr WiFi (if available). Then it is connected to the television. The customer then adds movies to his or her instant queue (which is a smaller and separate library under the Watch Instantly tab) once the movies and television episodes are added to the Instant Queue, the customer is ready to watch. Simply select movies on his or her televise and watch instantly. There are no ads or trailers, and the customer can pause, rewind or fast forward just like a regular DVD.
Netflix coupons are always readily available and for more information, the website Hacking Netflix offers a ton of insider information and tips and help.
10/26/11: Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up indoors and put on a movie. Not only will you be safe from all the freezing chaos outside, but you'll get to sit comfortably under a blanket, drink hot chocolate and live vicariously through the characters. Here are some of the best winter movies you should add to your list. A Blockbuster promotion code can get you 50 percent off your first month!
1. The Polar Express. This movie, which is based on the classic book, features a young boy on Christmas Eve who ventures out on a magical train ride to the North Pole. He has an enchanting adventure and even meets Santa Claus, coming home to find a special surprise. It's the perfect movie to watch with the kids, especially once it gets closer to Christmas!
2. Little Women. This literary classic was made into a great film with plenty of A-listers like Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon and Kirsten Dunst. It's the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit by watching a close-knit family embody the generosity of the holiday.
3. Out Cold. If you feel like having a laugh, this movie is sure to tickle your fancy. It follows a group of prankster snowboarders who are trying to take back their beloved mountain. It's full of great characters, played by the likes of Zach Galifianakis and Jason London.
4. Fargo. Set in Minnesota in the freezing cold depths of winter, this film is totally original and super cold all around. Just make sure you have plenty of warm clothing and blankets on hand, as the ice, snow and crime will leave you chilly!
5. Groundhog Day. One of Bill Murray's classics, this feel-good comedy is sure to give you plenty of laughs. The romance between Murray's character and Andie MacDowell's character will warm your heart.
6. Gremlins. This film will remind you not to give your kids live gifts on Christmas - as you never know when it could all turn bad! Just be sure not to feed your pets after midnight, otherwise you could wake up to a surprise!
7. March of the Penguins. This heartbreaking and cute insight into the frozen world of the Antarctic's penguins will make you grateful that you're indoors and don't have to make long treks to get meals.
8. Tokyo Godfathers. In this animated film, three humbug homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo go on a journey to return an orphan to her parents on Christmas Eve. The movie has subtitles, so it might not be great for small children - but teens will love it!
9. Encounters at the End of the World. This documentary is about daily life down at the McMurdo Base in Antarctica. It's full of profound observations of an isolated culture that will move you and make you happy that you're not down at the South Pole.
10. Never Cry Wolf. This movie is based on a book by Farley Mowat, a famous naturalist. It follows a scientist who is sent to study wolves in the Arctic who were being blamed for reduced numbers of caribou. It's got plenty of frigid scenes that will make your teeth chatter.
11. The Lion in Winter. This Middle Age drama features a dysfunctional family that has a meltdown on Christmas Eve. It's full of exciting sword fights and memorable characters, played by actors like Anthony Hopkins and Katharine Hepburn.
12. Orca. This film is set on the northern coasts of Canada, so you know there is plenty of freezing scenery to look at! The characters actually get into the water despite the fact that there's a killer whale that's bent on getting revenge. Brrr!
13. Ghostbusters 2. Set in New York City around Christmas time, this movie is filled with gorgeously romantic scenes...except for all those ghosts! The film has plenty of laughs and will keep you and your kids entertained for an evening in.
14. The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The wintery land of Narnia will captivate your family's imaginations as you follow the characters in their quest to end the White Witch's 100-year winter!
15. Trapped in Paradise. This comedy features three criminal-minded brothers who change their ways at the hands of their town's citizens on Christmas Eve. It's perfect for older children and teens.
16. Ice Age. This animated family film is sure to have your youngsters laughing and imagining what it would be like to live in the Ice Age. The fun characters will keep them entertained and they'll want to watch the rest of the series!
17. The Holiday. This romantic comedy with Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz will warm your heart this winter and leave you wanting to spend the holidays on a European vacation!
18. The Muppet Christmas Carol. This film is a must-see for children who are familiar with the Muppets. It follows the classic storyline and is full of funny moments that will entertain your family and leave you all with the Christmas spirit.
19. The Santa Clause. Tim Allen's hilarious portrayal of Santa Claus will make the whole family laugh this holiday season and leave your kids wondering if their dad could ever become Santa!
20. Bad Santa. If you're more into black comedy, you may want to watch this film feautring Billy Bob Thornton, in which he develops a plan to pose as Santa Claus to rob stores on Christmas Eve.
21. The Preacher's Wife. This feel-good movie takes place at the height of the season and features a Reverend who gets a little help from God as he learns to practice what he preaches.
22. Die Hard. It's not exactly a traditional holiday film, but you'll enjoy watching all the action as Bruce Willis' character tries to take down a bunch of terrorists on Christmas Eve!
23. Edward Scissorhands. This creepy, wintery fairy tale features Johnny Depp, who you and your kids can both appreciate. Just don't let him put any ice-carving ideas into your children's heads!
24. The Nightmare Before Christmas. This is a classic Tim Burton film which is perfect for that time right in between Halloween and Christmas. Jack Skellington's plan to take over Christmas is creepy yet kind of sweet at the same time!
25. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Chevy Chase fans will love this holiday comedy which pokes a bit of fun at family traditions on Christmas. Your family will be laughing out loud throughout!
26. Home Alone. There's no movie as iconic as this winter classic. It's filled with plenty of action, laughs and even feel-good Christmas spirit. It's a must-see for your kids.
27. Elf. Will Ferrell is hilarious in this holiday classic that will crack you up for its entire duration. It's perfect for everyone in the family to enjoy - just don't let your kids get any ideas from Buddy's eating habits!
28. Scrooged. Another Bill Murray classic, this film is a contemporary take on the classic Christmas Carol tale. It's an offbeat, fun movie for the whole family to enjoy.
29. A Christmas Story. This nostalgic film about Christmas in America will bring back memories of your childhood and give your family plenty of jokes to laugh about.
30. It's a Wonderful Life. This black and white classic is filled with financial troubles and almost-suicide, but nevertheless it manages to be a great holiday movie that ends on a good note and will fill you up with the Christmas spirit.
31. Miracle on 34th Street. This touching classic features a Macy's Santa Claus who thinks he's the real thing. While not many people believe him at first, it soon becomes evident that there's something special about him. It'll turn your kids into believers!
32. A Charlie Brown Christmas. This short film is perfect for the holidays and great for kids. The soundtrack is a classic in itself, so don't be surprised if you catch yourself humming it!
33. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. This classic Steven Spielberg film is perfect for kids who haven't yet experienced the heartwarming friendship it exemplifies.
34. Happy Feet. This cute animated film is great for kids who love to dance and sing. They'll be enchanted by the fun characters and don't be surprised if they want to head over to the zoo or aquarium to see some penguins afterward!
35. Frosty the Snowman. This is a classic movie that your kids will love to watch, as it will spark their imaginations and give them something to do once it snows outside! Make sure you have plenty of snowman materials on hand so they can be creative!
No matter which movies you choose to watch this winter, you can get great deals on rentals with a Netflix promotion code or even go out and see a few new films with a Movietickets.com promotion code!
07/20/11: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans spend 6 to 12 percent of their income just on utilities like water, energy and cable/internet. In 2009, the U.S. Census reported the real median household income to be at $49,777 - 12 percent of that is $5,973! Imagine what you can do with some extra cash if only you were able to curb your utility spending - maybe a vacation to a tropical getaway or a state-of-the-art entertainment system!
Changing how you consume water and energy is actually not as hard as one might think, and if you're ready to change your ways, Kiplinger listed some easy things you can do to cut your expenses by hundreds of dollars.
The first thing you can do to reduce the cost of your electricity bill is by switching to fluorescent bulbs. According to the news source, you can save up to $60 per light with these fixtures. Unfortunately, people are turned off by their more expensive price tags, but paying for these are actually worth it since they last ten times longer than regular incandescent bulbs.
Another way to save on some cash is by unplugging unused electronics. "Of the total energy used to run home electronics, 40 percent is consumed when the appliances are turned off," the website explains. So if you're not using your phone charger or if you rarely turn on those lamps in the guest room, unplug them! You can also buy a smart power strip online that will do the work for you. Just look for an Amazon Promotion Code to save on your purchase.
If you have a furnace or a central AC system installed in your home, consider lowering the temperature during the cold season. According to the Alliance to Save Energy, every one degree decrease on your thermostat can reduce your energy bill by five percent. Make sure that you invest in a good thermostat or supplemental monitoring system that will allow you to adjust the temperatures automatically, especially when you take a vacation or business trip.
Besides lowering the temperature, it's also necessary for you to ensure that your home is properly insulated, and that any holes or cracks are covered to prevent drafts. The easiest way to do this is to use weatherstrips around your doors and windows to prevent outdoor air from seeping in and help retain comfortable temperatures within your home.
When it comes to water usage, there are also a number of things you can do to cut your next bill, starting with your fixtures.
Kiplinger suggests you go low-flow - replacing your old showerhead with a $10 low-flow alternative can save 25 to 60 percent of water you use. Apparently, older heads waste as many as 5.5 gallons per minute, while a new fixture only uses as low as 1.5 gallons. If you shower for 10 minutes a day for a whole year, you can save 14,600 gallons a year!
Other than the showerhead, you might want to check out other fixtures in the house to ensure that they are all working properly and are not leaking. A faucet that leaks 60 times a minute wastes 2,082 gallons a year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, so don't ignore it! Additionally, you might want to invest in some very inexpensive faucet aerators that cost anywhere from 50 cents to $3. These pieces can be fitted onto the tip of a faucet, and according to Earth Easy, can reduce water consumption by as much as 50 percent. Not only is this good for your wallet, it's also good for the environment!
When it comes to the yard, there are also a variety of ways for you to save water without killing your plants. If you're in the process of putting in new lawn, consider drought-resistant grass, explains Earth Easy. You should also opt for native plants that will require less water as opposed to other species. For the ground to retain moisture longer, think about covering the area around your shrubs and trees with a layer of mulch. Not only will this keep the soil cool and slow down the evaporation process, it will also prevent weeds from growing and is also attractive to look at. You might also want to reassess your water sprinkler schedule and the amount of water that's being used. Earth Easy suggests laying an empty tuna can on the ground to see how long it will take for your sprinkler to fill up the can with water. Additionally, you should also only turn on the sprinkler first thing in the morning or late at night so that the water doesn't evaporate right away in the heat of the sun.
Unlike water or energy, reducing your time in front of the boob tubewon't lower your cable bills! However, there are still ways to save on your next bill. The first thing you can do is to evaluate your current TV package, as well as the provider. Most cable/satellite companies offer tiered services and packages, meaning the more premium channels you have, the more they're going to charge you. Assess your watching habits and see which channels you can live without - do you really need to have the Basket Weaving channel? Additionally, many alternatives to regular programming are popping everywhere with the advent of technology. Online websites like Hulu and streaming sites such as Netflix offer movies and TV shows at fairly reasonable prices. By rethinking your options, you might just be able to save on your next bill.
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