Netflix's streaming video service has been around since 2007 and can be watched on several types of electronic devices, including an iMac computer. Since its beginning in the late 1990s, Netflix has established itself as a by-mail DVD rental company. Since the introduction of its streaming video service, however, the company has redirected its efforts to offering on-demand movies, documentaries and TV shows through an Internet connection.
To access Netflix’s streaming video service on an iMac, or any other computer, you must first subscribe to Netflix. As of the date of publication, Netflix only offers one streaming video plan that comes with the option of receiving DVDs in the mail for an additional cost. Once subscribed, you can watch Netflix streaming video content on a variety of media besides an iMac, including mobile devices and gaming consoles.
Setting It Up
Netflix’s streaming video service is accessed on an iMac through an Internet connection, wired or wireless. Netflix’s streaming video content can only be viewed using the Netflix Movie Player software, which can be downloaded and installed directly on an iMac. Once the software is installed, you can browse and select movies directly from your Netflix account on the company’s website. The Netflix Movie Player, like most computer-based video players, is operated using several onscreen controls, such as rewind, fast forward, skip and pause. Computers aren't the only way to watch Netflix content.
Besides an iMac, or other computers, Netflix’s streaming video can also be accessed and viewed on the three major gaming consoles: Nintendo’s Wii, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3. Wii access is gained through the “Wii Shop,” where onscreen instructions are provided about how to access your Netflix account. PS3 users gain Netflix access through the console’s “PlayStation Network,” located on the console’s main screen. Xbox 360 users must have an Xbox LIVE Gold membership to access the streaming video service and then must clock on “Netflix” from the Video Marketplace.
TVs, Players and Mobile Devices
An iMac and gaming consoles aren’t the only to watch Netflix’s streaming videos; you can also watch them on several brands of TVs and various streaming video players. Some Blu-ray disc players are also compatible with Netflix, as are several Internet-ready TVs, produced by a variety of electronics companies, including Sanyo, Samsung and Panasonic. Mobile devices compatible with Netflix include the Windows Phone 7, the iPad, the iPod Touch and the iPhone. Specially designed applications are available from iTunes and the Windows Marketplace and must first be downloaded and installed for the Netflix streaming-video service to work properly.