Netflix users have an early Christmas present; the company is FINALLY making it possible to download movies and tv shows.
Has this ever happened to you?: you’re flying and want to watch a movie on your iPad or smartphone, or you’re in the car headed on a trip and want to watch a movie? You haven’t been able to do that with your Netflix account unless you’re on a wi-fi network, or if your device is connected to a cellular network. Even then, all those streaming minutes add up and could put you over the monthly limit.
On Wednesday Netflix flipped the switch on the mobile apps that allow for downloads. You’ll find the option after you update the Netflix app.
Here’s what you need to know:
Not every movie in the Netflix library is available for download, but most of the newer releases and Netflix original programming is included in the feature.
To see which movie can be downloaded, just look at the bottom of the screen. There’s a box titled “download”. Simple right? If you don’t see the button the program is available for download.
You must download the movie or show when you’re on a wifi network. You can use a cellular network but then you’re still using your data. Download before you leave home.
A 2-hour movie took around 5 minutes to download on my home wifi network.
A downloaded movie will take up space on your device. I downloaded “St Vincent” which took around 300mb of space. Not an enormous amount but I suggest you have at least 100 before you try a 30 minute show.
Once you’ve watched the programming you see the option to delete it.
This is a long awaited feature by Amazon customers and one they’ll use many many times.
Also this week, AT&T and Direct TV launched DirectTV Now. This a streaming service to compete with Sling TV from Dish Network. The idea is to offer customers programming at a much lower price than a full DirectTV or other satellite subscription.
DirectTV Now plays content over the internet rather than a satellite dish and set-top box. The price is much lower than other DirectTV packages. The DTV Now service is priced starting at $35 and goes up to $70. Of course the more channels you get, the more you pay.
The ‘Live a Little’ plan is $35 a month for 60+ live channels. 80+ channels is $50/month, the Go Big plan is $60/month (but AT&T is offering the package for $35 for an intro special price. The biggest package is the “Gotta Have It” plan for 120+ live channels for $70/month.
The basic $35 plan is similar to what you’d find with basic cable and then some. It includes popular channels A&E, AMC, Bloomberg, CNN, Discovery, Disney and 2 channels from ESPN.
Sports fans will want to step up 1 or 2 plans for all networks and the SEC Network.
DirectTV Now does not require a contract so you can cancel it at anytime. It also doesn’t require any additional equipment. To watch on a non-smart tv you’ll need a streaming device such as a Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV or Amazon Fire.
By the way, AT&T is giving customers an Amazon Fire stick for those who pay for at least 1 month and an Apple TV for 3 months. That’s cheaper than buying them so that’s a pretty good deal.
The DTV Now service also allows for customers to watch on a computer or mobile device through the new app.
DTV Now offers live tv programming and some video on demand.