This week, Netflix launched its long awaited and much coveted Netflix Canada service. Unfortunately, the content selection cupboard is mostly bare.
The limited offerings (and lack of DVD service) explains the $7.99 Cdn per month price. The minimum monthly fee that Americans pay for their Netflix service is $9.95 US. For that they get a DVD-by-mail service and a substantially broader array of on-demand offerings.
Browsing through their movie and TV offerings, it appears that there are only about 100 older movies available – too many of which are third-rate movies. There are only 18 TV series available at launch, with Heroes seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 constituting four of the 18. Mad Men seasons 1, 2 and 3 but not any of the current Season 4, make up another three of the 18. Several of the available TV series I’ve never heard of (Hoarders, Paranormal State, The Boondocks, Drop Dead Diva?). Aside from Heroes and Mad Men, there are no other past or present broadcast or cable network prime-time hit TV series available at all.
Happily, the service is not chock-a-bloc full of the made-in-Canada TV content that riddle the Canadian versions of the Apple TV & Xbox 360 on-demand services. In fact, there isn’t a single made-in-Canada movie or TV show available through the service.
To access the service in Canada you will need any of a PS3, Wii, PC, Mac, iPhone or iPad. The service will be available through the Xbox 360 “soon.” Surprisingly, Netflix is not offering the service through the popular Roku device in Canada. Nor will it be available through TiVo or the iPod Touch as it is in the U.S.