Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service that allows our members to watch TV shows and movies without commercials on an internet-connected device. You can also download TV shows and movies to your iOS, Android, or Windows 10 device and watch without an internet connection.
Just like on your phone, there’s a Netflix app for TVs and other devices including media streamers and video game consoles. The app is free, but of course, you’ll need to install it on the device first. If you’re not using the TV’s built-in smart platform, you’ll want to be sure the TV has an HDMI port.
Netflix subscribers wishing to download a video on their smartphone or tablet need to update the app on their Apple or Android device. Those still require an internet connection to watch on Netflix. The Los Gatos, California, company is promising to continue adding more titles to its offline roster.
All of that considered, we’d say Netflix is definitely worth it for fans of just about any content. With unlimited viewing of dramas, comedies, documentaries, reality shows, and kids’ programming — and plans for every budget — it’s a pretty universally satisfying choice for all.
What is Netflix?
Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription streaming service and production company. Launched on August 29, 1997, it offers a library of films and television series through distribution deals as well as its own productions, known as Netflix Originals.
As of December 31, 2021, Netflix had over 221.8 million subscribers worldwide, including 75.2 million in the United States and Canada, 74.0 million in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, 39.9 million in Latin America, and 32.7 million in Asia-Pacific. It is available worldwide aside from Mainland China (due to local restrictions), Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Crimea (due to US sanctions). Netflix has played a prominent role in independent film distribution and is a member of the Motion Picture Association (MPA).
Netflix can be accessed via the internet browser on computers, or via application software installed on smart TVs, set-top boxes connected to televisions, tablet computers, smartphones, digital media players, Blu-ray Disc players, video game consoles, and virtual reality headsets on the list of Netflix-compatible devices. It is available in 4K resolution. In the United States, the company provides DVD and Blu-ray rentals delivered individually via the United States Postal Service from regional warehouses.
Founded in 1997
Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California. Netflix initially both sold and rented DVDs by mail, but the sales were eliminated within a year to focus on the DVD rental business. In 2007, Netflix introduced streaming media and video on demand.
The company expanded to Canada in 2010, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean. Netflix entered the content-production industry in 2013, debuting its first series House of Cards. In January 2016, it expanded to an additional 130 countries and then operated in 190 countries.
The company is ranked 115th on the Fortune 500 and 219th on the Forbes Global 2000. It is the second-largest entertainment/media company by market capitalization as of February 2022. In 2021, Netflix was ranked as the eighth-most trusted brand globally by Morning Consult. During the 2010s, Netflix was the top-performing stock in the S&P 500 stock market index, with a total return of 3,693%.
Netflix is headquartered in Los Gatos, California, in Santa Clara County, with the two CEOs, Hastings and Ted Sarandos, split between Los Gatos and Los Angeles, respectively. It also operates international offices in Asia, Europe, and Latin America including in Canada, France, Brazil, Netherlands, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
The company has production hubs in Los Angeles, Albuquerque, London, Madrid, Vancouver, and Toronto. Compared to other distributors, Netflix pays more for TV shows upfront but keeps more “upside” on big hits.
About Reed Hastings
Reed Hastings, in full Wilmot Reed Hastings, Jr., (born October 8, 1960, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.), American entrepreneur who was cofounder (1997) and CEO (1998– ) of Netflix, a media-streaming and video-rental company.
Hastings studied mathematics at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1983. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he spent two years with the Peace Corps, most of the time teaching math in Swaziland (now Eswatini).
He returned to the United States and went to Stanford University, where he received (1988) a master’s degree in computer science. Subsequently, Hastings became a software developer, and in 1991 he founded Pure Software (later Pure Atria Corporation), which he sold in 1997 for a substantial profit.
In 1997 Hastings conceived the idea of a subscription-based movie-rental service
In 1997 Hastings conceived the idea of a subscription-based movie-rental service, after he incurred a large late fee when he failed to return a store-rented videocassette. DVDs were new to the market, but Hastings felt that they would travel well through the mail.
He and business partner Marc Randolph (who left the company in 2004) incorporated Netflix in California in 1997 and started mail-order DVD operations in 1998. Hastings became the company’s CEO later that year. At first, customers were allowed to rent each DVD for a seven-day period, but by December 1999 subscribers could pay a set monthly fee to rent an unlimited number of DVDs.
Although they selected DVDs and controlled their accounts via the Netflix Web site, DVDs (up to three at a time) were sent and returned by mail. Once a DVD was returned, the next movie on the customer’s account list was automatically mailed.
Hastings expanded Netflix through movie studio partnerships
Hastings expanded Netflix through movie studio partnerships and aggressive marketing campaigns, emphasizing Netflix’s catalog of indie films, documentaries, and other movies not easily available through other services. In February 2007 Netflix shipped its billionth DVD.
Meanwhile, the company launched applications that permitted customers to access movies and TV shows through streaming downloads. Hastings made a rare misstep in 2011 when Netflix announced that it would increase rental prices and split the company in two, with the DVD service rebranded as Qwikster. He downplayed the resulting loss of customers and plunging stock price, but the company backtracked and canceled the Qwikster spin-off plan.
Hastings subsequently oversaw Netflix’s foray into content produced specifically for its streaming service. Its first such offering was the episodic drama series House of Cards, which debuted in 2013. Such content was hugely successful and became a major focus of the company. During this time Netflix also began producing films. In 2020 it was announced that Ted Sarandos would serve as co-CEO with Hastings.
A noted philanthropist, Hastings devoted part of his time to educational issues, notably charter schools. From 2000 to 2004 he was president of the California State Board of Education.
General Netflix App Troubleshooting to Try First
Even though the Netflix app is available on various platforms, there are some solutions for fixing a faulty app that works across the board no matter what device you’re using.
First Steps: Netflix App Troubleshooting
1. Check if Netflix is down. If the Netflix app fails to load or a film or TV show won’t start, it could simply be because the Netflix service itself is down or offline. Use that link to see if there’s an issue with Netflix’s servers. If there is, there’s nothing you can do but wait for them to fix it.
2. Restart your device. It’s become almost a bit of a cliché but restarting your device will actually often fix a faulty app or system problem.
3. Check your internet connection or phone signal. If your internet is down, Netflix won’t work. Make sure your Wi-Fi or cellular connection is switched on and that your device hasn’t been put in Airplane mode by accident. Also, try other apps to see if they can connect to the internet.
4. Reboot your router. If your internet is down or you seem to be connected but apps aren’t working properly, the problem may lie with your network hardware.
5. Update your Netflix app. As with a system update, it’s equally important to keep the Netflix app up-to-date as the latest version may be needed to run on your device or to connect to the Netflix servers for streaming media. An app update could also fix any Netflix error codes, for example, the error code UI-800-3, that you’re getting.
Second Steps: Netflix App Troubleshooting
1. Log out of Netflix and Log in again. A simple solution but an effective one and it only takes a few minutes to do.
2. Reinstall the Netflix app. Often deleting the Netflix app and reinstalling it will fix any problems you’re experiencing. Deleting and reinstalling an app is pretty easy to do on most devices and usually only requires downloading it again from the relevant app store.
3. Sign out of Netflix on all devices. Occasionally, using Netflix on multiple devices, even if your membership allows it, can cause conflicts within the Netflix servers. You can fix this issue by logging out of Netflix on every device all at once. After logging in, you can do this on the Netflix website in the Account settings via the top-right icon. Make sure to click on Sign out of all devices, wait a few minutes, and then log back in on your device again. You can also do this from the app on your mobile device. Open the More menu at the bottom, tap Account, and choose Sign out of all devices.
4. Update your operating system. Whether you’re using a smart TV, gaming console, smartphone, or tablet, you should always try to keep it up-to-date with the latest operating system, as some apps will stop working if they know a system update is available. A system update can also fix any bugs that may be preventing the Netflix app from working correctly.
5. Call your internet service provider. At this point, if Netflix’s servers are working properly and you’ve tried all that you can to get the app working, the reason Netflix is down might be due to an issue with your ISP, which is out of your control.
How to Fix Netflix on a Roku
If the general tips above don’t work in getting the Netflix app working on your Roku, the best solution may be to deactivate your connection to the app and then reactivate it. Here’s how to do it on each Roku model.
Roku 1: Press the Home button on your Roku controller and click on Settings and then Netflix Settings. You should see the option that says Disable. Click on it.
Roku 2: From the Home Menu, highlight the Netflix app icon and press the star key on your Roku remote. Click on the Remove channel and then click on it once again to confirm the deactivation.
Roku 3, Roku 4, and Roku TV: Move the cursor to the left to open the Netflix menu from within the Netflix app. Click on Settings and then click on Sign out and then Yes.
How to Fix Netflix on a PlayStation 4 Console
Like the Xbox One, Sony’s PlayStation 4 console can also run streaming apps like Netflix. Try these two solutions if you’re encountering problems with your Netflix app on your PS4.
Check if PSN is down. If the PlayStation Network online service is down, it could be preventing some of the apps from working. You can check if PSN is running via its official status page.
Quit the PS4 Netflix app. PlayStation 4 apps will continue to run in the background even if you switch to a video game or another app. Closing your open apps can improve the performance of your PS4 and refresh the apps to fix any bugs that you may be experiencing.
To close a PS4 app, highlight its icon on the home screen and press the Options button on your PS4 controller. A new menu will pop up with the option, Close Application. Click on it to close the Netflix app. You can now reopen it again as you usually would.
How to Fix Netflix on a Samsung Smart TV
Smart TVs are television sets that allow for apps to be installed directly onto them without any additional hardware. There is an official Netflix app for some smart TVs, and, unfortunately, Samsung’s smart TVs are known to experience some problems with it.
Here are some solutions to try if the above troubleshooting tips fail to fix the problem.
1. Unplug your Samsung smart TV for 30 seconds. Turning the TV on and off again can often work but leaving it off for at least 30 seconds allows everything to completely reset and start afresh when it’s turned on next.
2. Disable Samsung Instant On. Samsung Instant On may get your TV up and running faster, but this feature can conflict with apps such as Netflix. Turning it off may get everything working correctly again. To disable Samsung Instant On, open Settings and then click on General to disable the option.
3. Do a hard reset. It should be the last thing you attempt when trying to get the Netflix app working again on your Samsung smart TV. A hard reset will return your TV to its factory settings which will delete all your smart TV apps and settings.
Thankfully, doing a hard reset is something that the Samsung remote management team can do for you, and it only takes between five to 10 minutes. Call Samsung technical support on 800-SAMSUNG and ask for the Samsung remote management team to do a hard reset on your smart TV set.
How to Fix Netflix on an Xbox One Console
Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles feature a variety of popular streaming apps such as Twitch, YouTube, and of course, Netflix. If you’re having problems getting the Xbox One Netflix app working as it should, and you’ve tried all of the general advice mentioned above, you may need to try the following fixes.
1. Check if the Xbox network is down. Many Xbox One apps and features won’t work if the Xbox network online service is down.
To check if it’s working, visit the official Xbox network status web page and see if there’s a green checkmark next to Xbox One Apps. If there’s a checkmark, then Xbox network app functionality is working. If there isn’t a checkmark next to it, then parts of the Xbox network may be down, and you’ll have to wait for it to come online again. The outage could last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
2. Quit the Xbox One Netflix app. If the Netflix app is buggy on your Xbox One, you can try quitting it and re-opening it again. To do this, press the circle X button in the center of your Xbox controller to bring up the guide and select the Netflix app from the list of recently used apps. Once it’s highlighted, press the menu button with the three lines on your controller and then press Quit from the popup menu. Netflix should completely close, and you can now open it again as per usual.
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