Netflix only offers between 2000 and 6000 films available per market at any one time, but internationally there are about 14,000 feature films available. A good DNS redirection service gives you access to all 14,000 films. The difference between a VPN and DNS redirection service is that the VPN takes over your whole network, sending all data via the remote location. DNS redirection services send only the DNS data via the remote location, leading to much faster file transfers (in theory).
Netflix usually won't let people see award winning films in their home markets (although it's weird, sometimes a film which has been overexposed in the Netherlands shows up there but is not available in Canada). Canada has much higher brow fare than US Netflix (independent films, foreign films) but less blockbusters.
In general, I'm not sure I'd recommend Netflix at all to the true film lover as Netflix offers two categories of films.
- Entertaining films which don't have much value.
- Enlightening films which don't offer much entertainment.
The ideal film is both entertaining and enlightening and visually special. Netflix doesn't offer too many of these and those that they do offer are usually pretty much worn out (Oscar Winners everyone has seen five times).
But your chances of finding these films goes way up if you have access to the full library as the best films are usually only in three to ten markets.
The DNS redirection service which impressed me the most is Unotelly. Their tools to show you how your redirection is working or not working are second to none. On top of that Unotelly offer all kinds of alternative redirection for specific devices (say Sony or Samsung) in specific locations. Unotelly was also good about adding services (like independent film sites).
Both Unotelly and Unblock-US offer good documentation, including how to get around the latest tricks to hardwire DNS via Google's DNS servers (Sony and Samsung) via router level rerouting.
Tonight I was cleaning out my spam folder though and I noticed the biggest difference between Unotelly and Unblock-US. It appears Unblock-US has been selling my email address to dating services (I use service specific email addresses).
Frankly I just wouldn't trust a service who sells my address to spammers. No spam has come in on my Unotelly specific email addresses.
On top of the good work with the DNS redirection services, Unotelly has just launched what threatens to be the most useful international Netflix search service (up until now it's been the lovely although finicky MoreFlicks.com which tries to include iTunes, BBC and who knows what else). Filmefy.com is the name of the new search service and it categorises films by genre but includes all Netflix films around the world.
Filmefy's special feature is shared playlists, allowing you to browse the playlists other people have made. Straight from the music sharing systems, human curated lists is a great way to get a lot of interesting films in one place.
What could improve Filmefy is if one could choose genre and country of origin. Or genre, country of origin and production year. This kind of granularity would help the viewer get out of the Netflix rut of the same old, same old (Netflix really buries the more obscure films). Hopefully these improvements will come soon.
Alec has been helping businesses succeed online since 2000. Alec is an SEM expert with a background in advertising, as a former Head of Television for Grey Moscow and Senior Television Producer for Bates, Saatchi and Saatchi Russia. Alec maintains a photography and culture weblog at uncoy.com. His dance film Lapinthrope won prizes around the […]