SINGAPORE - Netflix has opened its library of TV shows and movies without cuts to viewers in Singapore. Here are some things you can expect.
What is Netflix?
The service streams popular movies and TV shows for a flat monthly fee and delivers content over the Internet. This allows users to watch shows wherever they want, without sticking to a broadcast schedule.
How do I get connected?
Users can view Netflix's catalogue of movies and TV shows on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, laptops as well as via set-top boxes with the Netflix app installed. Users need a broadband connection on these devices to stream the movies. In Singapore, it will cost between $11 and $17 a month to access Netflix's library, depending on how many devices are sharing the account. There will be a free one-month trial for new members. To sign up, go to www.netflix.com/sg/
What is in its show catalogue?
Netflix creates its own content and original series including comedy Orange Is The New Black, and drama series Marco Polo. Orange Is The New Black weaves a tale about life in a women's prison and features nudity and drug use, while Marco Polo is known for its casual depiction of female nudity and sexual orgies. These adult titles are streamed uncensored. Hence, they are put behind a parental lock, which requires the user to enter a personal identification number (PIN) set by the account owner.
A catalogue of licensed TV shows and movies is also available. These include uncensored versions of Spartacus, Pulp Fiction and A Clockwork Orange.
What genres of content cannot be viewed on Netflix SG?
1. South Korean TV dramas
2. Japanese anime titles including Naruto, Pokemon, Hunter x Hunter and Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
3. Kungfu movies such as those by Donnie Yen, Jet Li and Stephen Chow
4. British TV series such as Sherlock, Agatha Christie's Poirot and Doctor Who
5. American TV series Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Netflix's own House Of Cards
Is the content missing due to censorship?
A Netflix spokesman said the rights for some titles, such as House Of Cards, had been sold to other partners in the region. Other rights, such as those for Hong Kong action films and Japanese anime, were picked up only for the United States. Moving forward, Netflix said it will move to pick up global rights for all its streaming content.
How do I access overseas versions of Netflix?
Netflix restricts content distribution by region. For instance, the American and British websites serve only their respective markets.
Before Netflix's local launch, people in Singapore were accessing Netflix's United States website by using virtual private network (VPN) services that mask their real locations.
VPN services are available online from providers such as UnoTelly and Unlocator. Some Singapore Internet service providers like ViewQwest and MyRepublic also sell VPN services as part of their broadband offerings.