How to become a Netflix customer

February 16th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

One of my most common gripes is that content producers make it so difficult for you to actually pay them money for their content. They use geo-blocking to stop you paying them money for their content – and then wonder why so many people resort to file-sharing.

You used to have to be a bit of a technical guru to get around geo-blocking and the like, but for those who want to pay for their content, it is now a lot easier.

House of Cards Season 2 has just come out of . All 13 episodes. They look just as great as the first season. So if you want to legally view Season 2, here’s how.

  1. Go to Hola
  2. Install the plugin for your browser
  3. Click on the Netflix site and change your country to US
  4. Sign up for Netflix (US$7.99 a month)
  5. Add a zero onto your credit card zip code so it is a five digit code like the US, but so that your credit card company still counts it as a match
  6. Start viewing

Ridiculous that you have to jump through such hoops to force someone to take your money.

It will take a decade or so, but eventually almost all content will be made available in all countries on the day of release.

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35 Responses to “How to become a Netflix customer”

  1. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Easier to just torrent it.

    Game of Thrones is crap. I gave the first episode a chance and it is boring as fuck. And I paid for the DVD! More fool me.

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  2. tas (625 comments) says:

    I wonder what the real reason for netflix being geoblocked in NZ is. It may actually be because Netflix needs to pay for the data it sends to customers, which is more expensive if those customers are in NZ. Netflix has had trouble with ISPs even in the US.

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  3. xy (187 comments) says:

    It’s almost certainly licensing – Netflix will be contractually obliged to take steps such as geoblocking limit their streaming to US customers. But they don’t particularly care if people work around their geoblocking – all that matters is they make the attempt, which is why it’s so easy.

    [DPF: Netfix is the content producer in this case. They could decide to release it globally]

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  4. dog_eat_dog (781 comments) says:

    gazzmanic, if you watch the first episode of anything to form your opinion then you’re missing the point – first episodes are often prepared as pilots. The first episode of House was completely different compared to anything that followed it.

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  5. burt (8,271 comments) says:

    All content same day release …. Not in NZ when we have KiwiInternet run by the socialist nanny state deciding what we can and can’t watch.

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  6. kaykaybee (152 comments) says:

    I love it, so many, many movies and TV shows you’re spoilt for choice. I binge watched all Breaking Bad except for last 8 which I got off a SKY omnibus. Worth noting is I recall when I signed up it wouldn’t work for me trying to use PayPal. I’d be interested if someone could confirm or deny that is still the case. Also, Mac users note you’ll need to use firefox/chrome etc as no SAFARI add on.

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  7. Fentex (974 comments) says:

    It is long past the point of ridiculous that unofficial file sharing still provides better service than is available for paying customers. People will pay for ease of use, guarantee of quality, peace of mind, access anywhere, anytime and services providing such can compete with free file swapping.

    It constantly annoys me that industry reps bandy about figures like ‘Mega Upload took $400 Million from us’ when all that I can hear from that is ‘We refused to provide $400 Million dollars of service to our customers’.

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  8. Tautaioleua (305 comments) says:

    And they wonder why there’s a crisis in the industry with illegal piracy? it’s the same with the movie theatres still selling tickets at more than fifteen bucks a pop when my parents and grandparents recall paying just a few cents.

    The industry is still very much in the stone age and people like Dotcom will continue to run circles around it until they change.

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  9. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “eventually almost all content will be made available in all countries on the day of release.”

    dont get me wrong, i download like a mofo so its like that already for me..

    the issue though is seasons. middle of summer programming is weak in the us. lots of reruns.. will make our middle of winter shite if everything is on in the summer. im talking for tv1/2/3 etc not streamers.

    House of Cards – through the first couple of episodes of season 2. bloody good!

    Game of Thrones – i gave up when the blonde stopped getting raped and started raising baby dragons.

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  10. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    What really gets my goat is the lack of captions for online content. I find it far easier to follow bittorrent material with matching subtitles found through subtitle seekerthan I can through legal content provided at Ezyflix, Itunes, TVNZ ondemand etc.

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  11. northern (44 comments) says:

    And what about Usenet??

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  12. brucehoult (195 comments) says:

    Didn’t know you could safely fiddle with the zip code like that!

    Netflix can’t distribute in NZ because they don’t have the rights to the shows here. Probably Sky has that all wrapped up. Are they going to agree to Netflix coming in? No.

    Netflix has season 2 of Game of Thrones now? Wow. I watched Season 3 back in March – June last year, thanks to eztv.

    Steve Jobs was absolutely right that people will pay a fair price to buy things legally instead of “effectively earning less than minimum wage” finding them on torrent sites, getting shitty quality or mislabeled copies etc.

    eztv (and others) fix the 2nd part of that equation by doing a great job of curating tv shows every day, within hours of going to air. Easy to use and no junk there.

    Netflix might make it easy to pay … in certain markets … and that’s great.

    When will the two be married? Good timely well curated service, realistic price, AND legal.

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  13. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @Tautaioleua

    “And they wonder why there’s a crisis in the industry with illegal piracy? ”

    ——————————–

    There isn’t a crisis in the industry. Revenues from ticket sales and other sources are higher than they have ever been in history.

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  14. mikemikemikemike (325 comments) says:

    You lot are so hypocritical. It’s someone else’s property and they can choose how it is distributed as they see fit. Your sense of entitlement to someone else’s property (which you are fraudulently obtaining) is as bad as your delusion that you are doing nothing wrong.

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  15. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Mike… You are right and wrong.
    Instead of downloading I can now pay for it without having to give Sky 100 bucks per month.
    I was on the FB thread last night that Dpf started. I now have netflix and am happy to pay for it.
    Sky tv are in a lot of trouble WHEN this catches on.
    The web destroys another old world company

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  16. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    It’s someone else’s property and they can choose how it is distributed as they see fit.

    It’s parallel importing and perfectly legal within the laws of this country. Given that both the content makers and the content providers are getting paid, the level of fraud is far less than underage purchaese of alcohol, for example. The only people harmed are the legal content providers here but since they have no legal grounds for damages.

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  17. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    You don’t actually need to force them to take your money – your choices are to buy it the way they choose to offer it, to not watch it, or to steal it.

    Eric Crampton had a good article on this recently – and pointed out that one problem is the film and TV classification rules. It’s actually illegal for netflix to offer content in NZ that hasn’t been rated in NZ. So it’s more than just the content producers, NZ law makes it very difficult for them.

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  18. Mark Thomson (81 comments) says:

    The ease with which you dismiss private property rights is noted.

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  19. Mark Thomson (81 comments) says:

    “It’s parallel importing and perfectly legal within the laws of this country.”

    I don’t think you can import what you don’t own.

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  20. Fentex (974 comments) says:

    it’s the same with the movie theatres still selling tickets at more than fifteen bucks a pop when my parents and grandparents recall paying just a few cents.

    When I was first able to go to the flicks on my own a two dollar note paid for bus fare into town (and back), tickets for one, a snack, a hot cinnamon donut afterwards and a game or two of fusball, with some change.

    But I don’t begrudge theatres their prices – infrastructure costs money. I however do not go to the theatre as much lately because, and I’m not sure this isn’t partly my advancing years, I cannot bear the rude behaviour of others talking and using cell phones. I find myself getting tense expecting it these days. For the money I’m paying I want ushers kicking these people out.

    I’d be happy to pay more if there were theatres in Christchurch like Readings in central Wellington with their Gold Lounge seating with lazy boys on a balcony above the fray and chair side service – I saw Scott Pilgrim there relaxing, wining and dining on Chocolate Sundaes for a durn good time.

    They tried it at some cinemas in Christchurch but because all that remain are modern constructions without balconies the layouts just didn’t work.

    I just got home from browsing the latest in home consumer products and I’m liking some of these 90″ UHDTV’s – in maybe three years I’ll be considering one, hanging it on the wall rather than switching to my projector. That’s hard for theatres to compete with – they need to make sure their social experience is fun because the big screens other advantages are slipping further away.

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  21. Fentex (974 comments) says:

    I now have netflix and am happy to pay for it.
    Sky tv are in a lot of trouble WHEN this catches on.

    One and only one thing keeps Sky alive – for people like me – and that’s live Rugby. When I can reliably get that online Sky will be dead to me.

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  22. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    “…..And they wonder why there’s a crisis in the industry with illegal piracy? it’s the same with the movie theatres still selling tickets at more than fifteen bucks a pop when my parents and grandparents recall paying just a few cents….”

    When I lived in NZ I went to the pictures one weekday morning – and was the only person there! From memory I paid about $10 and bought popcorn and coke for about another $8 – which has huge profit margins.

    If they had instead made it $2 to go, then the place would be almost full with nearly everyone consuming popcorn and coke. They would have then made a profit for that session instead of the obvious loss. Why shareholders in movie companies allow for that nonsense is beyond me.

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  23. Mercator (1 comment) says:

    In Australia, if you have the Foxtel Go app, you can access all of House of Cards season 2 (and all the other content on Foxtel). It may work in New Zealand. I’m not exactly sure how Foxtel works in NZ. But if you do have it, it’s a hell of a lot easier – especially if you have already paid for it through your Foxtel subscription.

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  24. jakejakejake (134 comments) says:

    If Australia and the US get their way with TPP agreement this will most likely be just as illegal as downloading via bittorrent.

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  25. brucehoult (195 comments) says:

    I’m pretty sure mikemikemikemike would not be in favour of Netflix or anyone else deciding whether or not to sell you something on the basis of your nationality, religion, race, politics, or sexual orientation.

    Why then does he think that current (possibly temporary) physical location should be an exception?

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  26. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    If Australia and the US get their way with TPP agreement this will most likely be just as illegal as downloading via bittorrent.

    What makes you so sure it is not illegal now? Circumventing the geoblocking might not be, but there is a much better than even chance that those who do end up putting themselves in breach of the contract terms and conditions of Netflix and the like.

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  27. Tautaioleua (305 comments) says:

    gump, were you being sarcastic?

    Between 2007 and 2011, pre-tax profits of the five studios controlled by large media conglomerates (Disney, Universal, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros) fell by more than 40%

    The share of Americans who attend a cinema at least once a month declined from 30% in 2000 to less than 10% in 2011. In 2011 American cinemas sold 1.28 billion tickets, the smallest number since 1995.

    http://www.economist.com/news/business/21572218-tale-two-tinseltowns-split-screens

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  28. mikemikemikemike (325 comments) says:

    You miss the point. As owners of the content they should be able to reasonably expect that the channels that they have chosen to distribute their product are not circumvented . Obtaining it by falsely claiming a location is wrong – DPF’s previous post was about James Cameron’s private property rights to a lake, surely the same respect and protection should be afforded to the owners of any form if commercial product?

    The fact so many of you feel entitled to it is ironic given the general theme of this blog.

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  29. brucehoult (195 comments) says:

    No, I think you miss the point.

    First, it’s very important to understand that duplicating an intangible is not theft.

    Copyright is an artificial construct, intended to maximise benefits for the populace by encouraging content producers to produce. It is NOT about ownership.

    Countries such as NZ enacted laws permitting (and enforcing) exclusive distribution rights for a specific purpose. That purpose was to ensure sufficient profits for local distributors to make it worth their while to import things that would otherwise not be available to the public in a small and remote country.

    This has now been reversed. Exclusive distribution rights now PREVENT the population from obtaining things locally which they are able to cheaply and conveniently obtain internationally for themselves.

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  30. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @Tautaioleua

    “gump, were you being sarcastic?”

    ————————

    This is a conversation about Game of Thrones – which is a TV series, not a movie. As the second paragraph of your article helpfully points out:

    “Meanwhile, television, once the unglamorous sister, is enjoying record earnings and unprecedented critical acclaim.”

    There is no crisis in the entertainment industry.

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  31. Tautaioleua (305 comments) says:

    gump,

    “TV networks earn money from advertising and from the fees that cable and satellite operators pay to carry their programmes. These fees amount to some $32 billion a year in America, and are growing by about 7% annually. People love watching TV, and, per hour, it is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment”.

    How easy is it to stream television programmes online before they’ve even been released here? viewership is not responsible for television’s temporary success. Advertising revenue and fees for third party carriers are.

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  32. swinestein (7 comments) says:

    Hola also lets you change your location to Uk and Canada where Netflix has different shows on offer

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  33. Zebulon (114 comments) says:

    Goodbye Sky and Fatso. Hello real choice and at a good price.

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  34. Fletch (6,390 comments) says:

    Yep, I don’t see any reason why the programme creators care when the viewer sees their show, other than the fact of advertisers. Advertisers in NZ won’t like people being able to watch programmes online and bypass seeing their ads. I think that’s what it all comes down to. Then the whole free-to-air model breaks down, revenue is lost etc etc…

    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D just started here, but I’ve already given up on it, having watched several episodes on Hulu and thinking the show wasn’t very good. Hulu has ads, too, only they don’t apply to New Zealand. I’m happy to sit through them, however, to watch a show when i want to.

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  35. Jim (398 comments) says:

    @mikemikemike “The fact so many of you feel entitled to it is ironic given the general theme of this blog.”

    I’ll bite. Close to 100% of the TV content I watch is not delivered the way the content producer intended it to be.*

    I feel no sense of right or entitlement to it though. I enjoy watching the shows less than a day after they first screen, on my phone/tablet, on the bus/train. However if it didn’t work for me then I wouldn’t be out on the street, protesting.

    I do however feel amused at a dinosaur business model that has enabled its owners to become fat and lazy, struggling against the tide of technological progress to try to protect their dominance. That and the massive missed market opportunity/vacuum that is being filled in by outlaws.

    Anyway Mr mikemikemike, there is a whole world of diverse opinions outside ‘the left’, and uncritical defenders of big business stupidity are a very tiny minority.

    * This despite that I have 300+ channels plus a year or two of VOD backlog that I can watch if I want to sit in front of the TV and play with a remote control designed by Satan’s minions.

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