Australia has emerged from a colony of convicts to become a paradise for pirates. We are widely regarded as the worst (or is it best?) when it comes to illegal downloading.
It makes this week’s launch of Netflix a historic occasion. No longer do we need to torrent like digital deviants but now we can legitimately stream like the angels in heaven do.
Judging by the current media coverage and cultural buzz, if Netflix were a political party it would win the next election. The Abbott government could do worse than develop a a platform called Politix that allows subscribed citizens to choose on-demand which policy issues their monthly taxes fund!
Thanks to Netflix, and their wannabe classmates Stan and Presto, we can all enjoy libraries of legitimately sourced content at the click of a modem. I know many Australian’s have been accessing the US Netflix service using various known workarounds such as VPNs. It seems the Rolling Stones were shortsighted and you can always get what you want, as long as you know how to hide your IP address.
The biggest question is, will the underdone internet connection speeds of the land down under be able to handle the Premium HD content?
Whilst Netflix plays down the lure of the easy download by talking up the joys of streaming, this argument may not hold up when your internet connection is more like a dripping tap than a flowing stream.
The timing of the Netflix Australian launch could not be any better. Television in this country is on its deathbed and the Grim Reaper has already gone to air in the form of GoggleBox - the television show about people watching television shows. As offensive as a restaurant for cannibals. Who needs a thriving and creative Australian film and TV industry when we can strap a Go Pro to a few white-bread-Australian’s flat-screens?
Some have criticised the limited amount of content available on the Australian version of Netflix service but I am not too concerned. Finally I’ll be able to get stuck into critically acclaimed series such as citrus fashion show Orange is the New Black and casino architecture saga House of Cards.
Anything has to be better than free-to-airs current offering of informercials for blenders, President Lawyers and Doctors Investigation Unit: New Orleans or those talking head panel shows asking me to join the conversation via Twitter. #justchannelsurfing #waitingforthelatestepofgirlstodownload
There is a freedom in watching content whenever and wherever I want. Plus knowing federal police won’t be raiding my house and confiscating my hard drive is worth much more than the monthly Netflix subscription fee.