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Image source Pixabay

Back in 1998, a small US company began a service to rent out DVDs of your choosing and have them sent to your home. It was all at your fingertips: fast, cheap, and very convenient. Today that small company is known as Netflix and has become one of many streaming companies that deliver DVDs and so much more.

Since 2010, this company has gone global and now can be found in Latin America and Canada. Other streaming companies have followed suit such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Crackle. With the touch of your smartphone, tablet, gaming console, and a small monthly fee, you can sit back on your couch and stream anything tailored to just you.

You can even opt for live TV and send your cable packing. You can subscribe to the multitudes of channels that are streaming exclusive content of your desired topic such as work-out channels, British entertainment, crime dramas, and even immerse yourself into the ever growing popular world of anime.


The World of Anime

Anime is a popular form of animated movies or television shows created for both adults and children. Many hail from their manga form or Japanese graphic novels. Shows such as Death Note, Sailor Moon, and Psycho Pass can be discovered on a variety of streaming networks. One such show is the well known franchise Dragon Ball Z created by Akira Toriyama in the 1980s. There are a few series of this Japanese anime such as Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragonball Super.

The shows follows the character Goku who starts off the DragonBall series as a child with the saiyan tail (which eventually gets cut off but grows back). However, he unknowingly grows up without the knowledge of being saiyan until later on. Within the series and graphic novels, there are discrepancies such as Goku being turned back into a child. Some other differences are found between the anime shows and the manga comics. One such difference is the topic of Goku and Super Saiyan Red (God) and Super Saiyan Blue. Goku and his enemy Vegeta both use these forms; God form seems to give a well balanced form of ki and stamina compared to Blue. Super Saiyan Blue doesn’t last long but brings enormous power (as told in the manga version). Streaming this long time series lets you dive deeper into the saga of Goku while benefiting your mind, too.

Binge-Watching for Your Brain

How would watching hours of television be good for you? For starters, when a new show comes to your favorite streaming channel, it is an opportunity to invite some friends over and throw a premiere party. Don’t want to share your nachos? Hop on the couch and get ready to escape into an imaginary world. Or if you enjoy learning new things, you can watch countless of documentaries about the earth or true crime.

The average American works about 38 hours a week. That may not seem a great amount of time, however that doesn’t count for what happens when you come home and spend hours of extra work if you are a teacher, a lawyer, or a parent. Streaming a new show or even an old one gives you the down time you may need to recharge. In fact when asked, 73 percent of people questioned by Netflix said they “felt good” after watching a favorite show.

Binge watching a favored show releases the chemical dopamine which makes you feel good when you do something you like. Whatever you love to watch, whether alone or with family and friends, streaming a favorite show is a good way to spend your down time. Who knows; maybe the next time you visit your doctor they may add “streaming” to your list of things to do for better health!

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Netflix has decided to sever ties with Kevin Spacey amid a number of assault allegations against him.

The entertainment company said it would hold talks with House of Cards’ producers to see if production, which was suspended this week, could resume without Kevin Spacey.

Netflix also said it would not release Kevin Spacey’s movie about Gore Vidal.

Meanwhile, the UK police have opened an investigation into Kevin Spacey over an alleged assault.

On November 2, Kevin Spacey said he was seeking treatment after facing allegations of misconduct from a string of men.

Netflix suspended House of Cards production on October 31 following allegations by Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp, who said Kevin Spacey had tried to “seduce” him when he was 14.

The Oscar-winning actor said he was “beyond horrified” to hear of the incident, which he said he did not remember.

Image source Wikimedia

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House of Cards, an adaptation of the 1990 miniseries of the same name, was first broadcast in 2013.

The first season garnered nine Emmy nominations, becoming the first online streaming series to win such mainstream accolades.

A Netflix spokesman said in a statement: “Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey.

“We will continue to work with MRC [series producer Media Rights Capital] during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show.

“We have also decided we will not be moving forward with the release of the film Gore, which was in post-production, starring and produced by Kevin Spacey.”

MRC said in a statement earlier that it was “deeply troubled” about the allegations against Kevin Spacey.

It said it had dealt with one incident in 2012 in which an unnamed crew member “shared a complaint about a specific remark and gesture made by Kevin Spacey”, that immediate action had been taken and that the issue had been resolved.

Kevin Spacey had “willingly participated in a training process”, MRC added.

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Netflix’s shares have soared after the video streaming company posted a record number of subscribers that beat estimates.

The company added 3.2 million international customers in the last three months, far more than the 2 million analysts had predicted.Netflix at CES 2016

In the US, the number rose 21% to 370,000 as hit shows such as Stranger Things and Narcos won over more subscribers.

The move helped Netflix’s quarterly revenues rise 31% to $2.29 billion, sparking a 20% jump in the company’s share price.

In Q3 of 2016, Netflix had about 83.3 million subscribers.

Netflix said on October 17 that it plans to license content to existing online service providers in China rather than operate its own service in China in the near term.

The video streaming service has been expanding in international markets to counter slowing growth in the US. It has a strong presence in more than 130 markets worldwide, except China.

Concern that Netflix’s growth was slowing had overshadowed the company. Its shares had fallen about 13% this year.

In after-hours trading on Wall Street Netflix’s shares jumped 20% to about $119.

Netflix has extended its service to nearly every country in the world.

The streaming service company announced it had switched on its service in 130 additional countries.

Netflix said it was still trying to expand to China. The other exceptions are North Korea, Syria and Crimea, where it is banned from operating by US law.

The announcement was made by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings at his keynote speech at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.

Reed Hastings also confirmed that Netflix would begin offering HDR (high dynamic range) content later this year.

Netflix shares jumped to about 8% over their opening price following the announcements.

Reed Hastings said Netflix was in talks with the Chinese government, but acknowledged it would take time to reach an agreement.

“It’s a very large country, you know a billion Chinese that we want to give access to the Netflix content,” he said.

“In China you need specific permission from the government to operate, so we are continuing to work on that and we are very patient.”

As part of its expansion, Netflix has added support for Korean, Chinese and Arabic to its list of supported languages.

That brings the total number – in which the firm provides subtitles, captions and alternative audio – to 21 languages.

Reed Hastings added that Netflix would initially focus on expanding the reach of its existing content rather than commissioning extra locally-made shoNetflix at CES 2016ws.

For consumers who already have Netflix, the biggest change may be the addition of HDR.

High dynamic range video allows compatible TVs to show millions more colors and a wider dynamic range – added shades of brightness in between black and white – letting more detail be shown.

Many experts believe the impact is greater than that of just jumping from 1080p to 4K ultra-high definition resolution alone. One consequence of using the format, however, is that it requires more data, and few TVs support it yet.

Reed Hastings said users with compatible TVs should get a “visceral sensation that’s pretty amazing”.

Netflix’s rival, Amazon, began streaming a limited number of shows in the format in 2015.

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Netflix declined to sign up Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May because they “weren’t worth” the £160 million ($256 million) said to have been paid by rival Amazon to air a new version of Top Gear, a senior executive for the streaming service said.

The former presenters of Top Gear left the BBC earlier this year after Jeremy Clarkson was fired for hitting a producer.

Netflix was known to have been in discussions with the former Top Gear trio but decided against taking things further after analyzing its own viewership data of past Top Gear episodes, according to the company chief product officer Neil Hunt.

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May recently signed a “very, very, very expensive” deal with Amazon Prime.Top Gear trio rejected by Netflix

However, Netflix has claimed the presenters “sold themselves for way more money” than they are worth.

“We have past episodes of Top Gear, so we have a pretty good gauge of what audiences like,” Neil Hunt, told Digital Spy in an interview.

“Our buying decisions tend to be somewhat data-driven. We have a lot of data to get the deals we want.

“Clearly it wasn’t worth the money to make the deal.”

Neil Hunt later clarified his comments in a statement, saying: “There is an audience for everything and it is not up to us to judge if Amazon has paid too much or not.”

British broadcaster BT Sport previously said it, too, had declined to bid for the Top Gear trio.

Managing director Delia Bushell told the Guardian: “To be honest I didn’t consider it. It just wasn’t right for us.

“It’s a fantastic franchise, but it made more sense for a global player like Netflix because Top Gear has huge US revenues as well.”

Jeremy Clarkson was suspended in March, following an “unprovoked physical attack” with a Top Gear producer in a Yorkshire hotel. It was said to have occurred because no hot food was provided following a day’s filming.

Following an internal investigation, the BBC decided not to renew the presenter’s contract.

Jeremy Clarkson’s co-hosts then followed him in leaving the show.

They have now signed up to Amazon Prime to make a new car-themed program, along with producer Andy Wilman, who also quit the BBC following Jeremy Clarkson’s “fracas”.

Top Gear will continue on BBC Two, with Chris Evans in charge.

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Netflix will drop thousands of titles after the streaming service decided not to renew a deal with movie distributor Epix.

Removed titles will include the Hunger Games and Transformers movies.

Netflix, which has more than 60 million subscribers worldwide, said it wanted to focus on exclusive content.

Rival service Hulu will take on the Epix catalogue.

“Our subscribers have been asking us for more, and more recent, big movies,” Hulu said.Netflix ends Epix deal

“We listened. Through this new deal with Epix, we are proud to now be able to offer a huge selection of the biggest blockbusters and premium films.”

Netflix’s deal with Epix – which was worth a reported $1 billion – runs up until the end of September 2015, at which point the films will disappear from the service.

Explaining the move to subscribers, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos wrote: “While many of these movies are popular, they are also widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix and subject to the same drawn out licensing periods.”

Ted Sarandos then went on to list a variety of exclusive shows coming up on the service, including new work from Ricky Gervais, Idris Elba and Adam Sandler.

He also praised an upcoming Netflix-made documentary about Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.

As competition between video on demand (VOD) services intensifies, Netflix’s decision may appear to be an unlikely move.

As well as signing content deals, VOD services are investing heavily in creating original content. The platform is seen by some in the industry as a welcome alternative to the commissioning processes and priorities of established cable networks and film studios.

The approach is reaping dividends. At this year’s Emmy awards, Netflix enjoyed 34 nominations, while Amazon – a major VOD player too – earned 12.

Yahoo, a minor player at this stage, earned one nomination for Community – a comedy that had been cancelled by NBC.

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Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen won’t return for Netflix’s upcoming Full House revival – Fuller House.

The twin actresses, who collectively played Michelle Tanner on the original series, will not be returning for the Netflix reboot, executive producer Robert L. Boyett announced on May 22.

Robert L. Boyett said in a statement: “Although Ashley and Mary-Kate will not be a part of <<Fuller House>>, I know how much <<Full House>> has meant to them and they are still very much considered family. It has been exciting to see how they have built their professional careers, and I support their choice to focus on their fashion brands and various business endeavors. I appreciate their support and good wishes towards <<Fuller House>>.”Ashely and Mary Kate Olsen skip Full House revival

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen’s participation on the new series has been a point of controversy since the project was announced. Mary-Kate Olsen had been quoted as saying that she and her sister hadn’t heard from John Stamos – who will guest on and produce the series – about the project.

However, there will be plenty of returning faces on the new show. In addition to John Stamos, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber will be on Fuller House, while Dave Coulier will appear on at least one episode.

Fuller House series, which has received a 13-episode order, will see Candace Cameron Bure and Jodie Sweetin reprising their roles as D.J. and Stephanie Tanner, 20 years after the end of the original series in 1995.

In the new version, D.J. is now a veterinarian, pregnant and recently widowed, still living in San Francisco. Stephanie Tanner, an aspiring musician, and Kimmy Gibler (Barber), now a single mother herself, along with Kimmy’s teenage daughter Ramona, all move in to help take care of D.J.’s two boys – the rebellious 12-year-old J.D. and neurotic 7-year-old Max – and her soon-to-arrive baby.

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About a dozen Native American actors walked off the New Mexico set of Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six on April 22 over depictions in the script.

They are saying that Netflix’s Western comedy was insulting to “native women and elders and grossly misrepresented Apache culture” according to reports.

However, Netflix said on April 23 that is part of what Ridiculous Six is supposed to be about.Ridiculous Six

A Netflix spokesperson said: “The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous.

“It is a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularized, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of — but in on — the joke.”

Despite the exiting of the Native American actors, there was no interruption in filming on the feature. Nick Nolte, Terry Crews, Steve Buscemi, Will Forte, Luke Wilson and Whitney Cummings are among the co-stars in the new movie.

Originally at Sony and then Paramount, Ridiculous Six shifted over to Netflix in February as part of the 4-picture deal Adam Sandler struck with the company back in October 2014.

The Ridiculous Six is produced by Adam Sandler’s Happy Productions, written by the actor and Tim Herlihy.

No release date for Ridiculous Six has yet been set.

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Ricky Gervais is to make satirical comedy Special Correspondents for Netflix that will see the star of The Office and Derek appear alongside Eric Bana.

Special Correspondents is a remake of a 2009 French film about a struggling radio journalist who files fake war reports.

Ricky Gervais will write and direct the comedy, described by Netflix’s Ted Sarandos as a “smart social satire with heart”.

Netflix’s plans to expand into film-making has already seen it sign deals with Adam Sandler, Leonardo DiCaprio and the Weinstein Company.Ricky Gervais Netflix

“Having shaken up the TV industry, Netflix is about to do the same to Hollywood,” said Ricky Gervais, whose Channel 4 series Derek was streamed by Netflix in the US.

The original Special Correspondents film starred Gerard Lanvin and Gerard Jugnot as a radio journalist and technician in Paris who pretend to report live from Iraq.

Set predominantly in New York, the new version will see Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana’s characters fake their own kidnappings during a rebel uprising in South America.

Sony Pictures acquired the rights to distribute Ricky Gervais’s remake internationally at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, California in November 2014.

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Netflix has revealed the new Pee-wee Herman film, produced by Judd Apatow and star Paul Reubens, will be called Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.

Production is due to start in March, and the movie will premiere exclusively on the internet streaming service.

Paul Reubens and Paul Rust have written the script, which John Lee will direct.

It will see Pee-wee Herman inspired to take his first ever holiday after a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger.

Netflix has called the film “an epic story of friendship and destiny” and a “passion project” of Paul Reubens and Bridesmaids producer Judd Apatow, a long-time fan of the Pee-Wee character.Pee-wee's Big Holiday

Paul Reubens created the character when he was part of Los Angeles improv group The Groundlings and had his first TV show in 1980.

He has also starred in two feature films -1985’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, and Big Top Pee-wee in 1988.

Paul Reubens said he and Juss Apatow “dreamt up this movie four years ago”, when “the world was much different”.

“Netflix was waiting by the mailbox for red envelopes to arrive,” he went on, referring to the company’s origins as a postal DVD rental service.

Paul Reubens resurrected his Pee-wee character in 2010 for a critically-acclaimed live show in Los Angeles and New York.

“We didn’t hesitate for a moment knowing that Pee-wee’s Big Holiday was such a passion project for Paul and Judd,” said Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

“We are thrilled to bring our viewers around the world the wonder of Pee-wee Herman.”

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House of Cards Season 3 has been leaked on Netflix two weeks ahead of its scheduled release.

For 30 minutes on Wednesday afternoon, February 11, America got a glimpse of life under the iron fist of Francis Underwood.

However, as news spread the series was pulled almost as quickly as the show’s Machiavellian lead can destroy a political career.House of Cards Season 3 leaked on Netflix

Netflix denies that the leak was a marketing ploy, saying it was down to a “technical glitch”.

On Wednesday night, Netflix viewers in could watch the series online for just under half an hour.

The entire season was listed, along with episode titles and descriptions.

Although the mistake was sorted out quickly, some fans on Twitter said they were able to keep streaming episodes they had begun watching before they were removed.

The series stars Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, a ruthless politician on a power trip to get to the top of American politics.

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Netflix has launched its services in Cuba, as diplomatic relations between the US and the communist island continue to thaw.

The internet movie and television streaming service said its content, such as series House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, will be available to anyone with international payment cards.

On January 15, the US announced new rules that ease long-running sanctions against Cuba.

A trade embargo has been in place since 1962.Netflix launches in Cuba

MasterCard and American Express have both said they will launch operations in Cuba soon.

Last month, Netflix said its international expansion was proceeding ahead of schedule.

The company said it plans to expand to 200 countries in the next two years, and to earn “material profits” from its operations overseas by 2017.

“We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world,” said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings in a statement.

“Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience of over 57 million members.”

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When you go to watch the movies you want on Netflix, you want to be able to watch them uninterrupted by technical errors. The speed and sound are extremely important to the experience.

One of the problems that can come from watching Netflix is you end up dealing with streaming issues which cause the movie to stop loading or stutter or distort. It’s not a frequent problem. However, Comcast and Netflix have come up with a plan which makes the movie streaming experience much better for Netflix users with better cable TV deals.

Netflix now has a direct connection to dedicated Comcast servers. What this means for viewers is they won’t have to go through third party providers which means fighting a lot of heavy Internet traffic; this is where the freeze-ups and streaming troubles come from.  Users will have direct access to Netflix through Comcast servers and this translates directly into faster streaming speeds and an even better movie watching experience in general. Looking ahead, this could lead to other broadband providers striking up similar agreements.

Multi-Year Agreement Reached
The deal between the companies is one which had been in the works for months. The agreement has been said to be for the long-term. Both companies have said that Netflix will not be receiving preferential network treatment. Netflix users who have been struggling to watch movies only to become frustrated will be especially interested in this deal and will reap most of the benefits.

Streaming movies from Netflix has become extremely popular and there are now more than 44 million Netflix subscribers worldwide. The company has been making efforts to connect directly to broadband Internet providers in order to offer its subscribers the best possible viewing. Netflix has also already made similar arrangements with both Cox and Cablevision.

The problems Netflix users had been suffering through had become publicly known. Forums and social media sites had opinions all over them from upset viewers who were starting to get fed up with trying to watch movies and videos only to have them interrupted by slow streaming times. The fact that these two companies have come to an agreement is very good news for anyone wanting to make use of Netflix. Comcast is a very big provider and allowing Netflix to have direct connection to its servers is big news, more than users may realize until they see the results for themselves.

The Growth of Netflix
Netflix has grown by leaps and bounds. What this means is there are even more people logging in to watch the movies and videos they want. When they are dealing with this amount of traffic on the same bandwidth – along with general Internet traffic – it can lead to increased irritation and problems. That’s especially true as Netflix grows.

Netflix was founded back in 1997 and began by offering users a subscription based digital distribution service in 1999. Since this time, it has maintained its reputation as one of the best services of its kind. With more than 44 million subscribers, it’s easy to see why it is so important for Netflix to do all it can to continue offering its users a hassle free and high quality experience. This deal is a great way for them to continue doing so.

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Sitcom Arrested Development has been revived after an absence of 7 years, with many devoted fans devouring all 15 new episodes after they were made available online.

Arrested Development, which was recently dubbed the “greatest sitcom ever” by The Guardian, was axed by the Fox network in 2006.

But a new series has been made and aired by streaming service Netflix.

The series is the latest attempt by Netflix to tempt viewers away from traditional TV channels.

Netflix previously made waves in the TV industry by bypassing established networks and filming its own remake of British political drama House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey. All 13 episodes were made available at once in February.

Arrested Development has been revived after an absence of 7 years

Arrested Development has been revived after an absence of 7 years

Arrested Development established a cult following during its original three series on Fox from 2003-2006 and its return has been met with huge anticipation from its loyal fans.

Gavin and Stacey actor Matthew Horne wrote on Twitter: “I KNOW the sun is shining, but the new Arrested Development is on Netflix… so, goodbye Sunday.”

US author and Veronica Mars screenwriter Rob Thomas posted: “Netflix just emailed me that Arrested Development is online now. No one bother me for the next 7.5 hours. Hungry children – this means you.”

Before the new series appeared, creator Mitch Hurwitz told fans to pace themselves.

“Don’t feel obligated to watch it all at once,” he told the Vulture website.

“It’s a comedy! It’s not like Lord of the Rings. Comedy takes a lot out of you.”

Forbes.com writer Dorothy Pomerantz said she would savor the experience because it might be the last time key personnel including executive producer and narrator Ron Howard and actor Jason Bateman would find time to film together.

Dorothy Pomerantz wrote: “I’m going to take my time with Arrested Development and enjoy it like an old-fashioned TV show: one a week. I want the fun to last as long as possible.”

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