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Revealed: How UK Netflix Viewers Only Get Half The Choice of U.S. Users For The Same Price - But There Is A Hack You Can Use To Get Access To The Extra Hit Shows
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- Netflix users in Britain pay £7.49 per month for 3,000 films and TV shows
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- Grey’s Anatomy, The West Wing and The Office US can't be viewed in UK
- Some subscribers use proxies to access internet content in other nations
Netflix customers in Britain only get half the titles available in America, it was revealed today.
UK users of the video streaming service pay £7.49 a month for a selection of 3,000 films and TV shows on the standard plan, while in the US it is about £7 ($9.99) per month for 5,600 releases.
Among the American shows Britons cannot watch on Netflix are medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, political series The West Wing and comedy The Office US - plus UK detective drama Ripper Street.
Also not available: John Krasinksi as Jim Halpert, BJ Novak as Ryan Howard, Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, Steve Carrell as Michael Scott and Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute in the US version of The Office
Netflix subscribers often try to resort to proxies - servers that facilitate access to internet content not available locally - to access shows that can only be viewed in other countries.
But the California-based company - whose service is now live in almost 250 countries - is clamping down on these proxies, having announced two months ago that it wants to stamp out the practice.
A Netflix spokesman said it is ‘quickly’ trying to close the loophole, adding: ‘Until then we have to deal with the reality of territorial licensing. That's a legacy of the traditional world of TV and film.’
Netflix does not reveal how many shows can be viewed in each region, but research by The Sun consumer editor Daniel Jones suggested customers in the US are getting a much better deal.
Stuart Miles from Ascot-based technology website Pocket-lint told the newspaper: ‘Netflix will point to licensing rules that limit content in certain countries. But there is nothing to stop them buying in more shows for the UK to ensure the number is the same.’
American series: Netflix subscribers often try to resort to proxies - servers that facilitate access to internet content not available locally - to access shows such as hospital drama Grey's Anatomy (pictured)
Political series: UK users of Netflix pay £7.49 for a selection of 3,000 films and TV shows - not including The West Wing (above) on the £7.49 a month standard plan, while in the US it is about £7 a month for 5,600 releases
Speaking to MailOnline, a spokesman said the UK has access to series that are not available on Netflix the US - including Homeland, Suits and season two of Better Call Saul.
She added that films including Ride Along, Olympus has Fallen, The Wolf of Wall Street and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are also available in the UK - and not America.
HOW DO UK NETFLIX USERS TRY TO WATCH UNAVAILABLE CONTENT?
To overcome geographical restrictions on certain Netflix content, some people use a VPN or 'virtual private network service'.
This links a user's computer to a server in a country of their choice, so it appears to Netflix as if they are based there, allowing them to bypass geo-blocking and access programmes and films only viewable in certain countries.
The Unofficial Netflix Online Global Search, or Unogs, website lets users search Netflix's huge global database for films and TV shows, even if they are not shown in their home country.
It helps them search by genre, programme type, whether it has subtitles and even its Internet Movie Database (IMDb) rating.
Other filters include the programme's Netflix rating, what year it was released and audio options. The results can then be sorted.
However, Netflix recently announced plans to crack down on people using proxies to watch content not available in their home country.
In January, the number of countries in which Netflix is available rose to 243, when India, Nigeria, Russia and Saudi Arabia were among 130 joining the service which now covers most of the world except China.
Netflix said at the time that all of its shows would not be available immediately to subscribers in certain countries, but that it was working towards resolving this.
A spokesman said: ‘Ultimately, the aim is to provide a service around the world that is more similar than not.
Brian Blau, research director at Connecticut-based technology advisory firm Gartner, said: ‘The strategy is simple - they have a responsibility to content owners to only show that content in the geographies for which they have a licence. Enforcing those restrictions is a Netflix responsibility.’
Daily Mail Australia reported shortly after Netfix's announcement that Australian internet users watching hit shows from overseas Netflix libraries were being blocked by the streaming service as its crackdown on 'geo-dodgers' began.
Last week it was revealed that Sky is setting its sights on Netflix and expanding its on-demand services by investing £31million in a TV streaming company in Asia.
Also last week, the Mail reported how the BBC has apparently held talks with rivals including ITV and Downton Abbey producer NBC Universal to develop a Netflix-style streaming service.