Late to the Netflix Party

We love seeing this red envelope in the mail!

It’s entirely possible that we’re the last family on earth (or at least in the United States) to join the Netflix phenomenon. Why was I clinging to our now-defunct Hollywood Video and soon-to-be-defunct Blockbuster memberships?

I guess I’m just old-fashioned. After all, I still remember all the mom and pop video stores that dotted Chicago where I bought my first VCR back in 1980. The world was filled with VHS tapes, and all was easy to figure out.

But times have changed. I’ve watched our local Blockbuster make the transition from VHS to DVD. Now with Blu-ray threatening to knock DVDs off the video throne, I knew it was time to get with the program.

So I decided to go with the flow and sign up for Netflix. It has so much great content! But I didn’t want Netflix just for the DVDs. Video now is being streamed to smartphones, iPads, computers, and TVs; it’s just a matter of time before physical media like DVDs and Blu-ray discs are given the boot. Which meant we needed a device that would allow us to stream Netflix on our HDTV.

Apple TV: Small but mighty

Enter Apple TV! For a mere $99, this little hockey-puck substitute is a streaming giant (though it weighs less than a pound). It sets up easily and allows you to select video content from iTunes and Netflix. There are so many “free” movies on Netflix! My #2 son and I immediately watched “The Sandlot,” which is one of his faves. Since we’ve added the Apple TV and Netflix to our household, we’ve been watching season six of “The Office,” which we missed last season, as a family. It’s been fun exploring all the video possibilities that are at our Apple TV fingertips.

Of course, we still like watching DVDs every now and then. We’re on the one DVD out-at-a-time plan, and so far we’ve watched . . . one movie. What was our first Netflix choice? Did we go topical and edgy? Total laughs? Drama and Kleenex? Gosh, did we even opt for a flick we’d never seen?

Surely you jest!

We’re fans of Woody, Buzz, and the “Toy Story” gang!

After we saw “Toy Story 3” last summer in the theater, my younger son said he wanted to watch all the “Toy Story” movies back to back to back. And that’s exactly what we’re doing.

The next DVD waiting for us to pop into the player: “Toy Story 2!”

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