Expats will soon have access to Netflix streaming shows

Netflix, the Internet movie subscription firm, launched its service in Brazil Monday and will be available in 43 other Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, by next Monday, the firm said.

Netflix members from Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean will be able to instantly watch a wide array of American, local and global TV shows and movies right on their televisions via a range of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming from Netflix, as well as on PCs, Macs and mobile devices, said the company.

Unlike iTunes, the movies come from a central server and no lengthy download is needed.

Still there has been no response from Costa Rica’s Internet providers who maintain the fragile system which may be flooded by Netflix streaming signals. One advantage is that if the signal is dropped, viewers can pick up their show at the same point when service is restored. Netflix also allows viewers to pause the signal.

The company reports it has 25 million customers in the United States and Canada. The firm has been streaming movies since 2007 and added service to Canada last year, it said..

The firm said in July that it would be entering the Latin American market shortly.

Costa Rican residents, including expats, who tried to sign up for the company’s services received an Internet page that said their computer IP address said they were outside the United States and they could only sign up for notices when the service would be available in their country.

The company also offered to send CDs containing movies to U.S. mailing addresses for overseas customers.

The price for a monthly subscription in Costa Rica and the rest of Central America will be $7.99, the company said.

The company said that the streaming video would be available on televisions with Internet hookup, computers, Xbox 360, PS3 from Sony, iPhone, iPads. iPods, Google TV as well as others. Some 200 different devices in the United States can receive Netflix streaming, the company said.

The monthly subscription price allows customers, called members by the firm, to access any number of movies, television shows and foreign offerings, according to the announcement and Web page.

Some expats and perhaps some Costa Ricans have rigged their computers so that the Netflix servers think that they are in the United States. So they have been watchings the company’s shows for months.

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