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Neflix Removes Limits

Home Theater

January 13, 2008 11:16 AM PST

In a preemptive move to Apples expected movie rental announcement, Netflix has removed the limits on their 'Watch Instantly' service. This means that subscription users can now watch as much streamed content as they want. Their streamable movie selection is still a bit stale, but they are getting more TV shows all the time. I really like this service, but it is not without flaws. Movie quality can degrade depending on your bandwidth. Also the need for a computer to view content is a restriction. Sure, these days you can hook a laptop up to a TV, LCD or projector easy enough, but it is still hassle.

The service is not perfect, but hey, it is free with your account.

Here is my wish list for the coming year:
1. More and newer content. Netflix needs to work harder with the studios to expand their selection.
2. Offer a download and watch option. Streaming is cool and all, but my ISP is too unreliable to make it a good experience. I'd trade a bit of wait time for better quality.
3. Allow the content to be streamed to the 360 to bypass the PC altogether. Hey if Amazon's unbox can do it why not Netflix? They both use MS DRM.

Comments (5)
Paul, January 13, 2008 02:05 PM:

I'm sort of looking forward to the Apple service because it won't include a monthly fee like Netflix. The 24 hour window to watch will probably be okay since I'm only likely to use it for impulse movies: "I really need to watch "Das Boot" right now!"

George, January 13, 2008 08:11 PM:

Interesting move by Netflix. Apparently Netflix has been rolling this out to select new and existing subscribers since October. I wonder if Netflix is timing the official announcement (and hinting to the media that it's targeted to blunt Apple's rental service) to get a little extra publicity.

Like John, I really like the service since I'm netflix subscriber making it essentially a freebie for me. My only complaint about the service is that I have some kind of DRM/Flash glitch such that I can either get Netflix working or ABC's streaming site working but not both. Probably not Netflix's problem but when I was trying get support from Netflix they weren't too helpful. I finally gave up trying to get both working.

J, January 14, 2008 05:44 PM:

The key for me is to be able to watch downloaded video on my HDTV. There is no way I'm going back to sitting watching movies at my PC. And there is just no WAF for a PC solution. Netflix has partnered with TiVo and nothing has resulted. They could easily act as Media server using MS DRM to stream to the 360, or other media center front ends from D-Link, etc. which would also be a viable option. If anything, they should provide a subsidized set-top box for new users or something. My feeling is that Apple's announcements tomorrow will push the whole industry forward, as usual.

John, January 14, 2008 06:18 PM:

Have you tried the 360 movie rental model? Kicking off a download the night before with the auto-turn off enabled is pretty cool. It costs too much of course, but the overal experience is nice.

J, January 14, 2008 09:39 PM:

Well you and George said it - I'm already a Netflix member, so that would basically be free for me. And the 360 downloads are too expensive on top of it.

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