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I put together a video demo of the new Netflix Watch Now movie download feature:
I used the excellent Camtasia Studio software to record the screencast.
January 16, 2007 | Permalink
Thanks for making this video; it's really helpful. It's a cool idea for netflix to give users x number of hours per month with no extra charge, that will suit many people better than the "must be watched in 24/48 hrs" window popular now. The 1000+ movies available is also good.
This definitely puts netflix ahead of the movie download game, color me impressed.
January 16, 2007 at 01:42 AM
I'm amazed at the naysayers in the other comment section. At least they did SOMETHING. It's a great start. Thanks for the video Mike, and I love that software; I've been looking for something like this for a project I'm working on in the near future.
Lamarr Wilson |
January 16, 2007 at 02:30 AM
OOOOH! Good job on the video. I love new ideas!
January 16, 2007 at 06:26 AM
"At least they did something" is about what I'd say too. I'm happy they rolled out something and I think it's as good as anything else out there. I think not being able to actually download the movies is offset by it being free.
Would this cause me to join Netflix (if I wasn't already a member) or even to bump up my subscription rate to gain more hours? No. I may use this from time to time - which is more than I can say for the other services - but only because it's free.
Bottomline, I want to be able to download movies and watch them on my TV. Not my PC. I'd like 3-at-a-time DVD plus 4 downloads per month plan. Then between DVDs I could simply download a movie, pop it on a DVD-RW (since it will only work for a day or so), and have something to watch while waiting for my next disc.
But I also realize that the Networks and Studios are the major roadblock in that equation, not Netflix. So I applaud Netflix for doing what they can. For coming up with the best solution given the restraints they have to work under. And I hope they continue to work on giving the average consumer what he/she really wants.
By the way, nice job on the Camtasia demo.
January 16, 2007 at 07:24 AM
Good job on the demo Mike.
In as far as the service itself, I can’t really see myself using it except for longer previews perhaps. Even though I have the fastest Internet access available in our area, downloading a DVD quality movie would take me many, many hours and I am not interested in watching lesser quality, except for perhaps a preview.
Two things in the demo that did make my blood boil though, both outside of NetFlix’s control I'm sure.
Firstly yet *another* proprietary player, but even worse, the "phone home" license acquisition. I can proudly proclaim I have never, ever clicked yes to that question. Never have, never will. My mother would tell me I was "Biting off my nose to spite my face" or something like that, and while that may be true, there are times when one must make personal decisions inline with ones beliefs.
Several posters hit the nail I think in that "at least they are doing something". I applaud them for the effort, but still stand that no DVD service will own the VOD space.
Now if NetFlix wants to offer me clear, un-DRM encumbered DVD or better quality downloads in say 3 years, I may be interested. To be successful the content must be affordable, readily available to the masses, freely transportable and ultimately compatible, in other words just like current DVD’s.
Rusty Ramrod |
January 16, 2007 at 08:29 AM
heard that BB too is launching a similar service this year....dunno, i hate watching movies on my pc. Another drawback of this feature is that you cannot watch movies while traveling as u need a constant internet connection.
January 16, 2007 at 09:01 AM
I could see this being the killer app to push PCs into the living room. NetFlix should really look into adding an 8-foot interface that works with MCE and StreamZap remotes. It's essential that their app plays nice with as many existing home theater PC options as possible.
Andrew J. Chinnici |
January 16, 2007 at 11:20 AM
Let me get this straight, cuz it wasn't entirely clear on the video: Netflix is GIVING a typical subscriber 18 hours per month for FREE?
Is Netflix going to make their system "Viiv" compatible? Bc then all the people complaining about viewing on PCs rather than TVs will be satiated assuming they get connected in their home. Either Viiv, or maybe Windows Media Extender / Xbox will make the movies play on a TV?
January 16, 2007 at 11:21 AM
Thanks for the video. Any word on non-Internet Explorer browsers? I really hope they allow me to use Firefox. If it requires IE I'm going to have a hard time using this on my MythTV box
January 16, 2007 at 11:33 AM
I think this is a great idea for ppl that work on the computer all day they can throw a movie on while they're working or surfing the net. Also, It would be great for my kids to keep them busy with a disney movie or something while me and my wife are watching a movie on the big screen.
January 16, 2007 at 12:04 PM
if you fwd parts of a movie do you get charged for the fwded time?
btw thanks for the demo, it got me extremely excited for the new service
michael galpert |
January 16, 2007 at 12:12 PM
Charlie: While it may work in FireFox it is Windows only and appears to use Windows Media. Your MythTV box is almost guaranteed not to work.
Just an FYI. Copying the URL from Mike's demonstration doesn't get you access. You just get a screen telling you that all customers will have access by June, 07.
January 16, 2007 at 12:56 PM
I only wish for the ability to participate in this FREE offering. My computer is a Mac G5.
January 16, 2007 at 01:28 PM
For an initial roll-out, this is very impressive. I'm sure that Netflix is working on a plan to get these movies onto the TV screen.
Mr. Nethead |
January 16, 2007 at 01:42 PM
Does it work in Firefox/Safari?
January 16, 2007 at 04:03 PM
Will it run on a Mac?
January 16, 2007 at 10:25 PM
I doubt these movies will be playable on any TV, because of Windows Media DRM. They don't even let you take a screen shot of a Windows Media movie with no DRM. Imagine how it will be with DRM. You'll be lucky if you can slow motion, rewind, or pause their films. Forget about screen shots and output to television. It won't be possible for the average person. The hardcore pirates will work it out, but a typical customer will just be screwed. Count on more throttling too. Content is not free.
January 16, 2007 at 10:50 PM
Thanks for the screencast to show the functionality. Hopefully, I can stream it from my PC to my Xbox 360--it just depends on the DRM level. Regardless, I think it's a good first step for Netflix. I like the fact that it won't cost extra, just like high-def movies on disc. I think it's the right approach while the market's just beginning.
January 17, 2007 at 04:52 AM
From the iTunes store you can purchase and download movies which you can take with you on your video enabled iPod. You can connect your iPod to your TV with a $20 cable and watch movies at near DVD quality. I purchased Stick It! for $15. I received a Quicktime file that was 1.1 Gb and 640 x 344 resolution. In February you can buy an Apple TV for $299 that will allow you to play anything from your iTunes library on your television.
iTunes and iPods work with Macs or Windows PCs.
Unfortunately the iTunes store has only has 250 titles.
January 17, 2007 at 04:53 AM
There's a bit of controversy about FairPlay (Apples DRM). From the reports I've seen, stuff purchased from Apple only plays on Apple devices. Stuff purchased from others will not play on Apple devices (unless it's completely DRM-free). In short, if you buy from Apple, you're locked in. For the rest of time, you'll have to buy apple devices to continue playing the content you have, and you'll have to buy content from Apple because that's the only stuff your devices will play.
This is streaming media, so it largely avoids the whole DRM mess. Does it have DRM? Sure, but your only watching it, not buying it to own, so why should you care?
January 17, 2007 at 07:52 AM
PS. I'm loathe to do it, but I guess I'm going to have to find a way to connect my PC to my TV. This is too much added value to pass up.
Unfortunately simply running cables is not an option.
January 17, 2007 at 07:57 AM
"I like the fact that it won't cost extra, just like high-def movies on disc. I think it's the right approach while the market's just beginning."
I disagree. I think they should charge extra for HD movies, because I don't want my money going to the studio's latest scheme of world domination and planned obscolescene. There's nothing wrong with DVD now. They have rarely used DVD's full potential. What makes anyone think they will do better with HD movies? It is just a money-grabbing scheme. I think you should pay extra if you're an early adopter. Renting HD movies at no extra price comes at the expense of the majority who don't have a player and don't plan to get one soon.
January 17, 2007 at 11:07 AM
"even worse, the "phone home" license acquisition. I can proudly proclaim I have never, ever clicked yes to that question. Never have, never will."
I agree with your stand completely, Rusty. I have disabled license acquisition in Windows Media Player, and click NO any time they ask me to get a license. Any sort of phone-home, or hand-waving DRM scheme is repugnant to me on a basic level. They need to loosen their grips and get a life. Stop trying to control every aspect of how we access content. These stupid corporations are trying to nickel and dime everything in the world.
"My mother would tell me I was "Biting off my nose to spite my face" or something like that, and while that may be true, there are times when one must make personal decisions inline with ones beliefs."
It's not us biting off our nose to spite our face. It's the studios biting the hand which feeds them. These annoying DRM schemes ought to blow up in their faces, because people do not give them any money at all. There should be no time limits or restrictions on what we can do with files. Nobody should tell my DVD player or computer what to do but me. If the studios insist on all these restrictions and limitations, they will lose all my business.
January 17, 2007 at 11:19 AM
What's the deal with Windows Media DRM and not being able to play on a TV? I mean I'm just planning on using my HDTV as one of two monitors for my PC. Just need to get a long DVI cable (they ARE expensive). I think I'll go with wireless keyboard/mouse - need to investigate that.
January 22, 2007 at 11:07 AM
February 09, 2007 at 04:57 PM
March 24, 2008 at 09:59 AM
Would be a great idea BUT...
Won't work on my system.
Asus eee pc, onkyo avr, and olevia 65inch tv. I use a dvi to hdmi converter on the pc but otherwise everything is hdmi.
Get rid of the broken DRM you guys are using and maybe I'll re-subscribe. (oh, and ditch the need for IE already!)
Till then adieu Netflix.
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Nice video, but it's a little bit complicated for me, I needed an easy way to record Netflix movies and I found Tunebite Netflix Video Stream Recorder, it's much easier and it records all the Netflix movies very good. Also you don't need another tool to convert videos to avi or other formats, because Tunebite can convert automatically while downloading both audio and video files to any format needed. You can find here an useful tutorial about how to stream and capture Netflix live video streams:
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