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Matthew R. Miller

I would be interested to know what you think about the changes Blockbuster made to their online service. It actually had me change over to Blockbuster from Netflix earlier this month for.

Cheers!

f0am

As far as the Blockbuster vs. Netflix go's, I personally signed up to try out the blockbuster service and within the first day am not impressed at all. I have taken screen shots of my first 24 hours.

But to stay on topic, downloaded movies..
Lets see here I have probably 10k invested in my home theater. Why would I degrade my home theater by watching a movie on my 21 inch computer moniter wearing headphones.
Or for those with home media centers the video quality and sound quality of your media center cant compete with high end audio components. So I guess those who really dont care about the quality of their sound or video will switch to this sort of thing. But I for one think the idea is horrible.

f0am

Agent Snotface

[Note: this code is for 2 weeks and this person has been banned for spamming the site. - Mike]

Get 3 months free with Blockbuster Online's Total Access Program. Use Promotional code '-------' at signup. Promotional code ----- gets you 3-movies out at a time, 1 monthly e-coupon for use in-store for a free movie (New Release or Non-NR) or game rental, plus unlimited instore-exchanges for all online-rentals. All free for three months. No contract required- can cancel anytime before or after 3-month trial. Promotional code expires: 7/15/07.

Lamarr Wilson

Mike,

This article irritated me when I read it, which is why I sent it to you. There is no way a company like Verisign could "kill" Netflix anytime soon.

I think services like IPTV will give them a run for their money, especially if it's successful, but it will be a LONG time before we no longer use discs. And to be honest, I think that IPTV is more of a threat to Tivo than any other company, and that worries me, because I invested in an HD Tivo which was expensive. It'll be interesting how all of this plays out in 2007.

As I stated before, I have a 20Mbps Download/2Mbps Upload connection; I want to use it for more than just gaming and occasionally downloading music!

eazyguy52

May I direct your attention to this article I had read earlier this week:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/home_entertainment/news/e3i8aed0effbc9403093f9804aa0a5efb1e

LAS VEGAS -- As expected, an exceptionally strong fourth quarter propelled consumer spending on DVD sales and rentals in 2006 to record heights, while the VHS death-march drag kept overall home entertainment spending flat with last year.

Combined DVD and VHS purchase and rental spending came in at $24.2 billion, just below the $24.3 billion consumers spent in 2005, according to numbers compiled by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and released Monday during the Consumer Electronics Show.

DVD sellthrough spending rose to $16.6 billion from $16.3 billion in 2005, while DVD rental spending grew to $7.5 billion from $6.5 billion. Both are record highs.

Doesn't sound like DVD is in its last throes to me. And where have I heard that expression?

gir

The only way on-line DVD rental will die is if something more convenient comes along, with equal or greater value (and even then, that doesn't necessarily mean the demise of NetFlix).

Video download has the potential to be both more convenient and a better value, but current offerings are pathetic and I can't even guess when that will change. Apple and XBox are closest IMO (because their devices are connected to your TV), but they need to lower prices and provide all the extras when they sell you a movie.

Regardless, nothing will really gain a foothold till truly high speed connections are more common. My 768 DSL ain't gonna cut it.

Ricklogic

NETFLIX IS DEAD

Download rights have to be bought for a lot of money. Buying DVD's does not let you do download, VOD, IPTV, in-store kiosk download and burn, or anything else that you have not negotiated and paid for.

Catch these headlines?
Mercury News
Insiders: Netflix chief stepped up sales in '06
EXECS CASH IN AS COMPANY'S SHARES MEANDER
Posted on Mon, Jan. 08, 2007

http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=print_story&articleid=VR1117956996&categoryid=13
Posted: Tue., Jan. 9, 2007, 6:46pm PT
Paramount sells iTunes a library card


Netflix discovered very early that new releases were hard as heck to deal with in a DVD-by-mail business. Let's go back to when Netflix had 1,000,000 subscribers. If Netflix 'bought' 25,000 copies of a new release and it was popular, some subscribers would not get the DVD before it had aged into a catalog film. With no late fees and subscribers who wanted to sit on DVD's and/or share the DVD's before sending them back, there could be quite a delay in getting a significant number of the DVD's in and back out.

On the other hand, catalog films are more suited for a DVD-by-mail model. They are cheaper and very few titles are individually in great demand. As Netflix saw this unfold, they went to full spin mode.

The opportunity for Netflix arose from the fact that catalog films were hard to monetize in the traditional channels, especially in retail outlets like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and others like that. There are tens of thousands of catalog films and putting them on shelves would be prohibitive anyway that you look at it.

[By the way, the kiosks that are being installed by the thousands across the country for movie DVD rental are stocked only with new releases, virtually speaking. It’s close to a perfect model for the next one or two years.]

I suggest that Netflix is going to have a serious problem when it becomes easier and cost effective for the studios to monetize catalog films in new channels. The beauty of catalog films in the download, VOD, IPTV, and the in-store kiosk download and burn models is that the inventory/shelf space issues disappear, practically speaking.

While Netflix has stated that they will be a leader in download and have announced that they will describe their plans for adding a download component to their business model, we will just have to depend on other little companies like Apple, Microsoft, and the studios themselves for now. I am pretty impressed with where Apple and Microsoft are going with this and I expect to be very entertained by Netflix’s announcement on January 24, 2007 of their plans to equal or exceed the efforts of greater, richer, smarter, more sophisticated companies. Did I mention better connected?

The point here is that things are evolving and not in Netflix’s favor – who do you want to bet on, if not now, 6 months from now, Netflix or Apple and Microsoft?

Regarding catalog films and new channels of distribution:


http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=print_story&articleid=VR1117956996&categoryid=13

Hunter McDaniel

With all of these potential download services, it comes down to whether are willing to compete with Netflix on price. Are they willing to let me watch what I want from a broad catalogue for 50 cents per hour - or are they still trying to get movie theatre/DVD purchase type prices?

Right now there are too many greedy hands looking for a cut to let downloads be competititve.

type-cast

"I would be interested to know what you think about the changes Blockbuster made to their online service."

It's often painfully slow to browse, add, or re-order movies. It takes forever if you want to remove more than one movie. I'm unable to change my ratings for some movies. Also, they seem to have removed all the reviews. All in all, I'd rather go back to the old website...

type-cast

"Right now there are too many greedy hands looking for a cut to let downloads be competititve."

They can't match the selection of a typical video store. Forget price. If they had more selection, including things not on DVD yet, they could succeed even charging a premium. But people won't pay more for LESS quality, LESS selection, LESS flexibility, and LESS special features. Downloads are still-born.

Seth

FYI - I hooked up a "relatively" inexpensive system to watch stuff from my computer on my tv. Now this doesn't speak to those who have the surround sound and such, but maybe someone can spin from there.

My video card has an s-video out. So I bought a 30-ft RCA cable - the red white and yellow ones. Bought a "y-adapter" that splits the audio output (the same one you plug speakers into on the back of your computer) into the red and white plugs. Also bought a converter for s-video to rca video plug (the yellow one) - cost: $30

What it allows is for my computer to treat the television as a second monitor, so anything I can watch in dvd player on the computer or media player, can now be seen and heard thru the tv.

corey3rd

Agent's deal is bogus - it's only 2 weeks free. Please have it removed.

There are enough TV critics who have made a career out of writing "Saturday Night Live is Dead" columns. I think people have had enough computer hard drives gone bad to really want to invest serious money into buying downloads. You only need to spill your Big Gulp to have your entire collection get sizzled.

bebo

People don't want to buy digital downloads of movies to OWN...its not same dynamic as Songs which people want to own to play over and over...

People want to RENT movie downloads, same as dvd's...on some kind of plan...

A queue coupled to a post-license rental (DRM unlocks on play AFTER download complete, thus allowing a queue of choices to download FREE in background) with a cap per month (10 movies per month for $19.90 = $1.99ea would work).

A peer-to-peer (maybe torrent based) queue feeder would work great esp. for new releases where the "swarm" would be gigantic (this is better for Netflix than dvd b/c of not having to buy/make 300,000 copies of a new release)

Apple could pull this off with a client/queue invisibly embedded in iTunes, feeding their iTV boxes on TVs throughout the household. But this requires consumer to have a Mac & an iTV box or three, and an airport, which is very high brow.

Will the studios allow this kind of service? Its all up to Walmart, which has huge leverage over the studios through dominant position in DVD distrib (they dabble EXTENSIVELY in pricing, digital release quality, inclusion of DVD extras in digital versions, etc.).

Netflix could pull this off by partnering with Walmart and a huge cable company. In any case, watch Walmart for a digital rental plan coupled to various cable companies and their new queue-oriented p2p fed set top boxes.

hawk5391

"What do you think? What would kill Netflix?"

I think it's either a stake through the heart or a silver bullet. I can never remember which.

type-cast

eMusic lets you re-download any songs you've gotten in the past. Any decent service would protect your investment. It's interesting to note that Apple's iTunes does NOT let people re-download things for free. You are screwed if you accidentally (or purposefully) delete something from Apple. Their music and movies are overpriced. These download services only care about money. They don't care if your PC fails, is stolen, or burns up in a fire. You pay them money and they don't care. Nice.

hawk5391

By the way, I think the post by Ricklogic is one of the most interesting things I have ever read on this site, particularly his analysis of Netflix's business model as it pertains to new releases vs catalog films. Props to you Rick.

hawk5391

"I would be interested to know what you think about the changes Blockbuster made to their online service."

I know this waasn't really the topic but I want to second type-cast's opinion of BB's site. These site issues are the primary reason I have chosen not to switch to BB, regardless of how many more movies I could potentially get at the same price point (although with the delays in BB shipping times, who knows how many more that could really be). In addition to the issues type-cast mentioned, I do not like the recommendations section at all -- I find it to be worse than useless.

BB may have some features that Netflix may never have (in-store trade-ins, video game coupons) but online they are a distant second. Considering how slow Netflix is to adapt to the market and its customers' wants and needs, that should be a truly sobering thought for BB management. If you can't beat someone who's not exactly playing at the top of their game, who can you beat?

Andy Lester

For me, what's going to kill NetFlix is their sending out of scratched, unplayable discs. Probably one disc in ten that we get (and we get a lot) is unplayable, either from scratches or cracking, which is especially aggravating when you're working through a series of discs in order, as my wife is currently doing through "Gilmore Girls". She might have three discs in the house, but if the first is unplayable, the other two don't matter.

At the very least we know that if we get a digital download, it'll work.

Ethan

I for one am shocked, shocked that Scoble made a grand pronouncement that was quickly weakened or debunked entirely.

"At the very least we know that if we get a digital download, it'll work."

This assumes that the majority of Netflix subscibers have hoop-de-doo internet connections, hard drive capacity, etc to handle the file sizes necessary to download feature films. Not to mention whatever DRM is added, not to mention that not everyone wants to watch movies on their PC. Lots of variables in play before Netflix or even brick+mortar video rental places collapse.

Oh, and I've had huge files end up being corrupt after hours/days of downloading, so no immunity there, unless Netflix is magical.

smgpugfaw

---Lets see here I have probably 10k invested in my home theater. Why would I degrade my home theater by watching a movie on my 21 inch computer moniter wearing headphones.---

I have no idea. Why did people abandon those same killer setups in favor of compressed audio on a little handheld device and a pair of earbud headphones?

I suspect there's a new generation who value convenience over quality and they will represent the majority.

Not saying I "get" it, just that the trends have ben established and the second downloading movies becomes convenient, DVD is on the way out. Much like CD's and the music industry.

thecheshirecat

I second f0am's comments. If you follow business news at all, you're aware that Best Buy and all the other TV retailers can't keep their big-screen, flat panel LCDs and plasmas in stock. Consumers are spending more and more to build up their home theaters (which is why movie theater owners were so worried about box office ticket sales, at least until Pirates 2 came out) - bigger, better, flatter(!), especially b/c everyone wants to get on the HDTV bandwagon (can you blame them? the picture is crystal!), a format that has been successful and is becoming available in more and more channels. As a result, the forecast is rosy, profitable skies ahead for high-quality TV manufacturers as consumers continue to aim higher and higher for the best TV on the market thanks to high-def- many have already predicted that all channels will eventually be available in HD so until that happens, there ain't no end in sight to consumers' apetites for high quality televisions. And in the endless cycle, TV manufacturers will continue spending money on R&D to get ever-advanced technology to build improved TVs. We just purchased a flat-screen 52" LCD kick-arse Samsung - I'm not even close to tempted to download a movie onto my comparatively itty bitty computer screen. I don't even like downloading stuff on ITunes! Lots of people have dayjobs, including myself, and don't want to use their spare time to download movies. Leave that to the college kids. I just want to have them in hand when I get home or have them immediately accessible. (On BBO: My time, like I'm sure for many others, is precious and I don't want to have to go to a store to return something and don't mind a business day or two business days' wait to have something available for me.) Even if they could get the variety of foreign, indie, black and white, classic and otherwise non-mainstream movies that comprise 65-70% of my Netflix Q, what if I wanted to check out the special features on a DVD for a movie (something I do almost 80% of the time)? Can a download replicate that? Can a download replicate the quality of a Criterion release of Seven Samurai or will I be stuck with some computer-formattable version? Would you have a choice between different releases of a movie or is it one uniform "downloadable" version? And something I haven't seen mentioned yet either w/the BBO discussion or the movie download discussion - I have about 25 Netflix friends that would basically be zapped if I canceled Netflix. It's one of my favorite features of Netflix to be able to easily share opinions with tons of people at once on movies you liked, disliked, etc. I don't know how a download could replicate this either.

hueristix

Netflix, and the DVD, has been declared dead again and again. (and I laugh)

Netflix- has told us they are not limited to the disc format, their programming and customer experience expertise will help them create one of the best DL options available yet, IMHO. When the tech. and studio prices finally click, they will be there on the forefront. Look how Apple entered the mp3 player market 'late' but their design and timing made for the perfect storm...

bandwidth:
For now, the bandwidth just isn't around quite yet to make downloading viable yet. If anything, PSP and ipod downloads make sense (at lower resolution) for riding the subway, etc., but not home theater DL yet.

HD war:
In the mean time- we are all getting hooked on HD, but confused betwen bluray and HD-DVD (I have both going) This format war will continue to support the rental as opposed to sales market. Also, the increase in disc/movie size in gigabytes makes downloading of HD content take much longer. Just as downloading a 4-9 gig olds school DVD begins to sound reasonable, now we have 25-50 gig HD discs to deal with.

Consumer Ease of Use:
At this point it is still much easier for the average consumer to take a small disc around with them that can be played @home, car, or laptop. It will take years to transition to downloads, even though the trip has already begun.

Bandwidth and ease of use aside, if the studios weren't so greedy, it wouldn't take so long- until they can provide HD quality for a decent price, I doubt many of us want to pay for 'low-res' crap when they can torrent it etc. Netflix is still the better value with better picture quality.

("now if you all take the special pills I gave you all I will SHOW you my theory" - Mr. Show)

Meanwhile I have over 100 HD and 480 movies in my queue, so I aint leavin the 'Flix any time soon. I am glad they have waited to join the game and I bet their plan is no joke.

hueristix

That is, over 100 HD and SD movies, to clarify.

thecheshirecat

smpugfaw wrote: "I have no idea. Why did people abandon those same killer setups in favor of compressed audio on a little handheld device and a pair of earbud headphones?"

What "same killer setups" are you referring to? Before ITunes, I was listening to my CDs on a boombox and/or my car - not exactly "killer setups!" ;-) I still listen to CDs in my car and hardly ever listen to my IPod w/headphones anymore. The BOSE IPod station is practically the only time I listen to it. And a good 70% of the songs on my Ipod are based off of my CD library. In addition, having an Ipod hasn't killed my CD habit off entirely. In other words, the habits you cited seem themselves to be changing.

"I suspect there's a new generation who value convenience over quality and they will represent the majority."

When you say "new generation" I assume you mean younger generations? I agree with you that they might value convenience over quality to the extent that perhaps younger people tend not to have stable incomes and/or jobs yet, or are still in school etc., so they probably don't own homes to build home theaters in and/or they don't have enough disposable income (other than what they get from mom and dad), relative to older generations, to be able to afford more costly "quality" items. But I disagree that they'll become the majority. Imo, it seems that as you age and start to earn your own money and have less spare time, you buy your first home, you start a family whatever, your experience (including w/consumer products) increases and you begin to want "quality" items. I've read several recent interesting business articles that seem to point to this "shift" of middle-market consumers wanting better things, including Wal-Mart reporting lower profits for recent fiscal quarter ends and trying to get more high-end (i.e., offering organic products) to appeal to their customers and stave off those losses. I've even read recent articles where upscale consumers are envious of even more upscale consumers! Not sure what this says about our society or whatever, but it's playing itself out. Also, younger generations are so saturated w/ over-the-top materialism, from Hollywood celebs of their generation to wildly popular shows on MTV like "My Sweet 16" that idolize luxury goods, I'm sure many of them see it as something to attain. If there wasn't a demand by people who couldn't afford this stuff (including young kids), you wouldn't see so many knockoffs of high-end clothes, purses and goods everywhere on the arms of young girls or around the necks of young boys. Remember the story about some kid getting killed for his Air Jordans? It's a sad, extreme scenario but it's definitely reflective of this pervasive idea that kids can appreciate and want to attain higher-end items. And plasma screens, if you ever watch MTV Cribs (a station that definitely caters to young generations as I can barely relate to it anymore!), that are hanging all over every spare wall space of these celeb houses, can easily be included in this category.

"Not saying I "get" it, just that the trends have ben established and the second downloading movies becomes convenient, DVD is on the way out. Much like CD's and the music industry."

- Understood, but I think the trends are far from established. I mentioned the HDTV format for live TV in an earlier post which has become a dominant trend and has fueled the major successes of high-end TV manufacturers as of late. Following the HDTV trend, what makes more sense than coming up with a high-def DVD format? So now we see the introduction of two of these formats and studios either choosing one or the other. While the high-def format hasn't played out yet, I believe movie downloads are in an even earlier stage of infancy than high-def DVDs and also seem inconsistent with the high-def DVD trend. It seems to me that if consumers are spending large amounts to invest in and adopt the HDTV trend en masse (as evidenced by the huge numbers of sales of TVs compatible with HD), they would rather see a return on those investments in their home theater rather than switch the viewing medium entirely (i.e., to a computer screen or Ipod screen via downloads).

Ricklogic

Netflix Subscriber Statistics
From SEC 8-K 1/9/2007
------------------------
It works in Excel and Word? Anyway, there are 6 columns. One key item is that the 2nd and 3rd Qtr's of 2006 show significantly slowing growth of 'Total Subscribers' on a percentage basis. 6.23% and 9.54%, respectfully, on a quarterly basis. These percents are less than half of most earlier quarterly growth percentages.
-----------------------------------

Quarter - Total Subs -- q/q-- Gross Adds ---Quit Netflix -----Net Adds
12/31/04----2,610------NA----------783--------402----------381
03/31/05----3,018---15.63%-------945--------537----------408
06/30/05----3,196-----5.90%-------707--------529----------178
09/30/05----3,592---12.39%-------921--------525----------396
12/31/05----4,179---16.34%-----1,156--------569----------587
03/31/06----4,866---16.44%-----1,377--------690----------687
06/30/06----5,169-----6.23%-----1,070--------767----------303
09/30/06----5,662-----9.54%-----1,310--------817----------493
------------------------------
From the table above, here's the column for how many subs quit the service each qtr from 4th qtr, 2004 to 3rd qtr, 2006
---------------
Quit Netflix
4th qtr, 2004 --- 402
1st qtr, 2005 --- 537
2nd qtr, 2005 --- 529
3rd qtr, 2005 --- 525
4th qtr, 2005 --- 569
1st qtr, 2006 --- 690
2nd qtr, 2006 --- 767
3rd qtr, 2006 --- 817
------------------
This is important because it shows that, over time, more than half the people who have tried the service quit. It reduces the pool of potential new subscribers and requires ever expanding marketing.

cmmsml

"...distribute videos over P2P networks to reduce distribution cost and improve time to get a movie to you."

Sure, but whats the percentage of the population that actually has high-speed connections with the bandwidth capable of downloading digital movies?? And of those, how many actually do or are interested in download movies?? And of those, how many have the hardware and know-how to setup a home media server to be able to watch those movies in their living room?? To say nothing about the prices and DRM limitations.

If Netflix does absolutely *nothing* with their current business model, then yes, eventually, they would be killed off by whatever the next new service is. But even that would take years and only after the new service has finally taken hold and became popular and viable. However, they're not standing still and they've already indicated they're working on digital downloads. So why the ringing of the death bell every time some company announces a new service??

Ricklogic

"By the way, I think the post by Ricklogic is one of the most interesting things I have ever read on this site, particularly his analysis of Netflix's business model as it pertains to new releases vs catalog films. Props to you Rick."
------------------
Thanks, Hawk, I appreciate it. I don't know why the sell-side analysts sometimes leave this out. On many levels the dynamic is distinct and critical to analysis. Rick

type-cast

"perhaps younger people tend not to have stable incomes and/or jobs yet, or are still in school etc., so they probably don't own homes to build home theaters in and/or they don't have enough disposable income (other than what they get from mom and dad), relative to older generations, to be able to afford more costly "quality" items. But I disagree that they'll become the majority."

I think they will become the majority. I am not materialistic like the middle market you refer to. I am perfectly content to watch a movie on my computer, or a small television. I'd never buy a $10,000 home entertatinment system, because all that junk just depresses me. Do you think all that will make "Mission Impossible III" better? No, it will still be crap, no matter how expensive your setup is. I've returned LCDs and Plasma screens, cuz I just find them depressing and pretentious. I am perfectly content with my headphones, or a 27" CRT. Raise your movie standards, lower your yuppie status symbol standards.

"Imo, it seems that as you age and start to earn your own money and have less spare time, you buy your first home, you start a family whatever, your experience (including w/consumer products) increases and you begin to want "quality" items."

That is hardly the norm to have a $10,000 home entertainment system, except among the yuppies living in disgusting McMansions. I know very few people in ordinary homes with more than 25-27" TVs and built-in speakers. I've got better uses for my money, thanks a lot. Don't need to be tied down by a bunch of over-priced consumer goods that will not enhance the actual substance of a movie by one bit. Good dialogue and good characters are more important than loud explosions and deep bass. We have money and choose to spend it in more meaningful ways than enriching a pathetic company seling home entertainment systems to gated community snobs.

Edward R Murrow

"When the tech. and studio prices finally click, they will be there on the forefront."

As long as customers want to download that drivel that Netflix calls content in the form of Red Envelope, then Netflix will have nothing to worry about for DL.

I already have incredibly fast, high quality download content in the form of On Demand from Comcast. I don't want or need any other DL option. I can envision the day when I pay Comcast a monthly subscription for downloading 'all you can eat' new releases rather than paying by the download for new releases.

On Demand is the only way to fly for watching Showtime, HBO, etc. content.

Lamarr Wilson

I would REALLY like to see a Netflix/Tivo deal. It would be an ideal match. I have both of these, and it would be great to be able to download movies straight to my Tivo box. I'd even pay $5-$10 extra for this convenience per month. I hope they can partner up.

hawk5391

"I already have incredibly fast, high quality download content in the form of On Demand from Comcast. I don't want or need any other DL option. I can envision the day when I pay Comcast a monthly subscription for downloading 'all you can eat' new releases rather than paying by the download for new releases."

Ed's right again. THIS is the near-future of downloads, and it does require the dreaded set-top box, albeit one that is already in place in most households. Like thecheshirecat said, "I'm not even close to tempted to download a movie onto my comparatively itty bitty computer screen." And why would you? Unless portability is key for you, it's just a hassle to download to your PC, then burn and play.

On-demand viewing is the future of viewership, from TV programming to movies. The delivery system that can provide the best access with the least hassle at a reasonable cost will win.

If Netflix wants to play in this environment, maybe they need to hook up with a cable or satellite provider for on-demand access to the back catalog of movies that will be ignored or underserved by most premium channels. How would you like to come home from work and find the next movie in your queue already downloaded and waiting for you to hit play?

hueristix

Hehe. I never said DL wasn't already around in one form or another. The selection from Comcast etc. is EXTREMELY limited.

In fact it has been shown that most people that have access to On Demand don't use it for whatever reason. Take Sopranos- if I dont see the new episode when it is broadcast I get "upset"

We are transitioning to online, but I think people are getting way ahead of themselves.

Why isn't it there yet?

"How would you like to come home from work and find the next movie in your queue already downloaded and waiting for you to hit play?"

(Smile) I already have that- it's called Netflix and the picture quality is better than vongo or cable, and doesn't take up massive room on my hard drive. Even my Mother can handle it. Until all of it can start quickly (like on demand) with HD quality Netflix does not have anything to worry about. If we are talking all day or night to download quality content, it isn't worth it. On demand is "cute" but no solution as of yet until they can bump the selection by 100-200x.

In my opinion, until we can have fiber optics to the premises, VDSL and what have you, these issues will not be resolved.

I'm gonna go watch a Netflix HD-DVD. Have fun downloading something.

Edward R Murrow

Uh, just downloaded Ultraviolet - HD for free in seconds using Comcast On Demand. "On demand is 'cute'" - I'll say; Milla Jovovich is a burnin'. smokin' babe in HD. Hueristix, ya'all should get out a little more often:
http://www.comcast.com/hdtv/?CMP=ILC-comcastnethdtv

Like that new Blockbuster commercial, I guess Netflix customers will have to stand outside by their mailboxes to get those HD movies while us Comcast On Demand folks can download awesome HD content in seconds.

Edward R Murrow

Back on topic - we should all hope that Netflix doesn't die so that Netflix will keep Blockbuster honest. I do believe that Netflix will become a niche player in the small cities that don't have a local Blockbuster. Blockbuster has clearly proven themselves a better value proposition for customers who can make use of Blockbuster Online + Total Access.

Looking into my crystal ball, at some point in 2008, enough customers will leave Netflix and join Blockbuster that both companies will have approximately the same number of customers.

hueristix

"Like that new Blockbuster commercial, I guess Netflix customers will have to stand outside by their mailboxes to get those HD movies while us Comcast On Demand folks can download awesome HD content in seconds."

Yep, if you want to pay $6.99 per movie or whatever, and if you like one of the hundreds of movies they have. Not too great IMO.

Ricklogic

More catalog ('library') films bypassing Netflix:
------------------
http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=print_story&articleid=VR1117957250&categoryid=14
Posted: Thurs., Jan. 11, 2007, 9:00pm PT
NBC Universal, DirecTV team on Chiller
New net to be devoted to horror programming
By JOSEF ADALIAN
In an unexpected move, NBC Universal plans to roll out a new digital cable network devoted to horror-themed programming.
Dubbed Chiller, cabler will launch March 1 and initially be seen in 12 million homes via a carriage deal with DirecTV. Channel also will be offered on DirecTV's new tier of 100 HD channels slated to roll out later this year.
NBC U has already started pitching other cable operators on the channel and is hoping to land carriage agreement on other systems.
Jeff Gaspin, NBC U prexy of cable entertainment, digital content and cross-network strategy, will announce the network today at the TV Critics Assn. winter press tour in Pasadena. Dan Harrison, senior VP of emerging networks for NBC U Cable Entertainment, will be in charge of the channel.
Chiller will take advantage of NBC U's deep reservoir of horror-related TV shows ("Alfred Hitchcock Presents") and films ("The Shining," "Psycho"), many of them from the old MCA library. But Gaspin said the cabler also has acquired programming from other congloms, including 20th Century Fox TV, Sony, Warner Bros. TV and Lionsgate.
"We've gone beyond our library and licensed content from all the major players," Gaspin said.

PodFlixWilly

Why can't anyone see the BEST marriage would be Netflix and Apple? Apple wants to sell hardware. They hardly make any money on their digital sales. ITunes was created to help sell more iPods. Incorporating a movie rental section into iTunes would boost AppleTV sales. More importantly taking Netflix's 15-20 millions customers and offering them a one time $300 purchase(to buy AppleTV) that you can download your Netflix movies to would be a smashing success for both. Netflix won't have to worry about put out a piece of hardware, DRM's, and supporting a download service while Apple sells a bazillion AppleTV's which are doomed for the toilet without something like this behind it.

smgpugfaw

---While the high-def format hasn't played out yet, I believe movie downloads are in an even earlier stage of infancy than high-def DVDs and also seem inconsistent with the high-def DVD trend. It seems to me that if consumers are spending large amounts to invest in and adopt the HDTV trend en masse (as evidenced by the huge numbers of sales of TVs compatible with HD), they would rather see a return on those investments in their home theater rather than switch the viewing medium entirely---

I see what you're saying, but...

1. I still think the digital music thing showed us something. We continually advanced the quality of purchased recorded music (LP's, Cassettes, CD's) and SACD was poised to hit and never really took off - what did take off was the lower quality/higher convenience music downloads.

I think there's a whole segment of younger people who have no 'grown up' using their PC and devices like the iPod for entertainment. Old habits die hard. I see no reason that even as those kids age, that they'll suddenly change the way they've learned to do things.

2. Who's to say there won't be a set-top box made that is no more difficult to use than a VCR or DVD player and operates much like Cable TV and Satellite menu systems that offers HD movie downloads? If you offer something like that - if solves both the 'ease of use' and 'quality' issues.

sueyu

I am deeply looking forward to 2008 when --whatever happens -- HN can pull up all of our predictions and see who has the brains and who is just talking crap. Mike: keep track of the winners in this forcasting thing. We'll all want to know who called it...

aussieguy

I cannot agree with the statemnt that movie downloads are the future. Not enough bandwidth available in the USA for the right price. Movie downloads will NEVER be widely adopted....not to mention the fact once it has downloaded how is your average Joe going to know how to hook up a computer to the home theater? Not a chance.

Netflix is not dead. However their growth is certainly dead. I believe they will remain where they are right now for a long time. They must continue to differentiate themselves and their movie selection from Blockbuster.

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