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noor

rokuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
i want it on roku it should be on there first

Ncmacasl

Hopefully other platforms will be added soon. Since it seemed to be easily added to PS3 & Wii, it seems to simply be a software issue. I assume that Xbox, Roku, and iPhone/iPad/Android will be the next platforms added.

jheartney

Ncmacasi, I just wanted to mention that you are a very fine human being. This is a great service to deaf/hard-of-hearing people.

We too are waiting impatiently for Roku to get off their butts and implement subtitling.

PatB

This seems like an facility that will soon be moot.

NetFlix has been stuck up against a number of limitations. First and most important is the speed of the connection of the average customer. In America for the present this limit seems to be about 5Mbps. Some people have faster lines but most don't. Therefore everything has to fit inside the 5Mbps pipe.

The next problem has been compression technology. DVDs used an earlier technology (MPEG-2). That would never work for streaming. It simply uses too much bandwidth. The NetFlix engineers managed to squeeze a good HD image under their 5Mbps ceiling. Alas they couldn't manage to include six channel sound or subtitles. But that was two years ago.

NetFlix appears to be on the brink of announcing six channel sound and subtitles. They have been noodling with compression options and techniques. I expect Dolby 5.1 and subtitles by Christmas.

jheartney

PatB

Subtitles have almost no impact on bandwidth. SRT files amount to a few K per title. What's missing isn't bandwidth, it's an implementation for overlaying the output of a character generator over the video. Wii, PS3, and desktop computers already do it, so long as the subtitle information is available from Netflix.

Bast

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

PatB

jheartney

Yes, you are correct about subtitles. They do indeed not use much bandwidth. I foolishly lumped them in with six channel sound which does use a good deal of bandwidth. My bad.

In any case I still expect subtitles by Christmas.

It seems to me that the characteristics of streaming movie delivery are inherently superior to delivery of movies by disk. Currently DVDs and BDs pack a lot of features on the disk that aren't available online. That will change.

Currently there is enough room on a disk for subtitles or even complete soundtracks in a couple different languages. There is room for director's comments and scenes that didn't make the final cut. There are also of course previews. An hour and a half movie might have another hour and a half of supplementary material.

Currently a streamed movie is just the bare movie itself. This is what is about to change. The NetFlix Watch Instantly movies are delivered over the Net so it isn't much problem to hyperlink to other web content.

Some of the obvious enhancements would be links to director's comments and those little "The Making of..." shorts with cast interviews and outtakes. NetFlix wouldn't have to provide all this content - just web links. Once an architecture is set up the SRT files for dozens of languages should be linkable.

We may see some links to the IMDB. Already IMDB contains full length movies on their web site. I would think it wiser to have a link from a NetFlix streamed movie to the IMDB resources. So then when you were watching an old movie and saw a familiar face you could pause the movie and look up who it is. For example you could try to figure out if it's Hugh Marlowe or Richard Carlson fighting those monsters.

The problem with a physical disk is that it is not reissued when new content is available. So if you watch Avatar on a disk you have access to Cameron's notes about how he shot that movie but you can't have access to his notes about his next Avatar movie. Web based material is easy to update. I would also like to see Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies commenting on a streamed movie or his interviews with the stars. I would like to watch the original King Kong and then watch the previews, short subjects, and cartoons that were on the bill when it was first shown at the Radio City Music Hall. I imagine there are a dozen documentaries about King Kong too. No disk could contain all of that related material but it should be easy to package a thousand hours of related video with hyperlinks.

Very soon the public will come to accept web based streaming as the preferred medium and avoid disk based movie delivery.

jheartney

PatB

Hope you're right about Roku subtitles by Xmas.

I agree completely that streaming is likely to supersede disks as a delivery method; though I'd emphasize the convenience factor over the ability to link to extras.

Currently most people have a library of prerecorded video content, a great deal of which only gets watched once or twice. Or, they may have purchased content from places like the iTunes Store, with the data for that content residing on their local storage. In either case it becomes a nontrivial effort to archive and store all this content.

If one could be assured of access to the same content online, there'd be no need to have redundant storage for all of it in either DVD or hard drive format.

I think the real remaining question is how streamed content will be monetized. Certain parties like Apple and Amazon are pushing a pay-per-view structure, while Netflix currently has a subscription model. Hulu Plus seems to want to go with a combo of subscription and advertising.

Personally I'd much rather go with the straight subscription model; if I have to pay $3 per episode, TV gets expensive pretty quickly, and I'm much less likely to sample unknown stuff. And not having commercials is something I'm liking a lot. I'm just wondering if the $9/month price point will be enough to support a major streaming architecture plus lots of content forever.

Tom Fahy

English Subtitles for Netflix Instant Watch Titles generated and added daily, as well as upon request.

http://dfxp.tomfahy.org/

You now have the ability to caption hundreds of titles for which Netflix will not supply subtitles. Visit my database, browse and download dfxp (subtitle) files and feel free to contact me with title requests. I will do my best to generate the subtitle.

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