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Comments

I think that this is a great strategy for Netflix. Open up the hardware market and let them help you get customers (Not only lucrative for Netflix but for the hardware makers). Netflix just has to be careful not to cut the margins to close partnering up with these hardware vendors.

Werd2406

Go with Tivo being one of the boxes!! I already have one so it works fine for me.

Lamarr Wilson

Hi Mike,

I think this is the best strategy for them. I would have NEVER, and I mean, NEVER, bought a Netflix box. I won't even buy the LG box. I will, however, use the service if it's offered on my 360, which I assume it will be since Reed is on the MS BoD (it should be a Media Center plugin like Vongo currently is).

I thought about Tivo since I have 2 of them, both HD, but they decided to partner with Amazon, and I doubt they would have 2 movie vendors under them. They don't even have the Amazon partnership totally together yet with substandard video.

I hope this comes sooner than later, and with the faster net connections out there and faster LAN's, I hope they consider HD quality as an option. That really is the future of movies: digital, not disc media.

Nick

This sounds like a great idea, because I wouldn't have bought a Netflix-only box either. Partnering with tons of hardware companies totally expands their ability to market their service and the box-capabilities as well.

Though, Id like this to happen sooner rather than later......can't I watch instantly on my MAC first? UGHHHH

CJ

Yes Netflix made the right choice - Hastings realizes the old adage "stick close to the knitting" applies to his expansion strategy. Netflix is in the internet movie rental business providing service either as mail delivered DVDs, or as streaming internet media - hardware boxes are an rather competitive area in which they have no expertise.

Personally, I believe the game console (i.e. PS3 and XBox 360) is the way to go since this device is essentially a computer with HDD, and is already set up to feed a Hi-Def TV a Hi-Def signal. Another set top box is probably less attractive to the type of people who use the existing Watch Now service on their computers.

J

You cannot use instant watch on your Mac because of APPLE not because of Netflix.

Edward R Murrow

Clever parody of the Intel brand. Although I wonder how many hours or days it will take Intel to inform you to cease and desist with leveraging their brand.

Complication

I think the only problem with this is that the platform is still DRM laden and proprietary. Maybe that is all I can expect from a public company watching out for short-term shareholder value. If NF really wanted to pioneer something, they would make it an open standard that anyone could implement (including Apple and Linux).

NF is in the unique position of not having to make a profit on Watch Now for a while. If they make it a open standard then two things will happen. One, it will quickly be vetted by hackers, crackers, and researchers. Two, it will be picked up by almost every non-name-brand manufacturer so they have another logo to put on the box.

The benefit of an open standard is NF would not be fighting the tide of the U-Tube generation. At one end you have the Hollywood studios that spend half or more of their budgets on advertising (which we end up paying for via the movie price). On the other end you have millions of people making short videos and posting them for fame (e.g. free). Some of those millions of people are going to become good enough to make something the average consumer would pay for (or even niche markets that the Internet creates). If you make the system open then anyone can setup a paid "broadcast" system direct to the TV and offer these items up for a small fee. If the content is good enough, maybe even NF buys them. The point is, setting the standard and inviting all comers will create maximum adoption and allow NF to survive and thrive even as the major studio system starts to fade.

Rob O'Connell

J: Netflix has already demoed Watch instantly on a mac. So how is apple preventing anything?

On separate topic, I hope to see Toshiba HD-DVD come out with a firmware upgrade to support Netflix: the hardware has everything, for example the HD-A3 - ethernet, 256MB of flash memory and running linux. This would be great for Netflix and for HD-DVD.
(of course the movies would not be HD - but we would still get to watch instantly!)

paving

I think the HD DVD players is a great way for netflix to go.

As far as "watch instantly" being "HD" that's not going to happen. It will be able to support widescreen resolutions and look good, like a well-upscaled dvd but genuine HD-quality streaming is not available over the internet, bandwidth requirements are too vast. You want real HD quality, order the HD DVD with your netflix account. You want to watch it now, settle for the really good quality.

Complication

On another note, I think this type of device will finally prompt NF to add a feature to Watch Now that I have wanted from the start. Let me choose what quality I want to download rather than testing my connection. On the PC the lower quality is annoying, but on my HDTV it will be unwatchable. I'll happily wait for the movie to buffer for a while or download completely. It is still faster than waiting for a DVD in the mail. For those titles that really deserve the quality, I'll wait for the DVD/HD disc in my queue.

MovieFiend

If they tried to do this without DRM, the studios wouldn't sell them the rights to the movies at all. You think the selection is bad now, imagine what the selection would be if they tried to make it DRM free. I'm sure Netflix would rather not have to mess with DRM, but take that up with the studio, not with Netflix.

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