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Comments

MCW

Don't know why they sweep friends under the door. They could've made it the coolest little network, but they just could care less about it. If they cared so little, why didn't they just Facebook & Twitter Connect it, and put 90 checkboxes of what/who you want to see in your Friends list.

That would've left them much more time to do all of their other important work, like moving tabs left and right, aimlessly.

Scott

re: "Netflix has more than 100,000 DVD titles but just under 20,000 streaming titles, so it's curious that they're promoting streaming over DVD."

I imagine they promote it for marketing reasons, rather than based on number of titles... i.e. it's more profitable, or it's their big leg up over redbox, whatever.

As an aside, the bigger issue which keeps streaming behind DVD probably isn't availability of titles, but the lesser selection of recent hits. I mean, it's probably one of those things where 20,000 DVD titles probably make up 90% of their rentals anyway, you know?

Paul

I don't like it one bit. I rarely use watch instant as I'm not fond of many of the titles being presented.
This is clearly a ploy to prevent us from renting through the mail as it creates waits for the newer customers. I also feel it a way to increase their bottom line because they don't have to pay for postage if you stream it. I'm going to call and complain about this, if they can't change my homepage, then I may consider dropping. Its always about money and not what we want.

chris

They are promoting it because it differentiates them from competitors and is cheaper than sending a disc.

Terry

They're always making the friends and community usage more and more difficult.

And I don't care so much that they moved the tabs for instant vs. browse dvds, I do wish, however, that Instant wasn't the default tab that opens up. Surely Netflix can have some kind of algorithm or perhaps even provide a setting option whether we prefer to Browse DVDs or Watch Instantly.

Gran

@Paul if they can't change my homepage, then I may consider dropping

So let me get this straight, you're going to (actually threatening to, but we all know you really won't) drop your NF subscription because they rearranged the tabs on the site?

Dan

If they really want to increase streaming usage why don't they release streaming for profiles? I would use streaming more if I didn't have to log in to another account just for it. And yes, it becomes a big deal when trying to find things if the other person on the account has different taste than you do...the ratings take a wild swing.

Paul

I called, they told me it was their new layout, and I actually did drop. They offered me three months free, but I'm sorry, you put company greed against anything else is not what I'm for. I can use Red Box, or I can simply wait till the movies come on "Demand".

Gran

Ummm Paul, it's not actually greed. It's that DVDs are going away and movies are moving to online distribution. Ever heard of that? They're pushing online distribution as they see that as the future.

Gran

Dan, I've heard that streaming to profiles would be a violation of their agreement with the studios

Kam

The day that one extra click upsets me is the day I need to seriously reevaluate my priorities.

"They could've made it the coolest little network, but they just could care less about it." -MCW

I completely agree with this. People who love movies generally enjoy discussing movies and comparing opinions. If Netflix desired to have a little chunk of the social networking space, I have no doubt they could. I think it's fair to say that the "community" features aren't a priority for Netflix.

"I called, they told me it was their new layout, and I actually did drop." -Paul

Sounds like a case of a broken plate ending a marriage. That is to say, I don't think you dropped Netflix because they moved a tab. Also, what's wrong with a company protecting its bottom line? I'm glad Netflix can afford to provide me the service they do. I also find the streaming options to be plentiful and diverse. If you'd like some ideas I can send you a shot of my, ever changing, 490 title instant queue. That said, streaming has been more rewarding since I found instantwatcher.com and Streaming Soon (http://instantwatch.blogspot.com/)

A Movie A Day (AMAD)

I have to go through the rigorous and time consuming task of scrolling down to click on the Netflix blog in order to get to the "DVD's Releasing This Week" page that I'd rather use in seeing what's coming out this week. Oh no!!! That's ten seconds I will never see again in my life!!!!! Curse you, Netflix!!! I'm leaving!!! *cry, sob, sob*

But seriously, it's just ten seconds of time, or an extra click. Basicly a insignificant amount of time. No need to lose sleep over or quit because of this.

Just follow my WHIZ rule: If doing something on the Netflix website takes less time than it does to take a whiz, you shouldn't get upset about it.

Ray

Really hate this new design. Not happy with seeing "Friends" relegated to the dark basement of the page, but more than that I loathe the rearrangement of the tabs. "Instant Play" is something I very, very rarely use, and I honestly don't see my use of it increasing at anytime in the near future. So, for those of us in this situation, the new design is stunningly user-unfriendly. I don't think they should necessarily abolish this new tab arrangement, nor will I cancel my membership because of it, but they should allow us to be able to configure a preference to have it in the former design, as well.

Ray

"...but they should allow us to be able to configure a preference to have it in the former design, as well."

*ahem*

Or, I could simply apply a little brain-power and create a bookmark directly to the "Browse DVDs" tab. Seems to be working, so far!

PatB

Time to review the events of the outgoing year.

Last night I happened to find myself in front of my neighborhood video store. I went in and cheerfully told the clerk behind the counter that I was glad to see that they had risen from the dead. He was not amused. He told me that they had never closed. They had however moved from a big store on the corner to a little store next door. Significantly the big corner store remains empty.

I suspect that the mini-mall gives them a break on the rent. They charge $4.25 for a DVD and $1.00 for each late day. They charge the same for Blu-rays but only have about a dozen titles.

I was a little shocked at how expensive and inconvienient this store now was. I had patronized it for years and thought that it was great. Things change.

Video rental stores were a success because of DVDs. Alas for those brick and mortar stores, the same technology that brought about a better picture and easier handling than VHS also allowed the DVDs to be mailable. In retrospect they were lucky that it took so long for NetFlix to emerge. Someone could have figured out all of the features of the NetFlix mailable DVD business model five years ago.

Now the mailable DVD itself is obsolete. This happened quite recently. Last year at this time a new low end Blu-ray player cost about $300. For this Christmas season the rate is about half that. This is near the point of unitary elasticity.

A year or so ago High Definition was available on Comcast cable on about a dozen channels. This year there are about four times as many HD channels. A regular Comcast HD broadcast has higher quality video than any DVD. So a big special effects movie like the new Star Trek will not be an attractive proposition on a DVD.

In this same last year the Roku/NetFlix service started transmitting in 720p HD. This video quality is also better than that available on a DVD.

So in summary we may say that 2009 was the year that the DVD died.

PC

RE: People who seem to think that streaming is the end-all.

Netflix streaming quality is *PASSABLE* at BEST. BEST = solid net connection, no network/server issues at netflix side, and good transfer/encoding of movie ("HD" as they call it).

The only streaming service I've found that can pretend to compete with Blu-Ray is Vudu's HDX format. But if I already have to wait up to 4 hours for a movie to download (on a 5mpbs connection) and pay a premium for that pleasure, then I don't mind waiting another 20 or so to get the actual disc via a subscription I already paid for.

Physical media will not be replaced anytime soon. Streaming's a great convenience for some TV shows and on-a-whim stoner movies and such, but it's not ready for prime-time, at least not for me.

The above probably doesn't apply to those of you who don't notice a difference (still using standard definition TVs).

Erik

Still no captions or subtitles for English-language films through "Watch Instantly" for deaf and hard of hearing customers! Netflix needs to resolve this FAST before their business model evolves too far. No one wants to waste money on Netflix if they have to wait for most of the 20,000 films to be mailed to them on DVD when they could watch it instantly.

Matt

Also, have you notice that the alphabetical list for streaming NF title is gone. For me, I liked going through the list once in awhile because I could click on something that I missed or was in the mood to watch. Hope they bring it back.

MCW

Paul doesn't seem to realize that most of his DVD queue can be streamed. Can he do that with RedBox?

What an overgrown child.

Ryan

It makes sense for Netflix to focus on streaming. I read on highdefdigest.com that they eventually want to become 100% streaming, making their profit margin much higher. I wouldn't mind that. I have an Xbox 360 and use streaming at least once a day. I only have the 1 DVD at a time plan, so I only get through 2 dvds per week.
Streaming is a great service and one that just makes sense versus mailing DVDs.
The one thing they would have to wait for is the day when EVERY title is available for streaming.

Drew

I personally hate the new layout. They really should do something more with the Friends option too.

Jon Schwartz

The studios use the Netflix "streaming" window as a dumping ground. Essentially if the movies are available streaming on Netflix, they're not worth anything anymore to the studios.

That's why there's occasionally a new release or two popping up on the service, such as the Baader Meinhof Complex -- but the distributor has already shipped 5k-50k units out the door and they're done.

Walt D in LV

My most favorite part of the Netflix website is the Friends features. Whether leaving notes, writing reviews, or making lists, the Friends features keep me coming back for more.

I love suggesting Netflix to people, and tell them to "Friend" me, or meeting up with people who already use Netflix and sharing movie ideas.

Netflix, please put the Friends tab back on top.

However, in regards to the Watch Instantly tab, I would like there to be an option, or preference setting, that allows you to choose which of the pages, Watch Instantly or Browse DVDs, that is your Netflix home page.
Personally, I've only ever watched two or three movies with Watch Instantly, versus hundreds, maybe thousands of Blu-rays and DVDs rented since 2002. With xBox 360 and PS3 streaming, maybe someday I'll Watch Instantly more, but that won't have an effect on my Netflix home page on my computer. I still want to jump right to looking at Blu-rays and DVDs when I get to Netflix.com


Walt D in LV

BJ

@Paul if they can't change my homepage, then I may consider dropping

@Paul I called, they told me it was their new layout, and I actually did drop.

Seems like such a silly thing to drop service over. Perhaps Paul doesn't know how to use a bookmark.

TxGowan

Anyone know if there is any third-party software or webpage that will parse queues to check for streaming availability?

I know there are third-party apps that will allow you to reorganize your queue and that web page that will determine the profitability of your renting habits.

Anyone?

Antwan

@TxGowan

Here Is two I know of

NetFlix Instant Watch Tracker
http://www.thenowhereman.com/netflix/

and
Streaming Soon on Netflix Instant Watch
http://www.streamingsoon.com/

TheAlarm

For anyone who enjoyed making or looking at lists in the friends section, the changes are very inconvenient. When looking at a movie, you can no longer see lists they are on. I always thought this was a good way to find other movies you might like.

There is also no longer an "add to top 10 list" option. Now the only way to add a movie to your list is go to where you edit the list and type the name into the search box. Sometimes this can be confusing if there are similarly titled movies (at least now they added the year though). Also the results only come up after you type three or more letters. So, for instance, today I discovered there is no possible way to add the movie "Up" to a top ten list.

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