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Comments

Jacob Neff

Not until they get rid of the abomination that is Starz Play. Are you kidding me? It's less than DVD quality.

CJ

You know, I have a subscription to Newsweek. However, when they changed to a total Op-Ed format about 6 or 8 months ago, I started just dumping the weekly magazine unread in the trash mail pile. I won't be renewing. I discount most of their "opinions" as questionable.

My take is Netflix, like most entrepreneurial companies, is hedging their bets for where the future of movie viewing may be going. It's an uncertain business where those late out of the gate lose.

John Galt

"a decent selection of streaming titles"

Hardly a true statement. There's only a handful of movies worth watching - same goes for TV series. Still - you get what you pay for, and since it's free, one can't really complain... I wouldn't mind paying extra $10 a month for some decent selection (HBO shows anyone?).

chris

I second that extra $10 per month. It was just 2 days ago (as I was flipping through my very bad list of movies (b/c of spotty choices at best)) I was actually thinking of how much extra I would be willing to pay for "premium" content such as HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and all of the good high quality DVDs if they were to be streamed as premium content. I came up with the amount of $15 per month. That is only if they make their entire catalog of DVDs available to stream and I had access to them online though. If that was the case, I would even consider going as high as $20 per month.

While I can not complain about a "free" service such as streaming, it could be better. Although I hardly believe that Netflix isn't considering how much it costs to stream a movie online and what the average number of streams is per month into their monthly plans. I read someplace (forget where) that is was something in the neighborhood of .06 cents per stream. I know I stream a movie or television show a day so it would "cost" Netflix $1.80 per month to stream it to me rather than the $2 it "supposedly" (again another article someplace somewhere) takes for them to ship me a hard copy. On the flip side of that coin, I easily get an average of 40 DVDs shipped to me from Netflix (I think throttling was invented for me), and I use the 7-out plan. So they are losing money (if it really does cost Netflix $2 S&H per movie) on me with the DVD's.

If Netflix had those to stream for me, it would seem like Netflix could make money hand over fist (depending on licensing agreements and such) because 70 streamed movies would cost $3.50 (based on .05 cents per movie) or $7.00 (based on .10 cents per movie).

But I somehow believe this is all tied to movie studios and licensing agreements. If the studios are not willing to give/sell licensing agreements then Netflix hands are tied.

pdq

I disagree with the complainers above - there is a good selection, it just depends on what you want. There are a lot of shows from premium channels, they're just not the latest season. If you want the latest of everything, bite the bullet and get a full cable or satellite package.

Jacob Neff

I have no problem with their TV selection. Especially since a lot of it is in HD. My problem is that a lot of their streaming MOVIES use the slightly above VHS quality Starz Play. I can see a better picture on standard definition cable.

Matt

As a Netflix consumer, I am pleased with the company. But, I prefer watching streaming over getting dvds. As a suggestion, Netflix should get most of their library streaming soon and offer us a streaming plan.

As for content, they should think about adding more tv shows like Dallas, The Waltons, Dukes of Hazzard and etc. Also, they should think about adding adult content. All they would have to do is to set up an Adult page with a password. They say they don't have any, but I found a few.

For those who say that the Netflix library is limited, I think you're wrong. It keeps growing every day.

Xino

For unlimited Netflix streaming, you have to pay $8.99 per month. Last I checked, $8.99 isn't the same thing as free.

Jenny

I think "decent" is the right word to describe what they offer on streaming. It definitely has room for improvement, but it's not terrible either.

mndtrp

Last I checked, the $8.99 was for one DVD at a time, like it has been for at least half a decade. Streaming was added free a few years ago, my price never went up. So, yes, streaming is technically free. Although, I suppose you could look at it as the streaming is costing you $8.99, and you get a free bonus DVD thrown in, depending on when and why you joined the company.

George

I wish Netflix would allow me to put physical DVD shipments on hold. We are in the middle of watching/streaming several seasons of Friday Night Lights. There is no reason for me to have the two DVDs that I have at home. If I sent them back, they'd just send me more. The only way to avoid it is to clear out my DVD queue.

cz

re: John

"There's only a handful of movies worth watching"

You must have very limited tastes. There's something like 150 Criterion titles alone. It would be pretty easy to make a list of 500+ titles that are more than just worth watching.

FearNo1

For the complainers, there is nothing Netflix can do. It is up to the studios as to what Netflix can stream. Netflix would stream everything if they could and save millions in postage. As it stands, the stream selection is OK. There is no way HBO would offer all of their content streamable to Netflix for $10. They sell episodes individually for .99 cents on amazon, itunes, etc. I wish Netflix provided more if not all of the streamed content in HD since that makes a huge difference in picture and sound quality. I don't understand why Starz, at least their original shows like Spartacus, content is not in HD. There are a few things Netflix can do to vastly increase the amount of streamed content: 1. get a deal with network TV and 2nd tier cable channels (USA, discovery, etc) to show current season TV programs a day (or week) after it airs, 2. get a deal with smaller studios to stream content the same date is shown on cable premium channels

Chris Utley

George, cut it back to 1 disc and then only watch it when you run out of streaming content.

John Galt

re: cz
"You must have very limited tastes."

And you must have very low standards of what you are willing to waste your time on watching.

George

Also, the recent improvements to the Roku-Netflix interface have made us use streaming more, and DVDs less. From my household perspective, Hastings is on-point.

Now I want more though. Even if it never came out on DVD, I'd like Netflix to pursue streaming rights. Examples include the stuff on HGTV, Food Network, Cartoon Network (kids love "Destroy Build Destroy"). I'd also like to see them get some of the Disney made-for-TV movies a day or two after their TV debut.

I'd like to be able to set up multiple instant watch queues/playlists. That way, we can set up mom/dad/kids/movies/documentaries/whatever playlists. And put optional password control on each playlist and on search.

FearNo1

@ George
I wish XB360's interface was updated. Instead of scrolling so much for the movies in my entire queue, it should be divided by category.

cj

Is it safe to say that a majority of the new Sony Pictures movies will be on IW at some point because of the deal with Starz?

cz

re: John

"And you must have very low standards of what you are willing to waste your time on watching."

yeah, these are certainly low quality films:

http://www.netflix.com/StrangerLists?prid=31257132&showList=352317

sigh.. I guess if you don't watch any foreign films, classics, independent releases, or any non-blockbusters you might have trouble finding content.

Ltvck77

The lack of subtitles on 99.9 percent of the streamed movies make it useless for me. I am deaf. So I am happy to continue with physical dvds because a very large percentage of them contain subtitles

The Whiz

Agree with the subtitle criticism. We have a hard-of-hearing member in our family, and the lack of streaming means we have to stick with rentals most of the time.

The selection isn't terrible, but I'd prefer more popular choices (and newer titles).

Streamflix is counting on streaming being the future. They're probably right. I'd still much rather rent a Blu-ray. Too bad they charge too much for B-r. B-r renters get screwed. Why is B-r more $$ but streaming is free?

Xino

@mndtrp Any time you pay money in exchange for a service, it's not free. Yes, it was added at no additional cost, but that doesn't mean it's free. If it was free, that means you could stream without paying for any thing and if that's the way it was, I would stop giving Netflix money.

Zac

Anyone who has been following the Netflix streaming selection for the last few years knows that it is getting better everyday. When I first started using streaming about 3 or 4 years ago there was very little worth watching. Now, my streaming queue is over 150 movies/TVseries titles and I could double that in a few hours of searching through the available titles.

It's not Netflix's fault that they don't have newer titles. Netflix streaming is considered on the same level as cable television, and they can only get those titles so soon. If "Toy Story 3" were available on Netflix streaming right when it goes to DVD, Pixar is going to lose a lot of DVD sales. Why buy it when you can watch it whenever you want on Netflix? So they have a window of time where they usually won't allow Netflix to stream new release movies. However, I have seen some movies (ones with poor sales right out of the gate like District9 and Michael Jacksons "This is It") that go almost immediately to streaming.

Plus, the beauty of streaming is that you can watch titles that you might not have been willing to put on your DVD queue. I watch a lot of documentaries that I am only mildly curious about and a LOT of TV series (King of the Hill, Futurama, South Park, X-Files, LOST, Prison Break, Dexter, The Tudors, etc etc) that would take me months to cycle through on my dvd queue but I could watch in just weeks on streaming.

John Galt

@ cz
"sigh.. I guess if you don't watch any foreign films, classics, independent releases, or any non-blockbusters you might have trouble finding content."

sigh... I guess it's hard to believe, some of us actually saw all the worthy classics already (they've been out for decades after all), and yearn for something new. And by new I mean filmed this century. And if you look at my original post - I said myself I'm not complaining - it's free so I don't have high expectations. You pay sh**, you get sh**.

eviltimes

The IW selection sucks and if it ever takes off the ISPs will react violently. I hope Reed sells the DVD by mail business to someone who will use it to get rich AND provide good customer service, something that NF is sorely lacking in now.

BP

@ Everyone

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! :(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(

SmithCommaJohn

I know there isn't a lot they can do about Starz Play, but the picture quality on that content is just pathetic. It's too bad, because the selection of movies that Starz Play offers is pretty good.

But whenever I see a good movie available on instant watch, and then see that little blue Starz logo, I pass it up.

Starz really needs to get it together.

Plaid

Pretty much all of the content, regardless of subject matter, is fairly poor quality simply due to the compression used. Everything I have ever tried to watch on Netflix streaming looks like it was run through DVDShrink with 50% or more compression used. The picture is often blocky, pixelated and smeary, like you are watching a DivX file shrunk to 1/100 original size. Even HD content suffers this. I watched "When We Left Earth" and it looked terrible compared to an 720p x264 mkv rip (that is already compressed).

Netflix needs to get people on staff who knows what they're doing with compression, because it is very obvious they do not at this time.

Plaid

Pretty much all of the content, regardless of subject matter, is fairly poor quality simply due to the compression used. Everything I have ever tried to watch on Netflix streaming looks like it was run through DVDShrink with 50% or more compression used. The picture is often blocky, pixelated and smeary, like you are watching a DivX file shrunk to 1/100 original size. Even HD content suffers this. I watched "When We Left Earth" and it looked terrible compared to an 720p x264 mkv rip (that is already compressed).

Netflix needs to get people on staff who knows what they're doing with compression, because it is very obvious they do not at this time.

Julian

I've got no problem with the selection, there's a ton of stuff I want to watch on there. You have to be adventurous and look for movies and TV shows other than recent hits.

I wish more companies were like Netflix. . . anticipating the market and adapting to it, instead of trying in vein to sustain dying markets.

scJohn

That $0.05 to stream a movie is for 90 minutes at one of their low SD bit rates. A 2 hour SD movie at 2000 Kbps would cost around $0.11 and a 2 hour "HD" at 3200 Kbps would cost around $0.18. These calculations are based upon the reported Akamai rate of $0.06 per G Byte. Hastings has stated that NF spends $1.00 in shipping and handling per DVD. Your typical DVD, MPEG2 encoded, is around 5 Mbit/s. Hastings has also stated that streaming rights can cost more than the disc rights for the same title. This is not something he expected.

At some point NF has to start streaming new releases. Given the current business models of everyone involved I do not see how NF can stream new releases in the next 3-4 years using their current subscription model. NF will also have to upgrade the codec and the bit rate when they do start streaming new releases.

Dead

Starz Play is definitely a worthless addition to the netflix lineup. The quality is simply terrible, and I refuse to watch anything that's on instant as a result of Starz play.

As for streaming replacing dvds. Well, they'll have to stop dropping things out of the instant library all the time, for one. All the seasons of Lost are about to expire on August 1st. Pretty lame for people who are just starting to watch. And once they figure out how to actually keep the content they already have, the streaming library needs to be majorly increased.

I love the convenience of the instant queue but it's just so unreliable it's difficult to imagine it replacing anything.

Joshua Glowzinski

I feel like an outcast here, but I have to ask. I see netflix has King of the Hill up to season 12. I know the DVDs are not being released so I want to get them. I have never used netflix and I was wondering. If I buy the seasons, can I watch them as many times as I want and any time I want? Also, what if I end netflix after I get them, can I still watch the movies or TV shows?

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