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Pennies for Netflix, but it would cost me an extra $20/month to upgrade my DSL from 1.5M to 3M-5M. My current service is suitable for low resolution, not DVD quality. Adding one or two more disks at a time adds only $3 or $10 per month.

The old cost analysis is still valid: the cheapest way to send data is to copy it to a disk and MAIL IT!



Netflix pays the studios each time a title is streamed? What about when someone only watches a scene, or fast forwards to the end to see the last scene?


So, does this mean that Netfix will offer a streaming-only plan in the near future? This would be helpful for me because I watch way more streaming than disks. However, if they did offer a streaming-only plan, they would need to offer more titles especially in the TV genre. Also, Netflix needs to give us more queues to separate the titles; movies, TV and documentary.


Canada will be getting a streaming only plan later this year. I see the plan coming to US as well.


@Jim You seem like you could be smart if someone pushed you in the right direction. Adding the extra bandwidth can allow you to not only stream HD netflix but give you more productivity when doing work online that can benefit from a 5Mbit or higher connection. If you have an HD tv you would know. Also you do not seem like a computer or technology savvy individual. So good luck


I have a very fast connection. I go to netflix, choose HD instant view, select HD for PC, I start any movie. Its bigger size, but its all pixelated and crappy no matter what.

Looks like something is still wrong.


As nice as streaming can be, I still want to watch the movies and TV shows I rent on DVD.


the problem with HD is that it's just a resolution. It doesn't account for bitrate or actual quality. Blu-ray's look stunning, DVD's look okay, streaming (even HD) looks lackluster and pixelated. PC world this month has a good chart comparison of digital media quality with netflix streaming barely edging out hulu streaming.


@ Sam

NF pays studios shiploads of money for streaming rights. What this article is talking about here is bandwidth costs which is another matter. It's like paying for the DVD (rights) & postage (streaming)

So the costs of content & delivery are two seperate matters.


I have the 2-DVD plan, but I prefer streaming when available. It is just more convenient and gives me the option to choose what to watch whenever I want.

I would like to see Netflix re-develop their IW Cache format with more options. I would like to be able to classify movies by type and separate TV series into a different group.

I have highspeed cable [they advertise it as up to 15 Mbps] and have no problem with HD streams, except when the cable is acting up.

I am anxious to see what the EpixHD listings are. My cable recently added it to a movie tier, but they only list about 140 movies and most are the same titles that have been offered for 3 months. I read that Netflix will have the entire EpixHD catalog available in the near future, starting with some 500 titles in early September.

I watch 2-3 times more streaming than DVDs, mostly due to the convenience.



I have been a freelance CAD and 3D modeler since 1997; I'm plenty tech savvy. Beyond my current 1.5M DSL, any additional bandwidth would not add to my productivity. Faster downloads or uploads does not produce more income since I don't spend my time watching progress bars. There is always something else to do while downloading.

As for entertainment, between Netflix, OTA TV, and online video (Jon Stewart doesn't need high resolution to be funny) there is almost always something to watch on TV. Throw in internet radio, online news and information, plus my own CD, LP, and dead tree library and I am awash in media. There is no need to spend the extra $20/month.

Also you don't sound like a very thrift savvy individual.



Jim, don't forget the costs of buying a computer in the equation. Who would spend an extra $1000 just to watch movies online? That's crazy!

The key word in your posts is "my." It may not be cost effective for you to utilize streaming, just as it isn't for someone without a computer. But it does make sense for lots of other people, so overactivemind was right to call you on your overgeneralization.


When Netflix ditches DMR Then I'll start streaming but that will never happen. If Netflix stop mailing DVD's I will cancel in Blink & I know several others will do the same. So I really don't Care if every Movie/TV show etc ever made was available for streaming I will not stream Pointless DMR witch causes poor picture Quality & is more trouble then it's worth.


I have a broadband TV, the LG47LH50, which has NetFlix built in it. The HD streaming looks very good. I think the idea is to move away from viewing movies on computers and moving them to a T.V. or Blue-ray player or a Roku box. You would be surprised how good most things look when viewed that way.



I can forget about the cost of the computer since I already have it for other purposes. What overactivemind and I were talking about was the marginal cost of adding bandwidth versus the marginal cost of adding disks to my subsription. $20/month versus $3 or $10/month. 6 DVDs out at a time is the break even point, 3 movies per day given a two day turnaround. I'll ruin my eyes at that rate.

I stand by my generalization.


You're still missing the point, Jim. You already have a computer and you find your current bandwidth sufficient for other needs (although I find it hard to believe you'd get zero benefit from the extra bandwidth).

Yet you continue trying to make the case that streaming doesn't make sense for anyone. Why not just say "this isn't a good value for ME" and be done with it.


My dear Scruffy,

What is this value? Does streaming Netflix have a better selection of titles? No. Does streaming deliver better picture quality? No. Is it more convenient? Yes, I will concede, for those who can't plan their viewing a few days ahead and for those who don't get US Mail at their homes.

These days there are an increasing number of people who are choosing thrift over convenience. I hope they will get the message and not be bamboozled into spending more and getting less.



"These days there are an increasing number of people who are choosing thrift over convenience."

why would someone do that?



Someone who's poor or tight with cash (Or just plain cheap) will most definitely choose thrift over convenience.

This isn't about being bamboozled however.

Someone who chooses streaming from Netflix isn't being bamboozled because they can watch almost anything they want with a press of a button instead of only waiting 3 days for a disc.

And since streaming is usually complementary on all but one price tier, no one really looses anything.

This is pretty much a non-argument.

As for the actual story, 2014 is a great projection since the average internet connection should be at least 3Mbps by then and Netflix's Instant Library should be much bigger than it is now. Old 1.5Mbps connections in most places are going the way of the dodo as phone companies are being forced to upgrade with fiber in order to compete with Cable companies. Meanwhile, most cable companies are 3Mbps minimum.


I'm sick and tired of listening to the folks who like to sit here and complain on how crapy the streaming service is and that it isn't dvd quality. Yeah I would admit that sometimes I come across a streamed title that isn't dvd quality but heck it's not like you are paying extra to watch it. I find that most titles on the streaming side look just fine. Some of you just need to get over the little inperfections of life and just deal with it If you can't then don't use the service.


Jim, the world is a lot simpler when you believe everyone else is exactly like you, isn't it? Must be nice.


@christopher I totally agree. It's amazing how some people even deal with being online. There is so much stuff on the Internet that needs to be improved, but it just takes a lot of time so you have to just deal with it. Some times it's ok to complain like if you're paying for a service and the imperfection is so high that it makes it seem like it's a waste of money. Netflix isn't close to that level.


@Scruffy - it doesn't sound to me like Jim thinks everyone's like him, it just sounds like he's explaining his situation. But I do have a problem with his original post - he says sending a disc through the mail is cheaper, bandwidth-wise, when the article clearly says that it's not. I don't really see the point of this article with respect to Netflix - of course streaming bandwith is cheap for them, otherwise they couldn't offer unlimited streaming for $9 a month.


@Jim (Re: previous comment) ...oh, now I see - from *your* point of view mailing discs is cheaper. Fair enough.


Pdq, Jim is explaining his situation, but then he generalizes it to everyone else. His comments about discs being cheaper than bandwidth and others not knowing the meaning of thrift or value are clear on that.

Your effort at being super polite to him may be more productive than the harsh replies Jim has received, but those replies were on target.


Jim is right. If I get the basic plan from Netflix for ~$9 per month and can't watch any streaming because I don't have a high speed internet connection, I get 8 DVDs per month. This works out to less than $1 per DVD. If I spent an additional $20 per month for high speed internet, then I would need to watch an additional 20+ movies per month to get the same value. Most people would be hard pressed to watch 28 movies a month. If I thought I could watch 16 movies a month then I could get the two out plan for $13.99 and I would still save money.

The fly in the ointment is that if you ALREADY have high speed internet then there is no new $20 a month charge. The point is that Netflix is being subsidized by the consumer who is already paying for high speed internet. If you factor that into the billing then it might cost the consumer less to ship DVDs than to stream depending on how many you watch. The more you stream to greater the bargain.


Jim's generalization works for some people, but it fails enough that it's not a very good generalization. I can't drop everything and watch DVDs when they arrive, so I can't turn my queue that fast. IW is a better value for me.

Generalizations in general suck (see what I did there).


C'mon guys, give me some actual facts and figures that could persuade me or anyone else to spend the extra $20 per month on bandwidth for higher definition Netflix movies, versus the extra $3-10/ month for 1 or 2 more DVDs. Exactly where do you see the value? Do you have a better deal on bandwidth from your ISP than I get from Qwest/SWCP?




For me the math is simple.

Without streaming, my average cost was about $2 a rental* - call it $1/hour of video. Assuming the cost of additional bandwidth is $20, if I watch more than 20 additional hours of video with streaming than without, then IW is the better value.

For me that's a no-brain-er. 20 hours a month would only be about 5 hours a week. I watch way more than 5 hours a week on my Roku. Just recently I've done several mini-marathons that total close to 20 hours in a single weekend, and have video lined up for several more in the future. Even with decreased DVD rentals, I'm way over the 20+ additional hours mark.

* My average cost per rental was the same when I was on 5-out, 4-out, and 3-out. No matter what plan I was on, I could never force myself to do four turns a month.


Who's trying to convince you, Jim?

Why don't you convince a guy who only watches 10 movies a year and gets his mail at the P.O. that the Netflix plan you are on is a good value for him? Once again, different people have different needs.

At my house we watch approximately 40 hours of IW per month, we have the flexibility to watch any of the hundreds of shows that are in our IQ whenever we like, we can watch it anywhere in the house in places where we don't have a DVD player (via iPad or iPhone). That alone would be worth the extra $20/mo.

But we also can use the extra bandwidth to do everything on the net a little bit faster. If that only saves me 10 minutes/mo it would be worth it (and it's actually a lot more than that).

So please let's hear your persuasive argument for why I should drop my internet speed back down to 1.5M or maybe back down to dialup.


Jim, I like the way you've kept you cool while being berated simply for giving your opinion (and for being called on a non-existent "overgeneralization" that was conceived in a certain reader's mind rather than your actual words). However, I think you're first point is indeed valid if taken as an overgeneralization: FOR THE COMMON NETFLIX USER, it would generally be cheaper to burn data to disc and mail it than it would to pay for the bandwidth, if they didn't already have it. That's working under the assumption that the majority of Netflix users are not on par with modern technology. No home wifi, no Blu-ray, no connection from PC to TV, maybe even no HDTV. Most people don't use their computers efficiently enough to make the price they pay for their current bandwidth worth the cost.

Scruffy, you're just a d!ck trying to pick a fight. As am I.

new balance

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