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BooBee

Google is a good thing, so far. I just hope they don't turn into a Yahoo and take on too much and share the same fate. Apple and the rest I don't see heavy competition with Netflix. I think movie companies will be drawn to the company with the biggest customer base and Netflix has millions of pure movie desiring customers.

Racket

I actually see Amazon as the big potential competitor. If they offer a subscription only service, pay per view, and the ability to buy and have it shipped to your house from your sofa. They also have lots of data about their users, and their own recommendation system. They own IMDB, and are on a lot of platforms. Offering a very low profit subscription service with discounts on pay per view or purchase, they can roll all these costs into a low cost offering that could compete favoribly with Netflix. Each month these companies wait, gives Netflix more and more market.

Mela

I think Amazon on Demand prices are a little high, and they NEVER have anything that I want to see that I can't get on Netflix. Sure, they have some new releases available instantly but my primary viewing time is on weekends. I can wait on a disc for Netflix for that without the film expiring in 24 hours.

Racket

@Mela

The current Amazon service is not competitive with Netflix.

"Amazon was ready to take on Netflix, Blockbuster, and Wal-Mart in this booming niche back in 2004. Netflix was tipped off, slashing prices of its membership plans in a proactive move. Blockbuster clenched its dagger with its teeth and followed suit. Smelling a price war...Wal-Mart bowed out of the market entirely."

Amazon has the ability to sell the dvd and mail it to your home, they have the ability to link your Amazon credit card to your account for seamless purchasing of pretty much ANYTHING that is for sale. I am watching "Cocktail"...oh hey look there is a Hamilton Beech blender, I need one of those...pause...exit...purchase with the push of a button...back to film...resume. Amazon has the ability to create a subscription only service for say $4.99, maybe even for a loss, and make up the difference in other aspects of their business. There is so much potential "synergy" with Amazon.

I am not for this, as a netflix share holder since 2003, I am just aware of it. Thankfully, negotiating Hollywood appears to be the most difficult task in business.

Ross Hinson

My biggest problem is that, yes the market is shifting towards streaming. But, what if like most people I have a very active work life where I do not get to watch tv shows. With the ever expanding catalog of tv shows available on netflix coupled with the fact that now that hollywood studios can negotiate to the highest bidder; I do not have time to catch up on most of the tv shows.

Since streaming agreements are essentially negotiated contracts, what happens if I do not have time to watch the office but the contract is up and NBC networks has signed over the rights to other competitor such as Amazon.

I don't have the income to subscribe to all of the offerings and therefore I will left out of shows that I want to watch. Competition is a good thing in that is lowers prices, but not when licensing control is strangled by 1 company which can negotiate in a bidding war. We as consumers will end up losing as streaming agreements expire.

With netflix not investing in its dvd market, which allows you to watch the shows anytime you want, where will that leave netflix. I fear we will all lose.

jv

streaming is for lazy bums

Mo

Does anyone have streaming quality that is indistinguishable from watching a disc?

tr

Wow, nice to see the NY Times staying behind the curve with pieces like this.

Steve I

I stream via netflix to a variety of platforms. Some in my home are on wired connections to my network, others are on wireless.

I'm also displaying the stream on variety of equipment...large screen DLP, a couple flat panels, and to an older 36" CRT TV.

The SD stream is displayed at 480p and looks quite good, nearly as good as a DVD.....

HD stream is displayed in 720p and is very nice also....looks "HD", although not as good as my 1080i/p programming from DirecTV. And certainly nowhere as good as a Blu-Ray (but why would it??).

I do have occasional "issues". It's not completely unusual for the audio/video streams to be out of sync. I stop watching the programming, go to netflix site and hit the "trouble" button. Come back a couple hours later and it's usually OK.

I've also found that sometimes they offer programs in HD and sometimes they don't. This isn't an issue of them testing your speed and sending you a stream to get the best picture without rebuffer.....this is looking at the guide and one day 3 out of 10 episodes of a program are showing as being available in HD, the next day none are, the next day 6 are, the next day all are, the next day none again.....kind of a crap shoot.

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