Media

Netflix Dives Deep in the Videostream…

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A brief non-political item that may well have more to do with how we're living in 2009 than whether Obama Huckabee is president:

On Jan. 2, the mail-order movie rental company said it struck a deal with consumer-electronics maker LG Electronics to develop and market a set-top box that would let Netflix users stream movies straight to their TVs.

The service, expected to roll out by fall, comes amid reports that Apple (AAPL) is on the verge of unveiling (BusinessWeek.com, 12/28/07) its own video download service.

Netflix alreadys allows computer users to stream about 6,000 of its 90,000 titles onscreen–a great service hampered only by its relatively slim pickings and crappy search function (come to think of it, those are two major drawbacks).

More here.

We've been discussing this sort of culture-on-demand world for decades at reason and it's always heartwarming to see it inching closer. Especially as the grim political season gets into full swing.

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  1. Note to Reasonoids: If Ron Paul makes it only to fifth place in Iowa, change to subject to Netflix. The nitwits won’t notice.

  2. relatively slim pickings and crappy search function (come to think of it, those are two major drawbacks)

    Your forgot the third one – an atrocious DRM system

  3. Note to Reasonoids: If Ron Paul makes it only to fifth place in Iowa, change to subject to Netflix. The nitwits won’t notice.

    I’m surprised that you don’t find 10% of Iowa Republicans supporting a Nazi candidate to be more troubling.

  4. I hate Iowa nazis.

  5. I’d be able to stream Netflix directly to my TV already if the streaming service wasn’t tied to Windows. All the nicer TVs come with VGA jacks and lots of laptops have S-Video out, so most people should already have this capability if they have the streaming working.

  6. They defintely need to stream to the TV. I don’t want to watch movies on my computer screen (even if it is 22″ widescreen)–I want to watch them sitting on my couch on my big HDTV with my 7.1 surround amp.

    I figure the vast majority of streaming movie watchers are college students whose computer is their entire multimedia system. Most of us aren’t like that.

  7. I predict a massive failure unless Netflix becomes a broadband provider and not merely a content provider. If their new service requires you to use broadband access via cable TV (i.e. Comcast) or satellite (DirecTV/Dish Network) then those providers will already have a leg up if all they have to do is increase their selection.

  8. I’ve viewed “watch instantly” content from netflix a few times. It’s a great service, but you are correct to say that there is very little content there. Also, no blu-ray or HD-dvd.

    I would think that you would need to wait a while to download some hi-def. instantly downloading dvd content is already on the way out. They’ll need to accommodate hi-def if they want it to be viable well into the future.

  9. Episiarch,
    I just run an HDMI cable from my PC graphics card to my 46″ Sony hdtv. That way I can use the tv as my main monitor if I feel like it as well as watch movies. It works quite well.

  10. I just run an HDMI cable from my PC graphics card to my 46″ Sony hdtv. That way I can use the tv as my main monitor if I feel like it as well as watch movies. It works quite well.

    The physical arrangement of my stuff makes that a pain. But I think my intention is to get a new PC at some point, use Media Center as my DVR and guide, and use my HDTV as my main monitor. However, last time I checked Media Center couldn’t record HD (unless it came over the air!) and isn’t ready yet to have full-service guides.

    When it is, I will probably do this and combine my multimedia setup and my computing setup into one.

  11. netflix also loses points for requiring windows media player and IE – even when I’m forced to use Windows, I use VLC and Firefox. I’m not about to expose my computer to such rampant security risks just to watch movies.

  12. Jozef beat me to it. I’m not installing some DRM shit to watch movies on my computer. I’ll just get them from the pirate bay if it want to watch them.

  13. …hampered only by its relatively slim pickings and crappy search function (come to think of it, those are two major drawbacks).

    I’ve got a Tim Allen HD monitor and I have to say the quality of Netflix streaming movies isn’t as good as I would like either. It’s still cool, but the resolution isn’t even as good as video tape. Maybe it’s my crappy ISP [shrugs].

  14. Dave B, how would you be able to stream direclyt to your TV (were it not for the Windows requirement)? Does your TV have a MOCA or ethernet jack?

  15. Won’t the Apple offering have even slimmer offerings since it’s only Fox movies? Not to mention more onerous DRM as well.

  16. “relatively slim pickings and crappy search function”

    Dude, you can get the entire first season of The A Team. That is all ye know, and all ye need to know. Quit bitchin’!

  17. I got 62 inches of big, thick, throbbing high def. I may very well swell up and burst when I can view oil wrestling nympho co-eds on huge screen. And, when O when, will we have 3-D, with smell o vision?

  18. I may very well swell up and burst when I can view oil wrestling nympho co-eds on huge screen.

    Any satellite provider can supply you with all the swelling burstiness you want.

  19. Russ —> Satellite service can’t handle a world with video on demand for everyone. Note that Dish and Direct have both been looking to get bought out. They can see their end on the horizon.

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