AfterDawn: Tech news

Netflix will stream movies to subscribers

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 16 Jan 2007 19:50 User comments (52)

Netflix will stream movies to subscribers Netflix is set to start offering streaming movies to its subscribers over the Internet. The company will launch a service soon that will initially include 1,000 titles and will be free to use (with some limits) to subscribers of its DVD rental service. Instead of having a maximum number of movies to watch, the service will have a cap on the hours of content watched per month.
For subscribers paying $5.99 per month for example, 6 hours of video can be streamed in a month. For those with the more popular $17.99 per month plan, 18 hours of video content can be streamed. Streaming the movies keeps content providers feeling safe and not having to worry about full file downloads being cracked.

In order to use the service, an Internet connection of at least 1MB/s is required (3MB/s to stream video in its native resolution). There are no plans yet to offer HD content through such a service. Netflix claims that one browser applet download will allow customers to begin watching movies within 15 seconds of pressing play.

"While mainstream consumer adoption of online movie watching will take a number of years due to content and technology hurdles, the time is right for Netflix to take the first step," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said. "Over the coming years we'll expand our selection of films, and we'll work to get to every Internet-connected screen, from cell phones to PCs to plasma screens."

The service will be rolled out gradually and should be available to all subscribers by July.

Ars Technica

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52 user comments

116.1.2007 22:19

wow ok that makes sense now they are thinking with there heads but im sure there is a scam there somewhere they can let off cheap prices of movies even still its not HD which is pretty lame but they are getting the right point of it atleast more people will endure the new way but the whole part of paying for the hours is unexceptable why not allow the customer to buy it for a minimal cost

216.1.2007 22:49

I like netflix. Been along time since I posted anything. I think this is an interesting step in the right direction; I keep seeing Blockbuster commercials about not having to mail in your DVDs. I still hate Blockbuster.

317.1.2007 0:01

Netflix selection is sooooo much better the stuff i want/need Blockbuster doesn't have.

417.1.2007 3:54

My 17.99 subscription just got a hell of a lot sweeter. I was about to cancle too lol.

517.1.2007 6:51

Blockbuster is a much better deal. Why do i want to watch movies on my PC???

617.1.2007 7:40

Looks like my laptop and Wireless N router is going to be put to the test. Nothing like taking full advantage of my lcd tv and VGA input. Thank you Netflix.

717.1.2007 7:43

This is really a dumb idea even though it sounds good. There are too many issues to overcome and why they feel more secure is beyond me. What is to prevent us from capturing that stream even if they use protection, maybe AnyDVD will strip the protection schemes. I have broadband and Comcast boasts its 6MB but I'm lucky to get 768K and during peak periods less. Now add several people doing the same thing on the same pipeline and your going to have problems. Also unless I have a media center type PC now I have to hook my PC up to the TV to watch the movie and what will the quality be on a large screen. How about pausing or watching part of the movie now and the rest later, can you do that? Wouldn't it just be better to get the DVD? MovieBeam would be a much better avenue to go as you get HD movies you can watch whenever you wish during a 24 hour period. You use an indoor antenna, with some limitations of course, and a phone line to order your movies from. Their box hooks right up to your HDTV and you’re cooking. And by the way Blockbuster sucks compared to Netflix anyone, for the most part, that has had both will tell you that.

817.1.2007 8:29

thats preety cool but how will it work can you stop the movie and finish it later or how will they track the hours?

917.1.2007 9:38

And by the way Blockbuster sucks compared to Netflix anyone, for the most part, that has had both will tell you that.
That's not true at all. I've had both and if you know how to use blockbuster, it's a way better deal. I have about 10 movies rented online and 4 rented from in the store for free at my house right now, all with my 4 out at a time online plan.

1017.1.2007 14:27

@ banderksh: Why do i want to watch movies on my PC??? Who said (or CARES) whether YOU want to watch, or even understand WHY other people WANT to watch, movies on their PC? Have you not heard about these 'new high tech' devices that have 'just hit the market' called TUNER CARDS that let people watch TV on their PC?? Oh wait.. they've been around for YEARS! So why WOULDN'T people want to dop the same with movies? For me, my pc IS my tv. Granted it's not a 'basic' $499 Wal Mart Dell or Gateway PC setup; it's a HTPC (Home Theater PC) which inter-connects all my home media. Hope that answers your question

1117.1.2007 15:13

That's cool. I don't have to worry about shor wait or long wait dvd proble. Just download. Do you know what format they are sending? dvix, VOB, mpeg,wma etc. This is sweet. :)

1217.1.2007 15:13

duckNrun - I think i hit a nerve with you and your PC. Myself like to kick back on my couch and watch it on a large screen. Get the sand out of your v@gina dude.

1317.1.2007 23:06

naw... just didn't take my medicine... sorry :-)

1418.1.2007 3:44

my PC is MY media center 0-o

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Jan 2007 @ 3:46

1518.1.2007 11:39

VGA out on my old dawg P3 wintel-XP box is connected to a DLP projector. Been watching 500Kb NSV streams via 1.5Mb DSL for quite a while now. They look great. Many PC video cards have S-video out as well. Not as good but will connect to most TVs. It's just not very difficult. I don't understand what all the confusion is about.

1619.1.2007 12:30

Woo Hoo, I can watch even more movies now! My ISP has gread d/l speeds for cheep but uploads just suck. Although that is irrevelent. This is a great move for Netflix. They will be keeping me as a customer even longer now.

1719.1.2007 17:38

In reality, I think 1 person out of a hundred actually sits in front of thier computer to watch a movie no matter what kind of setup.

1819.1.2007 20:13

I find time limits per month for members will lose member for Netflix. Give me normal DVD's any day.

1919.1.2007 22:43

reason blockbuster is better than netflix: you can now take your online rented movies to a blockbuster store and trade them in and each movie is good towards a FREE movie at the store-alos, your next online movie in queue gets freed up as soon as you return it to the store-also, you still get your 2 free in store movies every month-now, tell me why netflix is better?

2019.1.2007 22:45

i meant to say return the online rented movies to a blockbuster store instead of mailing them back and each movie is good towards a FREE in store rental-well, you get the point

2119.1.2007 22:46

Selection !!!!

2219.1.2007 22:55

the only trouble is BB store has about 10 movies I like the rest are CRAP thus trading them in dose me a lick of good,I find netflix to be all around better,when BB can combine both game and movies and have them 3 of any at a time for 20 a month then and only then will I agree BB is better than netflix until BB gets smart and uses the power it has they are stuck being a netflix wanna be.

2320.1.2007 4:36

I have enjoyed flix for a couple of years now and do applaud them for taking a step in the right direction! eventualy the selection will become huge and hd will be incorporated as well.

2420.1.2007 5:21

netflix is lame. left netflick for blockbuster for total access and now i am flooded in movies! i only have 3 out rental. look @ 3 take to store get 4 in return with 1 in mddle isles same time next 3 in have been shipped 2 ays have them and back to store for 4 more. this is over and over. i get lastest releases to dvd and new movies @ least 6 every tuesday when bb releases them. easier to get in store then online not 2 million trying to get same movie in store. therefore no long or short wait!

2520.1.2007 5:28

icetom good for you,since they have poor selection I gave up a month after I had mine,if they tired games in with movies things would change but as it is they blow and need a do the stores...

2620.1.2007 5:34

it's just a matter of opinion weather your a basic gamer or movies are your main deal! you sound like a frustrated gamer. my bb has games. but then again not all stores are the same. i live in the city, probably tougher and shabbier in the rural areas where you live!

2720.1.2007 5:52

icetom (thank you for not flaming or trying to show how big your ed!ck is conversation is a great thing ^^) I am a jaded frustionist,hollwood died in the 90s shallowness is now the trend and its destroying games now,plus I have not been able to get out much. Not been to a BB store in a year or so(they have been downsizeing the past 2 or 5 years because the nice big one got reduced by 30% kiling anime and half of sci fi,), so all in all Netflix all the way. However they are not perfect they have a wider selection of anime than BB onine(26-200ep show can be 60-300 to buy and if the dubing is not perfect whats the point). I think if BB would pad its online selection ,let you order speacail order a rental from the site without having to sign up for it online but its twice the cost of a normal rental. Add games fully to 1-5 at a time rental plans they would be godly but as they are they are lacking.

2820.1.2007 6:06

my deepest appology, had no idea you were handicapped. i am not a gamer . i am only interested in building my own personal library that i can what any time and whatever movie released to dvd. if you enjoy watching your mailbox waiting for that great movie from netflix to arrive(which i did for 6 months and got tired of them controlling how many movies i get a month). sometimes it took 6-7 days to get another movie after you sned it back wait for them to say they received it,then wait for them to locate the next movie which may or may not be available and then you receive a movie you put in your want list but really didn't what it was just a fill in so they would ship. oh you must have so many in your queue or they won't ship at all . could be almost another week wasted.hmmmm been there done it. me i print of free coupon go to store and get movie rather then wait forever. also envolope they it comes in on on inside bonuses of more free rentals purchase 5 movies for $20. dollars,etc.! but in your case you can not get out . still tose-up for the shut ins.

2920.1.2007 6:13

i find it a waste to continue with this discussion. my facts, your feelings, enough said. been a pleasure zipp. enjoy what you can from netflix even though you're paying alot more, for actually alot less. peace! icetom

3020.1.2007 6:16

For me netflix is a 2-6 days wait. I have gotten 23 dvds a month before (BB ca pad its selection a bit more its a bit stale) BB can help itself by pading rentals from its stores however its only really good for hits and movies they like ,adding to my frustration are 50$ games that are not even worth 20 I refuse to spend more than 25 a month on media mafia rentals so getting a 15$ game rental on top of a dvd rental for 30-40 only makes me more pissy...the this media is supposed to make me less pissy. I think netfliw would be a bit better if they say what you monthly allotment is (BB dose it to so they are no better in this regard) and NF can speed thigns up by letting costumers notify them when the they are mailing the movies back that will gain 1-2 days on on the wait. Both sides can be less anti consumer,but BB is still holding back what it can do.

3120.1.2007 6:21

well said my friend! in otherwords, opinions are like azzholes,everyone has one.

3220.1.2007 6:27

icetom and I have 2 :P

3320.1.2007 13:20

Oh, please. BlockBuster was the original big movie rental place, but they got their A$$ handed to them by an upstart company like NetFlix, which had a great idea and has only made it better over the years while BlockBuster is floundering. Now BlockBuster is desperately trying to take the Movie Rental crown back, but they can't because they are hampered (not aided) by their brick and mortar stores. Having to maintain recently released titles at every BB brick and mortar store AND their mail service is causing them to have to double their inventory requirements for about the same amount of total customers that NetFlix enjoys. BlockBuster's recent "No Late Fees" marketing scam was just that, a scam, AND a flat-out lie -- when you were late with the movie, sure, they didn't charge you late fees, but instead they charged your credit card for the full price of the DVD. Customers saw through that right away, and continued the exodus to NetFlix. NetFlix won that battle easily, and didn't even have to participate, retaliate, etc. They just continued with business as usual, still didn't charge late fees, have a better selection because they have regional distribution centers instead of brick and mortar stores to maintain, etc. NetFlix won the initial battle, won the "No Late Fees" battle in the middle, and now they'll probably school BlockBuster with the online content offering in the latest "battle", too. Face it -- NetFlix is not only winning battles, they're winning the war. BlockBuster (as we know it) has numbered days.

3420.1.2007 14:46

now look at the azzholes coming out the woodwork. you read what i said brain! everybodies got one! you talk all the crap while i am swamped in movies and not watching the mailbox. congrads for the bb brick buildings. now go bath in some of your druel. anyone can make whatever they want of success or not success. but i know i left the nitflex because of their shipping problem. and they had no brick builds to back up their problems.

3520.1.2007 16:01

You're right icetom, everyone has one... and everyone thinks everyone else's stinks. ;)

3620.1.2007 16:15

thank you moo! it's a pleasure to see someone not trying to some theres to everyone!!! your a helleva gal!

3721.1.2007 4:08

"now look at the azzholes coming out the woodwork. you read what i said brain! everybodies got one! you talk all the crap while i am swamped in movies and not watching the mailbox. congrads for the bb brick buildings. now go bath in some of your druel. anyone can make whatever they want of success or not success. but i know i left the nitflex because of their shipping problem. and they had no brick builds to back up their problems...." Sorry, didn't realize that I wasn't allowed to post to this thread because only your opinion counts now??? Practice what you preach. NetFlix is a success. BlockBuster is floundering, and they are floundering because of the very reason why you like them -- their brick and mortar stores. You can like BlockBuster all you want, I really don't care -- I'm not trying to change your opinion here. I'm simply stating business facts, meanwhile you're spewing nothing but pure opinion/preference. Look at the financial reports for both companies, and then get ready to kiss BlockBuster goodbye. Hey, if nothing else, maybe NetFlix will buy them out (like they did the entire Wal-Mart inventory) and then you can go to NetFlix brick and mortar stores...and think back on this thread. That is, if NetFlix doesn't immediately wise up and close all brick and mortar stores after the aquisition because they know the B&M stores are the death of DVD rental business. "it's a pleasure to see someone not trying to some theres to everyone!!! your a helleva gal!" What does this even mean? Why do I have the funny feeling that I'm debating business models and strategies (ie, an adult conversation) with a 12-year-old who obviously is failing Grammer and Punctuation at his middle school? No, I'm not saying that when you post to a forum that you can't use slang, abbreviations, etc., but if you want to be taken remotely seriously, you should use some semblance of the written English language, and make sure that your post make sense prior to clicking the POST button.

3821.1.2007 7:41

glen...proof is in the pudding with your big_ _ _ _ _ _ _ . oh for your sake just fill in the blank with what you choose to. your opinion seems to be stuck and possible broken off "somewhere"! i see where your attitude stems from! or used to stem from, til it appears it was broken off, now we see where your anger is biulding up from some blockage. my friend you might try a laxative and you may see the true light from "all directions". and then and only then, will you see i, nor anyone else is stopping you from expressing your big "opinion".

3921.1.2007 8:11

icetom down boy :P Most of see BB as a crippled poor exsuce as a rental store from poor local selection to poorly detailed online BB just seems crappy to some if not most,however you ahve said hat BB has something NF dose not have and thats SPEED of DVD turn around and to that I give props to BB online. NF could create a program for users to notify them by email when a movie is begin sent back to start the turn around for the next and tis shipped that day,I'd be happy to pay 5$ extra a month for quick turn around but NF has found a sweet spot in its way of doing things and sadly I dont think they will adapt/change and make things better for the consumer so easily...

4021.1.2007 8:15

coulda-woulda shoulda,,,not the question or the answer, but what you feel is a solution. deal with what you now have!!!

4121.1.2007 8:32

Ice Tom needs to lay off the drugs before he goes online. The incoherrent babbling is completely lost on me. The only thing I'm getting out of it is that he is apparently a BB zealot or at least defensive over his decision to go with them over NetFlix. Again, I don't care which one he or anyone else goes with -- the facts are still undeniable. BB is dying a slow death due to numerous mistakes made in a desperate attempt to regain market share from NetFlix. I don't see that turning around any time soon, and industry analyst don't either. As for turn-around time, if I send my movie off in Monday's mail, I typically have my nest DVD by Thursday. I don't know about most people, but I have a life outside of my home theatre, and that's an excellent turn-around for me. I have new movies every weekend, which is exactly what I used to do in my old BB B&M store days. I also feel that NetFlix's customer support is FAR superior too BB. I used to get nothing but a run-around from BB's stores. Back when DVDs were first available (along with VHS), BB actually charged me a rewind fee on my account because I returned three *DVDs* in a row without rewinding them first. Yeah, a real "cutting edge" show they are! They couldn't even get their ripoff billing system changed to accomodate the new medium of DVD.

4221.1.2007 8:34

glen.take a chill pill, you rambling rose.

4321.1.2007 8:53

icetom Mmm funny you should say that when BB needs the "coulda,woulda,shoulda" more than NF :P but yes we need to shut up and move on we are beating a dead horse.

4421.1.2007 8:55

zip your good guy and thank you for the fun!.....glen you taken that pill yet??

4521.1.2007 9:32

This thread is kinda getting out of line, not that it bothers me cause it doesnt, but sometimes the mods will shut it down cause of it, I would'nt want to lose it cause many good points are brought up. Anyway, I have been using bb since they opened thier stores years ago, I also used nf when they opened some years back, bb stores are I guess to everybodys own perseption and preference, I have shopped good ones as well as bad, I love movies, seen and rented thousen of them, wife calls me a vidiod, whatever. When nf first opened, I joined, for about 2 years they were great, they only had a place in California, it took on average 3 days to get a movie which was pretty good from California to Philly Pa. they also had great customer service, I always called on phone to get whatever problem fixed with no problem, than after about 2 years that started to slack off, they also expanded to several other states including NY and PA, which kinda puzzled me cause how come I would have to wait for movies sometimes 4 or 5 days from NY or PA when it almost always was never later than 3 from Calif., plus the support started to fade, they started to hide thier phone support, now you had to get support by e-mail, ok fine, it started out as you would wait a week for an answer, than a month, than longer, than at times not at all, my last e-mail was explaining this and if I didn't get an answer within at least 2 weeks I was gonna drop them,you would think I would get an answer after a gonna drop you threat, this was about 2 years ago and to this day I havent heard from them, anyway I did drop them. So I just went to bb store more often, it isnt that far so no biggy, at my place I was lucky cause mostly you had knowlegable and adult personel and not a bunch of kids who didn't give a damn anything even though some are great. Also buy no means am I saying bb is the best, thier ok but not great, so far better than nf to me anyway, bb also hides thier phone number, I got it from my local store which they really are not suppose to give up but I'm a good customer and they know it so they don't mess with me, I've called twice and both times was satisfied. I use to love the fact at bb that I could rent a newbie and get an oldie for free from tue. to thur. rent 3 or 4 and get 6 or 8, but after you've seen them all that does create a problem, so mainly I stick to newer ones now especially with the on-line turn in's which become free so to speak, kinda free cause dont forget, after tue. turn in's it does slow the quick return process somewhat, you go to bb on tue. when new movies come out and you dont get an acknoledgment till thur. than you'll get your movies on fri. or sat. and if you keep your 3 or whatever till tue. that does slow that process. But between free oldie rentals, coupons, even though I liked the weekly coupons better than now only monthly, the on line in store trade in's option, plus after so many rentals you also get free new one's, these things together so far do outweigh what nf has to offer so far, I guess its mostly whats more convient to you in travel and pricing but together, if you have a sucky bb store and are ok with nf than by all means stick with nf. But to me if a company totally ignores my responces for help, and another company might be more sucky but at least gives you time of day, that to me is a no brainer.

4621.1.2007 11:10

NF works best for me because the nearest BB store is 25 miles away so i will not be dropping my movies back in the store. Flix has always had a great selection and the new releases are usually shipped to me each week as long as you know how to play the game to get them. flix may work best for me because i really don't care how long it takes to get the movies as long as the new releases get here by tuesday or wednsday.

4721.1.2007 11:17

nicely put fred, i am a lucky one with a very good bb store within a mile. not saying nil to nf which i had also, bb just works better for me. your point well taken!

4821.1.2007 12:08

after reading the article again it seems that flix will offer this service as a free adition to your current subscription so basically how could it be a bad thing? it is something that nf subscribers did not have before but now will at no additional costs. Works for me.

4921.1.2007 14:06

Yeah, I noticed that too (that it will be free to it's current DVD rental subscribers). My immediate thought was that my teenagers will love it. I don't let them dictate my NetFlix DVD queue as much as they would like (they would completely monopolize it if I let them), but I don't think I'd take advantage of the streaming movies as much as they would, so I'll probably let them have that feature. My current home theatre PC is actually not part of my home theatre. It's in my office in another part of the house and then the TV shows I record are watched via MediaMVP devices hooked up to two different TVs in the house (including the home threatre set). If I ever get off my duff and build a dedicated HTPC, I'll likely use the streaming movies more because I could watch them on the TV instead of a computer monitor. The quality may not be good enough though, but we'll see.

5021.1.2007 16:12

Yeah I agree. My next step is going to be to incorporate a hd player in my main area but it will have to wait until there is a clear winner. i am a survivor of the beta vs vhs war so i already know that i will not put any money into either format until they have one clear winner. this comes after throwing out a 500.00 betamax hifi because it was obsoleted....never again! as far as incorporating your pc into the home theatre i can only say this.. the letters pc stand for "personal computer" believe me that is exactly what it should be. if you decide to incorporate a pc into your home theatre system i recoment buying one for that purpose only. many teens will be thrilled with streaming a movie on a pc i will not care about it as i have a 30" HDTV right next to my pc station just for that tv and movies. i tried the watch tv and movies on the pc and ended up returning the card. i have a main home theatre in the family room with a vip622 dish hd dvr (i will never have cable again) and i still use a sony gx300 dvd recorder for recording off the dvr and watching dvds. i don't really have any thoughts or considerations of incorporating a pc into that environment at the moment but that could all change. however the fact is that this is a free service so what the heck may as well use it.. right actualy when i do my next pc upgrade i could use this pc and incorporate it into the home theatre.

5122.1.2007 9:09

is there a way to save the movie while it is streaming to your hard drive?? I was just wondering in would you be able to do this????

5223.1.2007 21:22

Dela (news poster); please note that you have introduced a typo when you copied this from [link=] ; the arstechnica article states
"Users will need a minimum of 1Mbps to watch films, but these will be far below DVD quality. 3Mbps connections are required to watch movies in their native resolution (no support is currently planned for high-definition content)." That's
1 megabit per second and 3 megabits per second (1mbit/s and 3 mbit/s), _NOT_ (!) 1MB/s and 3MB/s (1 MegaByte and 3 MegaBytes ).
In other words, you'll need a download speed of 1000 kbps or better from your DSL (or whatever) to take advantage of this. (For example, cable internet users - at 1.5 to 4 mbps down -- should be fine.) But, in the end, the fact that the US internet infrastructure is still relatively weak means that Streaming Video is going to be lame , and Downloading Video (like with ) is still much more preferred.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Jan 2007 @ 21:27

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