I don’t understand the appeal of Hulu. I find their website to be terrible and can never find a full length show to watch, just dumb promo clips. But fans of Hulu rejoice, the long rumored pay version of the service is official. For $10 a month you can subscribe to Hulu Plus. The service will be available on the PS3, iPad, iPhones later this year and next year they are creating a custom experience for XBox Live Users. I’m not sure if this is a compelling enough offer to make me switch from Netflix Instant Watch as it seems to contain a lot of the same content. But I’m all for these new streaming services. Full Press release after the break.
Netflix’s Instant Streaming Discs are arriving in people’s mailboxes this week. I know a lot of folks think that streaming Netflix on the Wii is pointless because it’s not an HD platform, but really I can’t remember the last time I received an HD Stream from Netflix and I have a Fios Fiber Optic connection. So I’m guessing it’ll be perfectly acceptable on Nintendo’s little platform. Heck this will give me a reason to turn it on – since I haven’t in 11 months. I hope it still works. I love the PS3 Interface but it’s such a hassle to keep up with this dumb disc, since I don’t use my Wii any longer I can always use it as a dedicated Instant Queue box.
Netflix who is dead to me, due to their ridiculous new stance on delaying DVD Rentals has just inked a deal to deliver Netflix streaming to the Nintendo Wii. The content will be delivered through a new Nintendo Video Channel. Just like the PS3, users will need to insert a disc to enable the video stream. Go to netflix.com/wii to request your disc. The service is scheduled to start this Spring. The full press release can be read after the break.
Why is it people can’t leave well enough alone??? Netflix was one of the best services (for any industry around) but they decided to work in collusion with Warner Home Video to fuck over their customers. Last week while I was at CES the crappiest deal in history became official. Netflix will now delay all Warner Home Video new releases by 28 days. So no more getting your Harry Potters, Terminators, or whatever else WHV puts out the first week of release. I’m on every studio list to receive Blu-rays on release day so that I can review them, the only studio who has been very difficult to deal with was Warner, so I would use Netflix to review their product. I will no longer even attempt to cover any Warner Home Video release.
It’s time for another installment of The Queue. If you have Netflix Instant Queue on X-Box Live, Tivo or some other connected Device and can’t find anything to watch, here are ten suggestions.
Friday Night Lights Season 1 & 2
Ok, I get tired of people constantly complaining that Netflix’s Instant Now service sucks because there’s nothing worth watching on it. While it is lacking in movie choices, it’s selection of television shows are really good and if you look hard enough you can find quite a few movie gems to watch. I’ve managed to find over 348 things to put into my Instant View queue, why can’t you? So for the next several weeks I’m going to give you all10 things to watch via Netflix’s really cool Instant Watch service. So here are 10 things that I’m currently watching –
Dr. Who – Series 1 – 3 (We are not Amused)
Normally something like this bit of news really annoys me, but I can understand Netflix wanting to increase fees for people wanting Blu-ray disks. I called this way back in January when the HD-DVD group threw in the towel. I ranted about how consumers will louse, about how Sony wouldn’t lower the price on their players or discs. How the lack of competition would drive prices up, that paying $40 for freaking Super Bad on Blu-ray is disgusting. My rant was widely picked up on the interwebs and I was soundly lambasted in the AV Forums and other popular boards. But everything I said turned out to be true and now it’s infected my Netflix. But I’m not outraged because they are only charging $1 extra month. If was more than $5 I would have vented my spleen. I got the official notice yesterday.
I’m not sure where to classify this little tidbit that the folks at Netflix sent over. Last weekend they held a weird Live event in Los Angeles where they invited a bunch of bands and TV Stars to come and do something. What, I couldn’t really tell from the original invite they sent me a few weeks ago. But since I’m, unfortunately, no longer in LA I couldn’t attend. The night began with an hour rock-and-roll set by Band From TV followed by a screening of a series of classic television programs to honor the success of TV on DVD. The Netflix-hosted outdoor event was open seating and free to the public, and a total of 1800 fans came out to support the cause. Band From TV’s members include Guitarist James Denton (“Desperate Housewives”), drummer Greg Grunberg (“Heroes”), rock violinist Jesse Spencer (“House M.D.”), vocalist Bob Guiney (“The Bachelor” and TLC’s “Date My House”), Teri Hatcher (“Desperate Housewives”), Hayden Panettiere, Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”), Jorge Garcia (“Lost”) and Zach Levi (“Chuck”) AND surprise guest Keyboardist and Vocalist Hugh Laurie (“House”). Check out this clip of Heroe’s Hayden Panettiere. Can I just call her Hayden? Is she big enough a star to go the one name route? I ask because, you know it’s hard to spell Panettiere.
I have not tried Netflix’s new video streaming service because I don’t have the new $99 Netflix box and I’m not a fan of watching video on my laptop – even though I do have a 24 inch monitor to connect it too. My problems are solved, this fall you’ll be able to stream Netflix movies directly to your X-Box 360. While Netflix’s selection of available content is pretty slim pickens, they do have a nice selection of TV programming like the complete Incredible Hulk TV Series. The service will be available at no extra cost. The 360 will be rocking this fall – and that’s not a plug for the upcoming Rockband 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour. It looks like MS is not ready to let Sony come in and still their thunder. With price cuts, all of these Xbox Live changes, MS is ready to fight the PS3 on it’s own multi-media turf. The content will be streamed in SD, but Netflix is working towards HD Screaming. The service will be available to Gold Members only.
It’s funny and ironic that I finally get around to starting the High Definition section on the site with the idea of trying to be as balanced as possible. Only to have the wheels fall off the HD-DVD band wagon. It started last month with Warner Brothers dropping the format, after that it was nothing but bad news for Toshiba’s format. And this week’s triple does of bad news – Netflix, Walmart, and Best Buy all dropping the format put a nail in the coffin. It was always a forgone conclusion that Toshiba would lose the war, if for no other reason than the PS3 including the Blu-ray drive into it’s system. Granted sales of the PS3 has been disappointing (for good reason, the system kind of sucks) comparatively speaking – in terms of game consoles, it had a big enough install base that it was almost double those who had HD-DVD players. For HD-DVD to succeed they really should have worked out a deal with MS to put the HD-DVD drive in the 360. If that happened, we would be talking about a totally different outcome now. I have both formats, but I was hoping HD-DVD would win, I still think it’s a better format and at least the freaking thing has a standard and you can upgrade it. The Blu-ray group is still trying to figure out it’s standards and half the players don’t have Ethernet ports so you can’t do firmware upgrades. But wait, it’s “funny” that the PS3 is “future” proof. Instead we’re now stuck with one format – Sony and for all practical purposes one player option – PS3. Sure there are other players, but considering you can’t upgrade most of them and there’s only a $50 difference between the cheapest Blu-ray player and the cheapest PS3, who would be dumb enough to get the stand alone player?
Already I’ve noticed that prices of Blu-ray DVDs have gotten ridiculously out of hand, you can no longer walk into a Best Buy, Target, Borders, etc. and expect to see a new release Blu-ray flick for $19.99, no these retailers have the gall to try and charge full retail prices. I was in Borders today and they had the Spiderman Blu-ray set for $99!! Really? Superbad was over $30.00 (when I say over $30, I mean like $35 – $39). Really? Resident Evil: Extinction over $30. Really??? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix over $30. Really??? The only place you can still get Blu-ray for a reasonable price is Amazon and other online retailers. Not to mention the damn machines are still over $350! So yes, consumers, the color of Greed is Blu and we lose out again. Rumor has it the official announcement is coming later this week.