Tag Archives: Netflix

Why and how streaming/subscription TV and movie services work

Watching videos online used to be a hassle. Speed could be affected by a slow Internet connection like dial-up, which also influenced the rate at which data was being transferred across phone lines. Thankfully, streaming technology has seen many improvements. As more and more of the world becomes Internet-based, it’s no surprise that services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant are growing in popularity. Here’s a look at how streaming video and subscription services work.


All online video content makes its way to a viewer’s home from a server. That computer network works with a plugin, a piece of software that decodes the information and results in the ability to watch the television show or movie the viewer has requested. Netflix relies on online file storage to handle their expanding catalog of streaming content, which includes both movies and television shows. Though the company has come under fire for its limited selection of new releases available instantly, not to mention its recent price hike, it is arguably the most accessible service, available through numerous services including game consoles like the X-Box.


Not yet poised to offer consumers a wide range of movies, Hulu is better suited to viewers looking for television programming. The site offers a wide range of programming from major networks, like Fox and ABC, but does not currently offer shows from CBS or pay channels like HBO. Much of Hulu’s programming is available without having to subscribe to Hulu Plus. Often, the last five episodes of a show are available to watch, allowing viewers to catch up on or discover new shows. Those who take the ‘Plus plunge’ pay $8/month (the same as Netflix’s instant service) and gain access to a wide range of services, such as a backlog of episodes of shows that are no longer on the air, like “Lost.”

Amazon Instant Video

Amazon Instant Video is quite similar to Netflix, although its programming cannot be watched on game consoles or handheld devices. The service is included with the annual cost of Amazon Prime, a members-only plan that offers shoppers free or deeply-discounted shipping on their Amazon.com purchases. Though the service currently offers fewer titles than Netflix, Amazon is busy building their catalog so as to offer customers a selection of the newest releases. Customers also have the option to buy or rent the television shows and/or movies they watch, capitalizing on the growing popularity of streaming content and shoppers’ natural tendency towards impulse purchases.

With a growing demand for instant entertainment, similar services are making their debuts, all of them anxious to occupy the number-one slot when it comes to home entertainment. Look for subscriber services being rolled out by companies like Comcast and Dish Network and online movies offered by Blockbuster, as well as continued changes to older services like Netflix. Considering there are only so many ways you can package the same service and call it different, success will likely visit companies who offer their customers the newest releases possible, all while keeping their prices competitive.

Netflix Gets Busy Today with Star Trek, Godfather, G.I. Joe as Paramount Jumps on Board!

Star Trek 2009 on Netflix

In all the hoopla over Apple’s boring, lame, pointless “Music Event” today “Ooh, .99 Cent TV Downloads, iOS Update, OMFG!!!” Don’t forget Netflix’s new deal with Paramount Pictures kicks into gear today, now on Instant Watch you can watch all the Paramount Hits including:  The Godfather Trilogy, G.I. Joe, Star Trek, The Transformers and more coolness. But when are we going to get Paramount TV Shows like Numbers, Ghost Whisperers, NCIS?  I’m still waiting for the day users get the supposed benefits from the Warner Home Video screw job from earlier this year. Remember the line at the time was Netflix signed the deal to delay DVD/Blu-ray releases because it meant more Content from Warner Brothers would be available for Instant Streaming?  I’m waiting……..

Hulu Plus Official! Coming to iPad, iPhones, PS3 in the next Few Months, Xbox 360 Next Year

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.

Continue reading Hulu Plus Official! Coming to iPad, iPhones, PS3 in the next Few Months, Xbox 360 Next Year

Netflix Instant Streaming Now on the Wii

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.

It’s Official Netflix comes to Wii, is there anything Netflix ISN’T on???

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.

Continue reading It’s Official Netflix comes to Wii, is there anything Netflix ISN’T on???

Netflix is Dead to Me, How they Screwed Over Customers

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.

Continue reading Netflix is Dead to Me, How they Screwed Over Customers

TELEVISION: The Instant Q, 10 Things to Watch via Netflix Instant Queue

Netflix Instant Queue

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)

Dr. Who on Netflix Instant Queue

Continue reading TELEVISION: The Instant Q, 10 Things to Watch via Netflix Instant Queue

HIGH DEFINITION: Netflix Blu-ray Charge Official


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.

TELEVISION NEWS: Netflix Goes Live

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.

NEWS: Netflix comes to Xbox Live


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.