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All posts tagged "netflix"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Redbox And Verizon Partnering Up To Take On Netflix

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home News" @ 08:30 PM

"In an attempt to ensure that theay aren't lef tbehind in the digital content stakes Redbox and Verizon are partnering up and hoping to steal a march on Netflix, the encumbent market leader for streaming video and DVDs."

Redbox machines have been popping up all over the place and has replaced Netflix for many as the go to place for renting DVDs. Now, Redbox is looking to take the fight to the streaming video realm by teaming up with Verizon. Plans have not been announced yet but it is anticipated Redbox will be looking to leverage their 35,000+ DVD kiosk as an added bonus to streaming plans.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Aging Consoles Finding New Life as Video Streaming Devices

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

"Microsoft's Xbox 360 console is six years old. The Nintendo Wii is five years old, and so is the Sony PlayStation 3. All three are due for an overhaul (can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a decade old, or more?), and while they're still popular gaming platforms, consoles are really starting to shine as streaming media centers."

Makes sense to me - I have an Xbox 360 and I'm using it for more video streaming that I ever could have guessed a few years ago. Of course, part of that is me living in the USA now, but if I were back in Canada I'd be streaming Netflix off it for sure. Now I also have the option to stream Hulu Plus, among others. If there were only a way to get my Xbox 360 to play ISO or MKV files...then I'd really be a happy guy! Until then, my Boxee Box performs those tasks quite well.

Do you game on your console more than use it for other reasons? Or vice-versa?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What Will Happen With Cable And Television In 2012?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 05:30 AM

"But change is going to come, and amid news that Google is interested in entering the cable TV business and continued rumors that Apple will be releasing its own branded television set, we also have to wonder what's going to happen with streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. TalkPoint CEO Nick Balletta says that the real battle to hedge is with cable companies."

Molly McHugh over at the Digital Trends website has written a short piece about what we might see in 2012 with Internet streaming services, cable, and television. While streaming of content over the Internet and to your mobile or desktop device has been growing, cable and television are not sitting idly by. Changes in traditional content provision and consumption models have far-reaching implications and will play out over a multi-year period. So, in this slowly evolving industry, what movement might we see in 2012? One thing the article suggests is that connected TV's may hit their stride during the holiday shopping period next year. The Read link will take you to the Digital Trends site where you can read more.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Engadget's Editorial On Netflix's Spinoff

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 AM

"If you've just casually glanced over the mass reactions to Reed Hastings' decision to split the DVD-by-mail business of Netflix into its own brand and company, you've probably been duped into thinking that it's the second questionable move that the world's most famed movie delivery service has made this year."

Engadget's Darren Murph published an editorial about Reed Hastings' move in splitting the DVD part of Netflix from the streaming. Darren's take on the move is similar to those voiced by a few other tech journalists in that while Reed's response may seem as if he has lost control of the situation, it is actually quite the opposite and the move is a pretty brilliant move.

Hit the read link for the whole article.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Netflix By the Numbers: An Infographic

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 10:01 AM

I knew Netflix was a huge driver of traffic, but it's responsible for 30% of residential downstream Internet traffic in North America during peak periods. Wow! And who knew that the PS3 was the #1 device used for Netflix? The rest of this infographic is equally eye-popping. Check it out.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An Analysis Of Why Netflix Changed Their Prices

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home News" @ 12:12 AM

"Sad, sad, sad. The world's best deal in TV and movies has just gone away. I refer, of course, to Netflix's $10-a-month deal: unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming TV shows and movies."

Ever since Netflix announced they were going to increase subscription rates, many different people have proposed their thoughts about the reasons behind this increase. The following article is David Pogue's thoughts on why Netflix increased subscription rates and debunks a few others' explanations.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Netflix Announces Subscription Rate Changes

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home News" @ 09:29 PM

"...we are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into separate plans to better reflect the costs of each and to give our members a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan or the option to subscribe to both."

In a continued move toward pushing its subscriber base to the streaming plans, Netflix announced today that it intends to separate the DVD and Streaming plans. You have to option to subscribe to both or either one separately but there will no longer be plans that include both.

For me, this means my current $10.00 plan will soon become $16.00. Since I rarely use the DVD option nowadays, I will most likely cancel the DVD portion and just stick with the streaming plan for $8.00 with Redbox for the occasional DVD rental. Come to think of it, I get free streaming from Amazon with my Prime subscription... maybe I'll cancel the streaming portion too.

Prices will take effect on September 1, 2011.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Eight Alternatives to Cable

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 07:48 PM

"According to the SmartMoney, nearly 144 million consumers watch videos online. A recent experiment by WalletPop revealed that "for the price Americans pay for cable TV, they can enjoy a mini-vacation." Just how much are we spending for the convenience of cable? Comcast, for instance, costs about $552 a year - and that's just basic service; premium packages run more than $1,200 annually."

I've been looking at my cable bill recently - which runs around $100 - and wondering how much I really get out of it. There are definitely shows I enjoy watching, and my wife her her favourite shows as well, but I've been starting to do the math comparing the all-you-can-eat model with a pay-per-show model and it's beginning to tip the other way. This article discusses some of the options you may or may not have (depending on where you live) for cutting cable.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Netflix Apologizes With Credit For Those Affected By Outage

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home News" @ 09:19 PM

If you are a subscriber of Netflix, you will likely receive this message in your inbox soon. Netflix is apologizing to its users by issuing a credit for the inconvenience caused by yesterday's outage. The amount that will be applied is 3% of their $7.99 plan or $.24. It may not seem like much but imagine how many accounts will apply for the credit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Major Outage For Netflix Operation

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home Software" @ 07:05 PM

"Media distribution giant Netflix is currently offline. Their website states that the Netflix website and the DVD shipping operations are temporarily down."

Just got a Roku box and want to try Netflix streaming? Or waiting for you Netflix DVD to arrive? Well, you're going to have to wait. Netflix is currently down. This includes their web site, streaming and DVD shipping operations.

Hopefully Netflix will figure it all out and get back online soon.

Friday, March 18, 2011

NetFlix to Compete with TV Networks? Bidding on Content.

Posted by Steven McPherson in "Digital Home News" @ 08:30 AM

"Netflix may be known for offering some of our favorite TV and movie streams, but the company is about to step up its game and begin offering original content. Netflix has allegedly outbid a number of major cable networks for a new drama series produced by and starring Kevin Spacey..."

Ars Techica is reporting that NetFlix will begin competing with network television in the near future with content of their own. Who doesn't love streaming movies from NetFlix to their Xbox 360, Wii or a myriad of smartphone devices. Netflix is reportedly bidding on new content to be delivered through the same content delivery system as the movies and TV programs you stream today.

I'd love to see Netflix become a key player in this space. As network television owns the airwaves (so to speak) its reasonable to assume that NetFlix and Blockbuster have a strong foothold on the streaming content market. The next place for them to evolve is into the original content that they bid on like any other network. It'll be interesting to watch this one unfold.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Engadget's Amazon Prime Instant Video Hands-On Test

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:30 PM

"Amazon has just turned on its Prime Instant Video service, letting paid Prime subscribers (sorry, students) in the US (sorry, foreigners) stream any of 5,000 movies and TV shows directly to their machines free of charge -- well, free beyond the $79 Primers already pay. Jeff Bezos has confirmed that there will be no extra charge going forward for this service and that Prime itself will not be getting more expensive to pay for all these bits and bytes. Right now the selection is limited, particularly if you already have a Netflix subscription, but we just had to try it out. Click on through for our impressions on a variety of devices."

I'm used to applauding most moves that Amazon makes, but this one is a bit of a head scratcher. If Amazon were to survey 100 users of Amazon Prime and ask them "What would make this service even better?", I'd guess exactly zero of them would have said "Please add streaming video!". Sure, it's free if you're an Amazon Prime customer - which I'd totally be if they offered it in Canada - but can Amazon really compete with Netflix?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Netflix Criticizes ISP Nickel and Diming

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 04:00 PM

"Wired ISPs have large fixed costs of building and maintaining their last mile network of residential cable and fiber. The ISPs’ costs, however, to deliver a marginal gigabyte, which is about an hour of viewing, from one of our regional interchange points over their last mile wired network to the consumer is less than a penny, and falling, so there is no reason that pay-per-gigabyte is economically necessary. Moreover, at $1 per gigabyte over wired networks, it would be grossly overpriced."

The battle over how you access your Internet seems like it will never end. Data caps in Canada (and the US) are quite common, meaning that services like Netflix are in a difficult position. Streaming movies adds a considerable amount of convenience since you have access to a large library (sometimes) of videos to watch. However, data transfer caps and overage fees can make such luxuries impractical.

When Netflix announced they were opening to Canadian customers, Canadian ISPs immediately announced they were lowering their caps. Now with Usage Based Billing seeming to become a reality, it seems like services that are data heavy may be few and far between. Resellers like Primus, who previously offered unlimited DSL has placed a 25GB data cap on their service. Anything over and you pay overage fees at rather impressive rates. On top of that, certain types of Internet traffic are still being shaped.

Sadly, it seems that at least for some places, it looks like there is plenty of potential for your Internet costs to go up, or be forced to limit your activity as companies seek to squeeze even higher profits backed by regulatory authorities.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Is Apple TV Really Just A Netflix Box?

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

"Apple has indeed crossed the 1 million Apple TVs sold mark, as it predicted it would shortly before Christmas. I argued that its relative success was mostly due to Neftlix being available on the streaming media device, and a new report from an industry analyst (via AppleInsider) supports that view. Gleacher & Company's Brian Marshall said Dec. 29 that according to his estimates, sourced from company reports and additional research, Apple rents around 475,000 movies and TV shows per day through the iTunes store. Netflix, by comparison, rents over 10 times as much, with about 5.1 million rentals per day."

Do you own an Apple TV? If so do you purchase movies using iTunes or Netflix? According to research Netflix is by far the most popular option chosen by Apple TV owners. Whether this is down to rental costs or choice of movies available is uncertain from this article on Gigaom. One thing that we can bet on though is that Apple will certainly adapt, change and innovate their service to try and catch and pass Netflix. Do you have and Apple TV and if so which do you use and why?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Netflix Beefs Up Its TV Content With ABC/Disney Content

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 04:00 PM

"The agreement, brokered by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, will add significantly to the growing selection of movies and TV episodes that can be streamed from Netflix. Once made available to Netflix from Disney-ABC - which, for relevant programming, will be no earlier than 15 days after initial telecast - episodes can be streamed instantly with Netflix memberships starting at $7.99 a month."

Since Netflix came to Canada in September, I've heard the same complaint over and over again: poor selection. I don't know if we have less choice in Canada than you US Americans do - I'd guess probably - but I still like Netflix because I've kept my expectations in check. I mean, it's $7.99 per month, which is only slightly more than the cost to rent a Blu-ray disc from Blockerbuster where I live. Unlimited content for that price tag is going to come with some limitations, but the sooner Netflix can beef up their catalogue, the naysayers will have even less to complain about for their $8.

What I want to know is why the heck can't I tag shows to watch later? When I'm browsing the listings looking for stuff, the only way around this is to start watching a show, then stop it, as a "hack" for having a list of stuff I want to watch. That's uber-weak. Still, for $8/month I remain a very happy Netflix customer!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Netflix Changes Their Pricing Structure

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "The Competition" @ 07:00 AM

"Netflix on Monday excitedly announced a new streaming-only, DVD-less plan, and then, while staring down at the floor, quietly murmured something about a price hike for all other plans."

This was bound to happen as more and more people stream content from Netflix, and find no need to even order the physical disks. According to the Netflix Blog, you can get a streaming only plan for $7.99 USD. The other plans will increase by $1.00 USD, so if you had the one disk plan before, it will go up to $9.99 USD. I prefer the option to have at least one disk sent to me as not all the content Netflix offers is available to stream. Once that happens, I'm streaming only.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Can You Still Watch Your Favorite TV Series if You Ditch Cable?

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:00 PM

"Ever wonder if, for just your favorite shows, it might be smarter to get an iTunes or Amazon season pass? Pondering which shows you'd have to give up if you canceled cable? We compiled a big chart of answers for you.... The choosing was totally subjective, although we tried to keep an open mind about popular taste. We included online alternatives including Amazon Video on Demand, iTunes, Hulu and its $9.99/month Hulu Plus service, Netflix (in streaming form only), and network sites often accessible through a site like (and its neat apps on platforms like Boxee)."

If you are thinking about dropping your "Cable TV" service - whether delivered via traditional cable, satellite or fiber - Lifehacker has published a useful chart that lists a fair number of popular television series and whether they can be obtained from various alternative delivery services, and at what cost. This is a popular idea right now, especially with the introduction of Google TV (which is not included in the Lifehacker article) and Sony's Internet TV models. One of the our local newspapers even ran an article this week entitled "Is This the End of Cable?" which provides brief overviews of several "set-top boxes" and the networks they provide access to. Have you tried ditching your cable TV service? And, if so, how well has the experiment worked?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Streaming Netflix On the PS3 Without a Disk

Posted by Jon Childs in "Digital Home News" @ 05:00 AM

"Take Netflix's widely adored streaming service, subtract the disc, add 1080p video and 5.1 audio and you should have something everyone's happy with right? Not exactly, as we've discovered a day after the updated Netflix app launched for the PlayStation 3 with a bunch of new features and unfortunately, a few new issues to go along with them including the app not working at all on imported systems, needing a new PSN user ID and the confusion of certain users seeing very different interfaces than what was promised."

I finally got around to downloading the Netflix app for my PS3 this weekend. Everything went smoothly for me, I ran into no issues with my old 60GB PS3. I think the interface is much nicer than the disk based version. The video quality is noticeably improved from what I was getting. Previously I never found anything that was better than a good DVD transfer. Now it seems to be somewhere between DVD and BluRay in my non videophile opinion. Since I don't stream too much stuff, it is really nice to not have to search around for the disk anymore. Now if Netflix can improve their catalogue I will be all set. Anyone try this on the Wii yet? I can't imagine the quality is any good, but it might be nice to have something my kids can stream their animated movies on without using my home theater setup.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Take on Netflix Coming to Canada

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 10:30 AM

It might be difficult for our American readers to fully appreciate how frustrating it is for the rest of the world to hear about these cool video streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon VOD, etc.) and not be able to access them. Well, finally I can cross one of those off my list: Netflix has launched their video streaming service in Canada. It's streaming only; no DVD rentals are part of the deal, but as a Zip customer, I'm OK with that. I immediately signed up this morning when I saw the email come in, and within 60 seconds, I was streaming a movie. I've got to say, that's pretty damn cool - it's what I've been waiting for! Xbox 360 support isn't ready yet for Canadians; they say it's coming this fall. Read more...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Netflix Streaming Added To Panasonic VIERA HDTV's And Blu-Ray Players

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

"To the last person on Earth (that reads this site) who can't already stream Netflix to their home theater in at least four different ways: if you have a 2010 Panasonic HDTV or Blu-ray player your sometime is now, as the video streaming widget originally promised way back during CES should have recently shown up in a software update. You'll find it in the VIERA Cast menu next to existing tools like Amazon VOD, Skype and Pandora (pictured above) unless of course you're sporting one of last year's models, which are sadly and inexplicably left wanting. If there's any confusion, peep the press release after the break to make sure your specific model made the cut, we'll be double checking for a 5.1 audio option on any of our Watch Instantly movies, again."

If you've got a 2010 Panasonic TV then Engadget have got a press release from Panasonic saying that there should be a software update which enables you to get Netflix movies. As we see bigger internet connections in the home we can expect to see more and more services like this added to the TV's we buy as manufacturers aim to make them the center of all home entertainment. The full press release is on Engadget as well as a link to the TV's that will get this software update.

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