Netflix Watch Instantly Keeps Improving
Netflix is all about movies and has a vested interest in getting people off the increasingly archaic physical media, mail your DVDs in the mail thing and move toward digital distribution via the Internet. Netflix’s solution is their “Watch Instantly” service that streams video content to PCs, or a TV via a Netflix / Roku set top box. Netflix continues to improve the service through several recent moves:
- Netflix Watch Instantly is coming to the Mac. The technology will be Microsoft’s Silverlight instead of Flash, limiting the service to Intel Macs.
- Watch Instantly is coming to the XBOX 360 in HD, no less, and soon: the planned launch will be November 19 when the new dashboard is deployed to XBOX Live Gold members. Eventually, HD streaming should be available to the Roku box, which has HD capable hardware.
- A few weeks ago, Netflix improved the content on their service by partnering up with Starz which handles video on demand for cable. Now there are some movies offered that one might actually want to watch, like No Country For Old Men, Dan In Real Life, Superbad, and Enchanted.
A very interesting home entertainment situation is developing between different companies and strategies. Netflix is advocating a streaming solution with various partners. We have Blu-Ray, the declared winner of the next generation disc format over HD-DVD, looking a bit weak in the face of internet distribution. Then there’s Apple with Apple TV and its preference for paid downloads. And let’s not forget cable “on demand” although the various options are becoming compelling enough that some are cancelling cable outright.
Ultimately, these various options benefit the consumer. Blu-Ray players are predicted to drop in price significantly. Here’s hoping Apple makes some move to beef up their content or drop prices as well. Personally, this movie-addicted geek hopes the “war” continues.