The Netflix box is finally a reality.
The Netflix Player by Roku is the first product that allows subscribers to have movies and TV shows from the service's Instant Viewing feature (aka "Watch Now") to be streamed directly to their TV screen. Previously, Instant Viewing was available only to Windows PC users through the Internet Explorer browser. With the release of the Netflix Player, subscribers need only have a wired or wireless broadband connection to access the entire Instant Viewing catalog through their TV. The full review--with hands-on video--is available at CNET Reviews. But for those who prefer to cut right to the chase, here's the short and sweet version: … Read more
Several HBO shows debuted today on the iTunes Store, but the big news was that two of them--Rome and The Sopranos--will retail for $2.99 an episode. To date, Apple had insisted on flat pricing of $1.99 per episode of any TV show added to its download roster. Indeed, the company's refusal to allow variable pricing was said to be the primary factor in NBC pulling its vast library of shows from the digital retailer in 2007.
Blogger Dave Zatz points out two big stumbling blocks to the larger issue of TV shows on iTunes:... it's not … Read more
The "Watch Now" feature on Netflix is a great idea: instant access to thousands of movies and TV shows, available for instant streaming to your browser at the touch of a button. There's just one big problem: despite an advertised library of over 8,000 titles, very few of them seem to be movies or TV shows that I want to watch.
Out of 41 titles currently in my queue, only 4--The King of Marvin Gardens, Das Boot, The Good German, and Pickup of South Street--are available to be streamed. OK, fine--my taste for older movies is probably throwing things off. Surely plenty of newer, more popular movies are available to be streamed, right?
Wrong.… Read more
The terms of a 2006 settlement in a lawsuit against Netflix will be allowed to stand over the objections of four Netflix subscribers, according to a report by Reuters.
In the initial lawsuit, the customers accused the company of "throttling." They alleged that Netflix held up delivery of DVDs to customers who were heavier users of the service--and therefore less profitable--in order to fill orders for new customers and less frequent users.
In 2006, Netflix reached a settlement agreement, but the four Netflix subscribers challenged it, saying the attorneys' fees awarded by the trial court were "excessive&… Read more
FCC’s Martin: Comcast blocking was widespread http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/ 144942/fccs_martin_comcast_blocking_was_widespread.html
Online DVD rental service Netflix announced Monday that net income for the first quarter was up 36 percent year over year, due in part to an increase in its subscriber base.
Netflix reported it had 8,243,000 total subscribers at the end of the quarter, which closed March 31. That's a 21 percent increase over the same period last year. First-quarter revenue was $326.2 million, up from $305.3 million for the same period last year. GAAP net income was $13.4 million, compared with $9.9 million in the first quarter last year--a 36 percent rise.… Read more
Bad news today for home theater fans: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said on a conference call that because Blu-ray discs cost more to purchase, the company plans on charging a premium on accounts that rent Blu-ray movies. Hastings said "consumers are used to paying more for high-definition," but with Blu-ray renters making up only a small percentage of Netflix subscribers, this certainly won't help spur adoption.
Previous to this announcement, videophiles have pretty much gotten a free-ride on renting higher-priced high-definition media, as Netflix offered both HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs to subscribers for no additional charge … Read more
Trips to the video rental store may be a thing of the past sooner than thought.
Netflix and Blockbuster are already offering DVD rental service by mail. Amazon.com, Microsoft's Xbox Live, and Netflix deliver movies directly to the PC. TiVo, Vudu, and Apple TV--not to mention cable and satellite companies--are doing the same for TV sets. Local independent stores notwithstanding, the only major brick-and-mortar options left for renting discs are Hollywood Video/Movie Gallery, which is close to bankruptcy, and Blockbuster.
But The Hollywood Reporter says Blockbuster may be giving customers more reasons not to visit its stores. … Read more
Toys are an important part of being a child. When we get older they become shinier and more expensive, but for many, they're fun to play with for a short time and we lose interest.
To help curb the potential costs and storage required, there's BabyPlays, a service that approaches toy enjoyment in a similar fashion to Netflix. BabyPlays is a subscription service that lets you pick what toys you want delivered to your house each month. Each of the plans lets you receive a different amount of toys. There are no late fees, and when you want … Read more