Thursday, March 01, 2007

New @ Netflix

One of the trends that is supposed to eventually lead to Netflix's downfall is the ability to download and watch movies online. While the threat is still a few years away even according to experts, Netflix has gone ahead and shown that it is ready to face the challenge when it comes. The DVD rental site has now added a feature where members can watch movies online.

To watch the movies, a special software, the Netflix Viewer, must be downloaded and installed on the computer. But once that's done, the choice of movies is quite large. And these are not little-known, unsuccessful, small movies either. Classics like Casablanca and Chinatown, foreign movies like Run Lola Run and Born into Brothels and thrillers like The Untouchables and The Negotiator are some of the movies available for viewing online. The Instant Watching feature is included in the membership and a member can watch 1 hour online for each dollar of his subscription plan(15 hours for the $14.99/month plan and so on).

I watched Run Lola Run recently on the Instant Watch and the quality wasn't bad at all. Not DVD quality ofcourse but not too far off either. The movie started almost immediately and ran without any pauses for "buffering".

I didn't think that Blockbuster had this feature but knowing their past history, I was sure it wouldn't be too long before they offered something very similar to it. Sure enough, there's news today that the company is in talks to buy Movielink, a movie download service! They couldn't have been more obvious about their intentions to ape everything that Netflix does!

Meanwhile Netflix is flying high. The company recently delivered its 1 billionth DVD(Babel) to a woman in Texas. The lucky customer got a lifetime free subscription to Netflix! Sigh...

14 Comments:

At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some chick came and left htis note on my blog...

//// dear madam,

u came tomy attatention coz i readyr comment on balaji's pg... this is the only way i could reply..

yr comment on anandha kannan was very mean.. i even thought that it was from a guy. was kinda shocked to see that it was from a female..

anyway, sometimes, we could learn to APPRECIATE ppl... thnk u

PrincesS

/////

I have no idea what she's talking about honestly. Do you? Who is Anandha Kannan???

 
At 12:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah crap, I posted the thing and didn't sign my name Balaji.. =P. Hope you are doing good!

~Merino

What's with ppl thinkng that i'm a guy? sheesh.

 
At 5:28 AM, Blogger Nandhu said...

unfortunately there is no netflix equivalent in chennai where i live.

 
At 9:37 AM, Anonymous ram said...

bb, remember u saying that u didnt like watching movies on the comp (when i recommended avall appadithaan)...ungalaye paaka vechuduthey netflix...way2go netflix!!

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Should try Netflix sometime.. After all, it is the mother of all online rental services in the US and I haven't even used it once. I have the time to read about movies.. but watching them always ends up taking a back seat! :-) ;-)..

Wow, Billionth customer.. free lifetime subscription.. Vaazhvu dhaan!.. Lucky lady!

 
At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Ok.. you want to know who Anandha Kannan is? See this video (in case you missed it on Sun TV this Pongal)

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wow, Billionth customer.. free lifetime subscription.. Vaazhvu dhaan!.. Lucky lady!"

don't know why you guys congratulate the lady lucky and revere Netflix like god..after all it is a money making video rental :):):)
Disclaimer: sacrcasm/humor intended

Kumar

 
At 12:13 PM, Anonymous ram said...

kumar, kudos on that kizzzhhi bit of sarcasm! dhooll kalapitteenge!

"Sirithu Vaazha Vendum...
Pirar Sirikka Vaazhndhidaathey...!"

 
At 1:06 PM, Anonymous DrSharavanan said...

I think the future is "Video on demand". We already have comcast delivering movies in HD within its video on demand service. Although mailing out DVDs and rental queues was cool when it came out,
I don't see how that model can survive very long. I want to watch a movie dammit and I want it now. :)
Comcast on screen GUI needs some refinement, but watching HD video on demand is simply great. The ability to pause rewind and fast forward is still very crude. All this can be improved over time.
Imagine a cool onscreen gui,a high speed broadband network, and a vast collection of movies in the comfort of your home.
On a different note, I noticed that new tamil movie DVDs come with two movies in one disc. While some may think this is a bonus, I feel it is idiotic. For people who want to watch two low resolution movies
there is VHS.

 
At 2:14 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

Its a shame that there is nothing out there that comes even remotely close to a Netflix for Tamil movies. I want Tamil/Hindi movies on demand :-) That wil be the real deal.

 
At 11:05 PM, Blogger My 2 cents said...

Hi Balaji,
I went to Netflix site but am not able to locate Netflix Viewer. It says the instant watch will be enabled in June 2007. Can you tell me where to download the Netflix Viewer?

 
At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

visit Indiaweekly.com for all ur DVD needs.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, only cos it was a movie i've seen many times b4 and it was running in the background as i did other stuff so i could see just my fav scenes :) still can't bring myself to see a movie for the 1st time on the comp :)

sandya, "Vaazhvu dhaan" - my thots exactly :)

dr, i think movies come to 'on demand' only a few weeks after they come out on dvd right? so unless they sync the times, it may take a while to take off...

and those 2 movies in 1 dvd r not originals. those r just fake dvd companies looking to make a quick buck i think...

my 2 cents, i'm assuming u're a netflix member? once i log in, the rightmost tab now says 'watch now' and under there it shows the list of movies available. once i tried to watch the first movie, it asked me about downloading the viewer...

 
At 10:28 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

Good fotos. I have to wonder about your enthu too in planning/executing such trips with 2 kids and all.Some energy you have got. Iam good when it comes to thinking about making trips :-),but when it comes to actual planning of one which isnt my favourite thing to do,I tend to postpone it and it never materializes and I end up regretting it later on. This happens frequently. If only I had a travel agent/chauffeur at my disposal who would take care of all the planning and driving :-)) Maybe affordable in India, certainly not here. Here, you have to do every damn thing yourself. But for many, thats the fun part.

 

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