Saturday, January 03, 2009

Tech: Netflix Streaming Video

I tried out the Blockbuster DVD-by-mail rental service for awhile, but I've recently switced over to Netflix. The main reason for the change was because of a new feature Netflix offers - unlimited on-demand streaming movies and TV shows via the Internet, along with the usual snail-mail one DVD-at-a-time service.

It's an incredibly convenient feature - you can easily watch the first season of "Heroes," for instance, without having to endure the drudgery of sending and receiving for each individual disc of the DVD set. Since I have an Xbox Live Gold account, I can even stream the movies straight from my 360. Needless to say, for a movie buff, this kind of functionality is nirvana. Some of the titles look fantastic if you have a capable broadband connection (HD or near-HD quality).

There are a couple drawbacks. The selection of DVDs available for streaming isn't very good, and it doesn't seem like they're adding titles at a rapid rate. You also can't add titles to your instant streaming queue from your 360; instead, you'll need a separate computer connected to the Web. Overall, though, it's a well-implemented way to watch movies on-demand for very little cost ($10/month).


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