Reading Negatives About Netflix...?

chisueMarch 4, 2012

OK, y'all helped me with connectivity on a new Blu-Ray at our vacation condo. (Our present guest -- there for his fifth 2-month stay) was able to get the Blu-Ray player registered with SONY for me after we got a new router from Hawaiian Tel.) I'd planned to open a Netflix account to use there and at home.

I had planned to buy a Blu-Ray for our home. I asked my DS if he'd help me. He said I could skip the Blu-Ray; use our existing DVD player for any discs; stream Netflix via our existing Wii.

Today I Googled Netflix and found a slew of complaints. I can't tell if these people can't get their movies due problems at Netflix or if their problems are with their own broadband providers.

Does Netflix have a (superior) competitor?

How long will people *need* a gizmo to play discs if everything gets streamed? Our books are all streamed now -- even from our library system. What are the arguments for/against buying a Blu-Ray player for our home?

Is there some hitch with streaming via a Wii or X-Box? Would a Blu-Ray or other device provide a superior connection?

At home we have a 40" Sony 1080. Will 'streamed' movies look as sharp as those played via a disc, whether Blu-Ray or not?

Sorry to keep bugging you. I only learn what to ask as I go along. (I remember when the 'latest thing' was watching black and white TV on a 7" screen.)

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About Netflix. There is no sign-up fee and no long-term contract. They will prorate charges if you drop or change the service during the month.

So, I'd suggest that you try it out and see if you like it. You are really only talking about pennies for the streaming service ($8 a month, I think, or $.27 a day), altho there are lots of movies that are not streamed and only available by mailed disc.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 1:18PM
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I've used Netflix to stream content via both a Playstation 3 and a computer and it's worked fine. Occasionally there have been minor glitches -- a delay in streaming for example but not enough to even be considered annoying.

No, streamed content will rarely look as good as a Blu-Ray, it's a limitation of the available bandwidth and the compression used to stream the content. But I can't say what I have seen has looked "bad".

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 1:41PM
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The last I read Netflix was down to 23,000,000 subscribers (They lost a few million because of marketing blunder which has been fixed.) So, with 23 million you will expect a lot of complaints.

As mentioned previously, try it for a month. Sign up is easy. Try one month of disk and streaming. There customer service via phone is good and fast. I use Wii or HDMI to the TV for streaming and an old DVD player for disks. In six years I have had no complaint worthy of mention. In six years I have called them a 3-4 times when USPS has broken a disk. The wait is less than a minute and they have mailed me a replacement on the same day. Sometimes they send two replacements just to show they are good guys.

If I recall correctly one of the complaints has been that you must have a credit card.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Most of the negative news about Netflix has been related to their apparent lack of understanding of their customer base. Which customers need physical media and which customers have the connection speed required for streaming - especially at HD levels - and then how it fits into their business model. Yep, they really screwed up and lost a lot of confidence on the business and investor level.

The availability window for releases is between the studios and content providers - and it's getting ugly. Used to be the order was: theatrical release, airline inflight entertainment, hotel in-room movies, home video (DVD-VHS), PPV cable, and finally broadcast television.

So, this is where it gets bad for Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and others - how much are they willing to pay to get content sooner?

That's the business side of the problem. The delivery side is, if you connection can accommodate streaming, is at what speed? Which also dictates the resolution and the MPEG compression level.

I work on designing this technology and equipment for a living, but there is no "one size fits all" solution. Both physical media and streaming media will be around for a long time. There currently is not enough bandwidth available to stream all this information.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:42PM
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Thanks, all!

AT&T tells me we have 1.5 mbps. We *could* buy 3.0 or even 6.0. I think we'll try with the existing service first. I didn't want to think a player was faulty if it was actually another problem.

I see complaints about Sony players -- that they 'read' the level of mbps you are actually getting when you start a movie and won't adjust up as the movie streams. ??? Another complaint was that Sony requires you to register the device -- through a clumsy process.

I called our local Costco. They have reasonably priced Blu-Rays with internal WiFi from Sony, Panasonic and...I think one other; maybe Toshiba.

Thanks for your patience.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 6:20PM
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Like I already pointed out, in your other post, Sony requires AT LEAST 2.5 Mbps for SD and 10 Mbps for HD since it has to pass through their gateway - this is a Sony requirement and not a Netflix issue - either way, let us know how it works.

BTW - The download tiers, quoted by your ISP, are usually always followed by lengthy disclaimers that makes you roll your eyes back back into your head!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Thanks, Bill. (You must be "Sam's" alter-ego. He'd never put up with all these dumb questions. LOL)

Would a brand other than Sony have the same speed requirements and/or be easier to get working?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 12:10PM
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We could stream Netflix via our Wii. Better option than via any Blu-Ray?(We'll still buy a Blu-Ray for playing discs.)

If I buy a new modem/router what should it offer? What's "N"?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Netflix on Wii should work fine for you. The only limitation is that it does not support HD quality. But you don't have sufficient bandwidth for HD anyway. If you upgrade your bandwidth in the future you can always buy a $50 Roku for streaming Netflix in HD.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 10:56AM
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chisue we will NOT be using the Wii connection! Thanks, Mr. B.

I upped our service to 6.0. That's the best AT&T has on offer here (30 miles north of Chicago). It's supposed to happen Friday (tomorrow).

Today we bought a Sony Blu-Ray for home -- same one, but twenty dollars more than we paid Costco on Maui a month ago. (BDP-BX58 w/internal WiFi and HDMI cable)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 6:09PM
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FYI, FWIW etc. there is a new Netflix Support site. This one announced by Netflix rather than some giddy user. It is yet to be seen how useful it will be.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 3:54PM
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