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Netflix Movies Viewed On Demand

eHome Upgrade, among others, have joined the announcement that Netflix will be offering subscribers the ability to watch movies instantly through their computers.

The new immediate viewing feature differs from current services in that it does not require the often lengthy downloading of a large video file. The Netflix feature uses real-time playback technology that allows video to be viewed at virtually the same time it is being delivered to a user’s computer. Following a one-time, under-60-second installation of a simple browser applet, most subscribers’ movie selections will begin playing in their Web browser in as little as 10 to 15 seconds. Movies can be paused and a position bar gives viewers the ability to immediately jump to any point in the movie. In all, the instant watching feature requires only Internet connectivity with a minimum of one megabit per second of bandwidth. The more bandwidth a consumer has, the higher quality the video displayed, ranging from the quality of current Netflix previews to DVD quality with a three-megabit-per-second connection.

Gone are the long downloads, the articles say, but bandwidth constraints of a minimum of one megabit per second put some limits on who can take advantage of this movie watching service. Still, it’s a fascinating step in the right direction.

With drive-in movie theatres all but extinct, and DVDs and huge screen televisions in your home, what will this do to movie theatres?

And with all the popularity of video in blogs, will this new “instant” technology be available to blogs and blog readers/watchers?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network


  1. Posted January 16, 2007 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    It’s a terrific step in the right direction, but I was utterly disappointed to learn this is only going to work on PCs — it won’t work on the MacOS. That counts me out…and I’m a longtime and very loyal Netflix customer! Hopefully they’ll change the technology to allow Apple users to watch more than just their previews sooner rather than later.

  2. Posted January 16, 2007 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Give the technology two to three years. You’ll be streaming to an Xbox 360, Apple TV, whatever in your home theatre.

    The local video store probably still has a decade or so.

    Movie theatres will focus on higher end experience like IMAX.

  3. Posted January 17, 2007 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    The advent of Blockbuster’s integration of their brick and mortars into their online movie distribution system made the Netflix move all the more timely. Positing nascent technological advances—or even a rumor of them (currently only 1000 titles I believe)—for Netflix was a wise counter.

    Beyond that, I am with Genie and Engtech on all counts.

  4. Posted January 18, 2007 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Oh God, I’m gonna have to get better internet…

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