Posts Tagged: Netflix


21
Mar 10

“RENTAL” DVDs

rentaldvd

If you should encounter a DVD with the word “RENTAL” imprinted on the bottom from either Redbox or Netflix, beware. These special discs have had all the special features gutted. They also contain ten to fifteen minutes of movie trailers which cannot be skipped. So far this only affects titles from Warner Bros.

Now I don’t really care about the special features being removed. I never watch them anyway. I do resent being forced to sit through over ten minutes of previews, however.

So why is Warner Bros. doing this you ask? Because they’re being petty and vindictive. Because of low-cost DVD rental sources like Netflix and Redbox, they’re making less and less money.

Warner Bros recently made deals with both Redbox and Netflix to delay new releases for 28 days. After 28 days Warner Bros. provides Redbox and Netflix with crappy rental copies. This is done in an effort to get more people to actually buy the movie instead of renting it. But in this day and age, it simply isn’t worth buying movies unless you intend to watch them over and over again.

By the way, according to a video on CNET, you can skip the “unskippable” movie trailers on most DVD players by pressing STOP, STOP and then PLAY. Unfortunately, that trick doesn’t work on my PS3.


2
Feb 10

Dear Internet – Part 2

dearinternet

I just wanted to send you a follow-up to last week’s letter. You’re still shamelessly wasting hours of my time every day, and I’m just as upset as I was about it last week.

Thanks to sites like Hulu, Netflix, and Youtube, I could watch video online for the rest of my life and never run out of stuff to watch. How dare you overwhelm me with all this selection! Not only that, but you’re putting cable companies at risk by giving away what they want to charge an arm and a leg for. I need a big cable company in my life to complain about! After all, complaining about crappy cable service has been an American tradition for decades! Way to ruin American tradition, Internet.

And nice job killing off the newspapers, murderer! Now that I can access my news instantly from literally hundreds of different sources, I no longer need the germ infested newspaper that the paper boy sneezed all over. Thanks a lot!

And you and your freaking online stores.  Did you know that I once bought a candle shaped like a pineapple online? Do you know WHY I bought a candle shaped like a pineapple? Because I could, that’s why! I don’t even like pineapples very much!

Oh how I loathe thee, Internet.

Sincerely,

Mr Nethead – Your Biggest Fan


17
Jan 10

A More Efficient Way to Watch TV

netflix

I enjoy watching TV shows. I just don’t like watching them on TV. In my mind, this is an extremely inefficient way to take in entertainment. They feed you a little piece of a story every week, and show commercials every few minutes. It’s sort of like having a pie. The pie has been cut into 18 pieces. You’re then given one tiny piece of pie every week. Sure, it lasts a long time, but it’s not very satisfying.

I became a Netflix member in 2004. Since then, I’ve watched thousands of movies and TV show episodes. Netflix provides an easy and efficient way to watch TV. Rather than tuning in each week for a show, I can watch an entire season at my own pace in a week or two.

And think of all the time I save not watching commercials! A 30 minute TV show usually has about 8 minutes of commercials. An hour long program generally has a whopping 18 minutes of ad time. If you watch a show on DVD instead, that is nearly an hour of saved time for every three episodes! (The hour long shows become 42 minutes.)

Sometimes I go on very long TV show streaks with my Netflix account. In fact, I haven’t received a movie from them since September. However, I have watched various shows since that time including, House MD, Criminal Minds, The Unit, Life, Numb3rs, Heroes, and The Big Bang Theory.

That TV show streak will come to an end on Monday when I receive Star Trek from Netflix, which oddly enough, is a movie based on a TV show.


4
Jan 10

Teetering on the Brink of Obsolescence

CD DVD Disc

The year was 2000. We had just entered the new millennium and I was the proud owner of a shiny new HP Pavilion computer sporting a 533mhz processor and 64mb of ram. This computer had something extra special though. It had a DVD drive!

I remember combing through the tiny selection of DVDs at Shopko. Eventually I found a copy of U2: Rattle and Hum. This was my first DVD; it was $25.

It was hard to get DVDs at the time. I asked the guy at Family Video if they carried DVDs yet and he quite rudely informed me that “no, we don’t!” The stores had a very poor selection, and since I was only 16, I didn’t have a bank account yet and buying online wasn’t a viable option.

Still, I was the first person in my family to use the DVD format, and at the time it was amazing and incredible. But what few people outside the realm of geekdom realize, is that the DVD format is now teetering on the brink of obsolescence.

Between 2006 and 2008 we had the “high definition optical disc format war.” In this war, HD DVD (principally backed by Toshiba), and Blu-ray Disc (principally backed by Sony) fought it out, while most people just sat back and watched. The movies were expensive, the players were expensive, and most people didn’t want to risk so much money on a format that may not even be around in a few years. Sales for either product were mostly relegated to “gotta have it” early adopters. Eventually Sony won the format war by bribing Fox and Warner Bros. with hundreds of millions of dollars.

Blu-ray is now the sole high definition optical format. As HDTVs penetrate an increasing amount of households, more and more consumers will also want to enjoy their movies in brilliant high definition. Sales of blu-ray players will likely rise in response to that demand. But blu-ray isn’t the future. In fact, the days of the blu-ray format are likely going to be much shorter than Sony and its backers would like.

The real future is HD video on demand delivered over the Internet. 10 years from now, we won’t need to buy or rent a disc at all to watch a movie. Instead we’ll have set top boxes which connect to the Internet (Such a the Roku player), or TV’s which support online movie streaming.

Netflix already supports instant movie streaming to the Roku player, Playstation3, Xbox 360, certain Sony TVs, and various other consumer electronic devices. We’re seeing the first stirrings of a fundamental shift in how we rent and watch movies.

This shift could make “owning” movies completely unnecessary. After all, if we can “rent” any movie we want instantly and have it streamed to our televisions, why would we ever buy a movie? That notion has got to be scaring the movie studios!