Miscellaneous Web

Netflix ‘Add To DVD Queue’ Feature Removed

Popular DVD rental and movie streaming service Netflix today announced that they were removing the ability to let users add movies to DVD queue from their streaming devices. In a blog post on the company website, Jamie Odell, director of Product Management at Netflix wrote,

“We’re removing the “Add to DVD Queue” option from streaming devices. We’re doing this so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly. Further, providing the option to add a DVD to your Queue from a streaming device complicates the instant watching experience and ties up resources that are better used to improve the overall streaming functionality.”

The move marks another significant step for Netflix to transform into a purely movie streaming service. However, the removal of this feature has got a number of users unhappy who point out that it will be making it difficult for users to add movies – those that are not available for instant viewing – to their queue.

In any case, it doesn’t look like Netflix will be reverting the change anytime soon. If you were a fan of that feature, it looks like you must learn to live without it.

Apple Web

iTunes Vs. Netflix – Online Rentals Compared

For more than a decade, Netflix has been seen as the leader in movie rentals. More recently, the company has started focusing on online rentals so much so that it is now believed that internet streaming via Netflix alone contributes close to 20% of bandwidth in the United States. Netflix recently launched in Canada and is learned to be ramping up for an international roll-out.

So how does all of this compare with Apple’s iTunes service? According to Gleacher & Company analyst Brian Marshall, it may be a tad unfair on Netflix to even get compared with iTunes. And that’s because the volume of purchases over Netflix is extremely large compared to those over iTunes.

Marshall points out that the average number of rentals per day over iTunes could be in the range of 475,000. On the other hand, Netflix is known to handle as much as 5 million rentals on a daily basis. Netflix appears superior in value terms as well. Marshall notes that over 90% of TV episode rentals on iTunes are priced $0.99 widening the gap between the two services even further.


Pricing For Netflix Streaming-Only Subscription Plan Outed

Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings has, on many occasions, made it known that he sees the company’s future in streaming content and not in the mail-in DVDs that is exactly how the company got popular in the first place. Now perhaps in a move towards incentivizing people towards the company’s digital offering, Netflix has now released a streaming-only subscription plan that will let users watch unlimited number of movies and TV shows without an alternative DVD rental.

The price for this new subscription service will be $7.99 a month. Along with this new offering, the cost to rent a DVD has risen too. Now the cost for renting one DVD in addition to unlimited streaming will cost the user $9.99 a month instead of the earlier $8.99. The marginal difference between the old and new plan steadily rises with the number of DVDs rented with an 8 DVD subscription service now costing $55.99 instead of the older $47.99.

Check out the complete pricing list below.

Netflix Pricing plan

Software and Apps

Netflix App For Android Phones Coming In 2011

The Android platform has been overtaking the iPhone in popularity over the past couple of months. Despite this encouraging growth, popular movie streaming website Netflix had stayed out of venturing into Android so far. After all these months of silence, Netflix has finally opened up on the reasons that has prevented the company from opening up to Android. In a recent blog post, Netflix Product Manager, Greg Peters has noted that the absence of a complete platform security system on Android as the reason why Netflix has not been able to enter the marketplace yet.  Peters wrote,

“The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android. The same security issues that have led to piracy concerns on the Android platform have made it difficult for us to secure a common Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on these devices. Setting aside the debate around the value of content protection and DRM, they are requirements we must fulfill in order to obtain content from major studios for our subscribers to enjoy.”

That does not mean Netflix app for Android is a goner. Peters has indicated that the first Netflix Android app will make its appearance in early 2011 and it will not be for all handsets. The company is reported to be talking to individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their systems and so it will be a while before the application becomes available on all the Android handsets.

Microsoft Mobile Software and Apps

Download Netflix On Windows Phone 7 Now

Windows Phone 7 users in USA and Canada can now watch their favorite movies and TV shows on their new smartphone. Netflix has announced that their streaming service has now been made available on the Windows Phone 7 App Marketplace and starting today, users can download it for free to their mobile phones.

“Netflix members in both the U.S. and Canada also now have the ability to instantly watch TV shows and movies on their Windows Phone 7 handsets. The application is available in the Marketplace Video Store and is free.”

The timing of the launch is interesting considering that an alternative Netflix app for the Android platform is yet to be made available. The WP7 marketplace is hardly a couple of weeks old and the platform is yet to see widespread traction. On the other hand, Android is already one of the most popular smartphone platforms in North America and it is not clear why Netflix has still not launched their app for Android. It is possible that the movie streaming service had lesser roadblocks on the WP7 platform since it is based on the same Silverlight platform that the Netflix service is built with. Nevertheless, that still may not be the complete explanation.


US DVD Rental Service RedBox Streaming Movies Soon

Like Netflix, RedBox too has made its name as a DVD rental company in the United States. And like Netflix, the company too plans to slowly move away from DVD rental to movie streaming. The company has announced that it will be entering the movie streaming business starting 2011. There is no word on who the streaming partner will be and whether RedBox intends to pursue a subscription plan model like Netflix. But from the looks of it, the company could well offer a subscription plan. A survey conducted by RedBox among customers in April this year had asked for their opinion on a $3.95 monthly plan that would include unlimited streaming in addition four free DVD rentals.

RedBox could be exploring a competitive offering to take on Netflix. The latter has been working on a streaming-only future for its business in the US. By offering a cheaper monthly subscription that additionally offers free DVD rentals, RedBox could drastically rise its competitive advantage over its rival.


Netflix Internet TV Streaming Consumes 20% Of US Internet Bandwidth

Netflix is no longer that DVD rental company that you know. As the company’s CEO had recently noted, the company sees themselves more as a streaming company. Now, with Netflix streaming supported on over 100 different devices in the American households, it is no surprise that a good majority of them use this streaming to watch primetime shows over the internet on TV. According to a report by Sandvine Inc., from Canada, Netflix streaming constitutes close to 20% of all internet bandwidth in the US during the primetime – 8PM to 10PM.

That however does not mean that the American internet user consumes any more bandwidth that their counterparts in the rest of the world. In fact, as the report points out, the median monthly internet consumption across North American households is 4GB whereas the corresponding number in Asia Pacific is a high 12GB.

Nevertheless, Netflix’s popularity among their 16.9 million registered userbase in USA in pretty impressive.

iPhone App

Netflix On TV With iPhone App Available With New Update

While a lot of popular iOS applications first made their debut on the iPhone before moving to the newer iPad platform, Netflix has chosen then alternate route to make features available first on the iPad. This makes sense considering that the iPad is the better media consumption device of the two and is the go-to platform for users who want to watch movies and TV shows.

The company has now released a new update to the iPhone app that brings the popular TV-out functionality of the iPad app to the iPhone. This will now allow users to connect their iPhone to a TV to watch Netflix streamed movies and television shows on TV. Do remember that you will need an AV dock to connect the iPhone to TV. You can either choose to buy an Apple-certified AV cable or pick one of those third party cloned accessories.

The new TV-out functionality on the Netflix app is compatible with iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G alone. If you own one of these devices, head over to the App Store to download the new version now.


Netflix In Canada : Launch And Subscription Fee Announced

After months of speculation, DVD rental and online movie streaming company, Netflix has finally announced their foray into Canada. The service can now be accessed at and will come with a monthly subscription fee of $7.99 along with a possible free one-month trial sign up.

Netflix has come a long way since it was merely a DVD rental company in the US. Their content can now be streamed online from a variety of devices including desktop computers, Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation, iPhone, iPad and blu-ray players from Samsung & Toshiba. Support for Microsoft XBox 360 is expected to happen later this year. All of these connectivity options are available to Canadian customers as well. The Canadian service will be English-only to begin with though support for French is expected to happen very soon.

And in case you did not realize yet, the Netflix Canada service is online-streaming only. No DVD rental is being planned for the time being.

iTV News

Stream Netflix From iPad To TV Using AirPlay

The latest beta version of iOS 4.2 was released this week and it introduces users to the wireless streaming service now called AirPlay. Folks at 9to5Mac have now confirmed that the AirPlay service will not only help users to stream music, video and photos from the local iPad memory to other devices like AirPort Express and Apple TV, but can also stream online content, such as those from Netflix.

This could be pretty useful since the iPad, though it is a media consumption device, is not ideal for family viewing. By wirelessly connecting the iPad to an Apple TV using AirPlay, users can stream both video and audio in order to watch movies and television shows with their family and friends.

The new Apple TV was unveiled on September 1 this year and shall be available at a pretty low price of $99.