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The new format actually reminded me of the Masterchef opening format, except on a much smaller scale. The two episodes are annoying only because they're a week apart. If Bravo wanted to keep it as 2 separate hour-long shows, they should have (like Masterchef) shown the first two episodes on back-to-back nights. I like the format particularly in that it will (hopefully) get rid of the chaff right away, rather than taking 1/2 the season to weed them out.
James, I agree with you 100%. I'm a long time supporter of Netflix -- member since 2000. The price hikes and dropping of some key features in the past couple years have been annoying, but haven't changed the core (awesome) functionality of the service. Even splitting the company internally is fine by me, however... Two websites?... that AREN'T INTEGRATED?! WTF?! I seriously cannot even begin to imagine how terribly annoying it's going to be to have to rate movies in 2 places and not be able to know what DVDs in my queue are also available on streaming just by glancing at my queue. Also, de-coupling the service like this gives me a lot less incentive to be loyal to Netflix streaming. There are a lot of strong competitors on the horizon in the streaming arena, and now that the convenience factor of having both streaming & DVD from one company is gone... I'm going to be looking at that competition as a much more viable option.
What's vague is that it's legal for people to have a "shared" account -- for example, roommates might split the cost of a Netflix account and both be able to use the streaming anywhere they please... but it's illegal for someone to "share" their account with a friend by letting them use their password to watch a movie every once and a while? Granted, this isn't the case the law is directed toward, but what's the legal difference between 2 friends having a shared account (OK) and 1 person having an account that they decide to share with a friend (punishable by law)? Who is to say that a group of students in a college dorm might not all decide to chip in $1/month toward a shared Netflix account and have a big board up in the hallway where everyone could reserve times to access streaming (since the number of concurrent streaming users is limited)? I see nothing wrong with this. How is this different than everyone sharing a cable subscription and booking time to use the TV room?
It's clear that this discussion has gone off the "Add to DVD Queue" button removal topic and more toward Netflix's desire to get rid of their disc delivery service altogether. In my opinion, though Watch Instantly is awesome, their disc service is the core of their business and it's what made Netflix great. Problems with getting rid of discs any time soon: - SELECTION. One of, if not THE best thing about Netflix is availability of practically EVERYTHING out there. No matter how obscure the film, chances are they carry it. Streaming selection just isn't even in the same realm as that today, and even if they were able to increase it significantly, there would always be unavailable titles due to the "ebb and flow" of licensing agreements. With discs, Netflix just has to get their hands on a copy and they own it forever, until it breaks. - Lack of CC, Subtitles, and Special Features - Quality is severely lacking for the majority of available content. - Aspect ratio issues. - Streaming requires that the user subscribe to another (quite costly!) monthly service: INTERNET. Not everyone has high speed internet. Not everyone's high speed is high enough for consistent quality playback. With discs, all you need is a player and a TV (no monthly fee for owning those) and you're all set. - Yes, higher speed internet is becoming more widely available, but data usage caps and pay-per-use tiers of ISP pricing are also finding their way into the mainstream. Out networks may be capable of streaming all this high quality content, but will we be allowed to or willing to pay the premium cost just for the bandwidth to download the content? - What about when your internet goes out? I don't know about you, but it still happens to us all the time. The last thing I need is one more thing in my house that is fully dependent upon the internet. - If everyone were streaming high quality video all the time, it would completely cripple the networks and no one would get good, fast service. - Recent changes to Net Neutrality laws means that certain ISPs will be able to restrict bandwidth used for services such as Netflix. So... I see lots of issues. These don't make streaming bad, they just make discs a necessary alternative. For me, personally, I prefer to rent the Blu-ray or DVD every time for titles I'm excited to see because the quality is so much better almost all the time. I use Watch Instantly mainly for TV shows or movies that I wouldn't bother to "waste" a disc rental on.
I liked being able to post ratings to Facebook, and I think it should be available (and working properly). But the problem with the Facebook implementation is that you can't go back and see every movie a specific friend rated, or search on a specific movie and see how ALL your friends rated it. This is why a Netflix site integration is ESSENTIAL and why I am still so very bitter that the Friends features were removed.
Why, oh why won't they allow the free NON-plus version of Hulu on devices too?!
The most important feature to me (and the one that I still lament the loss of) is having all of my friend's ratings of a movie right there on the main movie page making it really easy to decide if it was something I wanted to watch or not. I also really miss movie notes the way they were when the Friends feature FIRST came out (not the way it ended up). Where you could just write mini "My 2 cents" reviews/comments on each movie that were only visible to your friends.
As many others have pointed out, those high numbers are almost certainly a result of "Not Interested" ratings. I never rate Not Interested, because I'm actually interested in keeping count of actual movies/TV series watched. I'm at 3009 right now. All movies I've seen from beginning to end and actually remember (there are many more I've seen, but don't remember well enough to rate). And as for TV ratings, I won't put in a rating for a season unless I've actually seen every episode of the entire season. So my 3009 number is pretty solid as far as I'm concerned.
I think it's important to have the separate queues. There are several titles I'd watch instantly but would never have any desire to waste a DVD or Blu-ray rental on. And there are also movies that I really want to see in Blu-ray glory and probably wouldn't be interested in watching on WI. So for me, I prefer having the separation there. And wouldn't it just suck if you mis-managed your queue and accidentally got sent a DVD of some movie or TV show you really didn't care about or had already seen -- a title that was just there because you thought you might want to, say, watch a scene or two or one episode on WI randomly at some point? Also, as others have mentioned, I'm always at the 500 disc cap on my DVD queue, so if they were to combine the two queues, they would really have to lift the cap.
I'm honestly kind of offended that everyone here who has said they miss the Friends feature and think it's a bad decision by Netflix is getting lumped in with, what, TWO people who said they would cancel their subscription? I'm extremely upset the features are gone but let's get some things straight: 1) I'm NOT going to cancel my service. I never said I was. The core service that I pay for is still excellent and worth the cost. 2) I've been a member since 2000, always with the 5-8 out at a time plan. 3) I have NEVER cancelled or suspended my account. 4) I usually get less than 10 movies a month (which means I'm paying a CRAPLOAD per disc). 5) I've personally convinced more than 20 people to join Netflix. 6) All of this means that I'm probably one of the TOP 2% most profitable customers for Netflix. Now I understand business decisions, but sometimes the numbers aren't the only thing that should be considered. For example: - Only a small percentage of Netflix users even knew about the features or how they really worked. Therefore, it's impossible for any more than a small percentage of users to have used it regularly. So saying that they're removing it because people don't use it means they set it up for its own demise by never informing their customer base about it in the first place. - Netflix constantly talks about how it is one of their top priority goals to make it easier for their users to find movies they will enjoy... especially catalog titles (not new releases). Cancelling the communities features seems to be doing exactly the opposite of this, as for many people, it was the most effective way of finding hidden gems and learning about movies who people they trust like, whether close friends or complete strangers with similar interests. - Cancelling the community features may not hurt their bottom line, but it does hurt their reputation, especially among devoted and loyal customers like me. I haven't always agreed with every move Netflix has made, obviously, but I've always thought of them as a great company who really made an effort to provide the BEST service for their users -- above and beyond what they had to do just to increase profits. That's they kind of company philosophy that leads to a thriving business despite what the experts think (and that is exactly what Netflix did). Community features was not just an added value for me -- it was central to how I used the Netflix service and now that it's gone, I have a much more difficult time deciding what to rent, I visit the site a fraction of the amount I used to, and I just don't enjoy the service as much. I still think their core service is great, but I don't feel so passionate about Netflix anymore. If someone else comes by who can compete, I don't feel that loyalty anymore and am more likely to test other waters.
Yes. It was the single most useful way to find good movies to rent, as I trust the opinions of my friends and other Netflix users who have similar tastes to mine more than any recommendation engine ever could. Also, I spent a lot of time creating my movie lists and movie notes. All that work was literally thrown out today and I have no way to access them anymore. I think it's ironic that Netflix is pushing the whole, "Don't worry, your reviews are still there!" angle. Yeah, great, they're still there but no one will ever be able to find them anymore, since there isn't any way now to see every review written by a single user. And since you can't find reviews by users you agree with, you can't vote them as "helpful," so everything will get pushed back in the pages and pages of forever lost reviews. That's the equivalent of wanting to read Roger Ebert's review of Rosemary's Baby and having to go to the Netflix page for the movie and scroll through every single page of reviews to find it... not even knowing if he ever even wrote one for that movie in the first place. Ridiculous!
My company has unlimited paid vacation time. It's really great. I suppose the down side could be viewed that if you don't take any vacation, you don't get paid out for that vacation you didn't take. We just don't keep track. As long as everyone's getting their work done and no one takes advantage (no one ever has), everything works out great. We're relatively small (around 50 employees) and all very dedicated to our jobs, so that might be why it works so well, but we absolutely do take plenty of vacation time. The really nice thing is that we don't have to worry about randomly taking off early or coming in late for personal reasons and trying to figure out if that needs to be deducted from vacation time, etc. It's just not something we worry or think about.
I think it's interesting that Redbox gets the "convenience" advantage. Though it's true that you can get a move immediately by going out to a kiosk, I personally find Netflix to be WAY more convenient because stuff is delivered right to your door -- I always just have a pile of movies sitting by my TV ready to watch.
I'd LOVE it if Netflix got HBO. I would adore being able to finally see The Sopranos, The Wire, Carnivale, Entourage, etc. as well as the plethora of awesome HBO original movies. In general, more TV, but only if it covers all seasons, starting with season 1. I hate it when early seasons aren't available (which is one reason why I don't like Hulu very much). I also agree that less popular shows that only aired for a season or two would be great. For example, I recently watched Pushing Daisies on Watch Instantly, which was GREAT! I 2nd the nomination for B-movies, though I'd go back even to the 20's. Especially old sci-fi horror flicks. I usually only ever see these when TCM does marathons around Halloween time.
It happened to me for a few episodes of 30 Rock on the Xbox 360 -- totally silent. No matter how many times I reloaded, I could never get the sound to play on those specific episodes. Worked fine on my PC, but I was annoyed that I had to watch them while sitting at my computer.
You're right, RowdyReptile. For DVD/Blu-Ray this is usually the case. I was referring primarily to streaming in this case, however, since it's the subject of the post. Also, there is still no way to to catch up to a show that is in the middle of a season (with a small handful of exceptions), even on discs, since you have to wait for the current season to end and then for the release of the DVD/Blu-Ray, which hopefully happens before the new seasons begins.
For watching TV, what I need is the COMPLETE series. I want to be able to sit down and watch a TV show I've never seen before, whether it's in its 1st or 8th season, and be able to watch every episode up to the one currently airing on broadcast TV. The problem with Hulu is that for most shows they only have the last several episodes aired. Even with Hulu Plus, which touts the "entire current season" available feature... there are very few shows that have back seasons available for viewing. If I can't start watching a show from its beginning, I'm not going to watch it at all. The problem with Netflix (though this is less of an issue in my opinion) is the entire lack of the current season... so it's impossible to ever catch-up with what's currently on air. Also, as others have pointed out, there are some shows that lack earlier seasons/episodes for unknown reasons. Whichever service comes up with a way for me to watch more good shows in their entirety from beginning to end (or current)... that service will get my money.
My per DVD cost is pretty high, but I have a 5-out plan and don't watch all that frequently. But it's totally worth it to me because: 1) Amazing selection. 2) I can hang onto movies for a long time at no extra cost (Redbox is $1 per night, right?), which is a good thing, because I hold on to some for a LONG time. If I had 5 Redbox DVDs at home for just one week, it would cost $35. 3) I always have a selection of movies to choose from sitting at home ready to go whenever the mood strikes. 4) I have a kid, so not having to leave the house, even for 10 minutes, is important... because you can't leave a 2-year-old alone, even if they're dead asleep.
I like Hulu, but almost never watch it because I don't like sitting in front of my computer to watch TV. So the bonus of being able to watch on my TV via console is very tempting... but it seems kinda of ridiculous that they would charge extra for it. Even more ridiculous is they don't even remove the commercials. Other than that, it sounds like the main draw to Hulu Plus is access to back episodes. But if it's only the current season (even the full one), that's not enough. I want ENTIRE runs of back episodes from every season. I use Netflix to watch TV shows I've never seen before... and if I'm going to watch a new series, I want to start with season ONE. Full seasons are nice, but pointless if every season isn't offered.
Seriously?! You've got to be kidding me! Since they removed the Friends' features on main movie pages, Facebook Connect was the best/only way to continue to share ratings and movie notes. I honestly have no clue what Netflix is thinking getting rid of all social aspects of their service -- it makes NO SENSE! Unless they have plans to really beef up their API offerings to include access to Netflix Friend's activities/ratings, etc. (and actually support this stuff!) so that a 3rd party can develop some kick-ass Netflix Friends integration... this really makes me upset.
I'm watching Pushing Daisies, which was just recently added to Watch Instantly. Just finished season 1 and will probably plow through most of season 2 this weekend. I second the nominee for watching Veronica Mars, though. Awesome show and a wonderful new addition to Watch Instantly.
Yeesh. Couldn't live without mine. I depend too heavily on leftovers. I also do a quick steam of frozen edamame beans in the microwave (only 50 seconds!) and quick soft-boiled eggs. Heck, I use it for all sorts of things. More power to you, though.
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2010 on Six Months at Skillet Doux
There have been several times when I've had a movie out for a few months before getting around to watching it. But I'm on the 5-at-a-time plan, so I'm usually going through at least 3 of them at a decent pace. Well, decent to me, but probably way too slow for most of you. For me, the value of Netflix is not a cost-per-rental game. With the number of movies I actually watch every month, I would be fine with the 2-out-at-a-time plan, but I'm paying the extra for variety. Whenever the mood strikes me, whether that's every day or only a few times a month, I've got a wide variety of movies across genres at my fingertips to choose from. And I simply refuse to return a movie I haven't watched. If I rented it, it's because I felt that seeing that movie was important for some reason, and given that my queue is always capped at 500 movies... if I sent an unwatched movie back, I'd never get back around to it. Forcing myself to watch the movies before sending them back is the motivation I need to watch certain movies that I know I will enjoy but never really have the urge to watch. And boy have I ended up seeing some amazing films as a result. The other benefit of being slow to turn around movies is that since my cost per rental is so high, I can pretty much get any movie I want shipped to me. So I almost never have to wait for new release or high-demand discs. Again... I'm paying a premium to have more spur-of-the-moment choices available to me, and that is completely worth it in my book.
Huh... 150 engineers working on personalization technology? You know what made my Netflix experience personal?... Seeing my friends' ratings. You know what gave me the absolute best and most accurate movie recommendations on Netflix?... My friends' ratings. Too bad Netflix doesn't find it worth it to put just one engineer on maintaining this minor feature (from a technical standpoint) that is a MAJOR feature contributing to the once outstanding personalization, but now completely lacking, of the Netflix experience. ... Yes, I'm bitter. Still.
I don't see why anyone would leave Netflix for TV... since TV doesn't offer an expansive DVD and Blu-Ray catalog delivered to your home. Though Netflix has been pushing the streaming and it's an AMAZING value-added feature, I'm always going to need Netflix for movie rentals. Now, if in the future my Cable/Satellite provider started offering a comparable library of movies (yeah right) unlimited and on Demand for a monthly fee that was competitive to Netflix AND was as high quality as a blu-ray disc... then maybe I'd give it some thought. Though I don't think that will be happening any time in the even slightly near future.