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Netflix May Add Streaming-Only Subscription
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February 23, 2009 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said the company could provide customers the option of an online-streaming-only subscription plan in the near future.
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Posted by Jim Gandor  on  02/23  at  03:56 PM

I will be interested in seeing if they succeed with streaming only. Right now I don’t believe they have the technology to do it.

I bought a VUDU Box and compared it heavily with Netflix before my purchase. In my opinion the VUDU outweighed Netflix streaming greatly. VUDU is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of quality, instant delivery, and even interface.

Netflix has a long way to go, it will be interesting to see if they keep their same pricing guidelines when they start streaming so much more. Bandwidth costs a lot, I wonder if they can foot the bill.

Posted by Michael  on  02/24  at  12:41 PM

I would love to see a download/streaming only option, that allowed you to pre-download titles with higher quality than streaming.  Netflix could have THE killer video rental app with that technology and insure their growth and success for the foreseeable future.

Posted by Kevin  on  02/24  at  12:50 PM

The article mentions that all Netflix plans include the streaming option at no cost. This is not entirely accurate - streaming is only available on Unlimited plans, which begin at $8.99 per month for one movie at a time.

Still, it’s hard to believe that Netflix could offer the streaming-only option at a price that makes sense. For example, let’s say they charged only $5 per month for streaming-only. That means it would only be an additional $4 per month for unlimited DVDs (one at a time). Considering that the newest releases are only on DVD (at least for now), who wouldn’t pay the extra $4?

Posted by Arlen Schweiger  on  02/24  at  01:00 PM

I thought that was true as well, but according to the Netflix website, the streaming is available on all plans—only with the limited $4.99 plan, it is limited as well. “Instantly watch up to 2 hours of movies (some new releases) & TV episodes (including current season) online on your PC or Mac for no additional fee.” So it’s pretty insignificant, but it is there. Course, I wonder what percentage of Netflix subscribers only have the $4.99 plan when you can get a whole lot more for another $4 per month.

Posted by Kevin Hawley  on  02/24  at  01:15 PM

Arlen - That’s weird, because I pulled my info from the “Instantly to your TV” tab on the Netflix site - but I was logged into my account. When I’m logged in, all the information about streaming video mentions the $8.99 limit. However, I did a link to a current streaming-only plan, which allows you to watch “Starz Play” only - with no DVDs - for $7.99 per month. Here’s a link: http://www.netflix.com/?mqso=80022054 . Still, I think this program is a good illustration of my point - for only $1 more per month, you can watch the entire streaming library, plus get unlimited DVDs. I just don’t see many people going for that option.

Posted by John  on  02/24  at  01:18 PM

I am in the same exact boat as Michael. I would love to be able to start downloading a movie from work so when I get home I can watch it in the best possible quality. I do not mind waiting to watch a movie, but the streaming for me is terrible, especially when I get home and there are 4 people on my network draining my bandwidth. My xbox would never turn off if they added this feature.

Posted by Kevin Hawley  on  02/24  at  01:22 PM

Are you guys streaming to your computers, or to a different Netflix player? I used my laptop for a while, and found the streaming to be unbearably slow. I finally got a Roku player, and the quality is a lot better. Still not quite DVD quality, but close. Plus it’s a LOT faster.

Posted by greg  on  02/24  at  08:28 PM

You need at least cable internet this day and age.  Don’t even try this stuff with DSL.  Get 10meg or higher and this stuff works great.  Netflix HD through the xbox is great quality.

We just need them to work on increased sound quality….ADD SURROUND SOUND!!!

Posted by Mitri Daniels  on  02/24  at  09:37 PM

i use this to stream to both my 360’s. only downside to it all is that most of the content doesn’t support 5.1. there are a few but they aren’t what you’ll mostly watch. i have 20/5 fios(beautiful) and it’s great. but for anyone out there thinking of using the wireless adapter for the 360 with this. if your not right in front of your router or have a constatn 3-4 bars. your connection will be lost and quality wont be greatest with it. just saying.

but i’d be glad to pay for just streaming. i’ve never rented a dvd. i don’t think its cool to charge additional money to rent blu-rays. but o well. especially if they go with the streaming of the hbo plan. would be great.

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