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Samsung HDTVs getting updated version of the Netflix Watch Instantly interface

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on February 12th, 2011

Those of us with a PS3 have had the new Netflix interface for a while,but now Samsung HDTVs are getting the updated version of the Netflix Watch Instantly interface. The latest interface appeared after a firmware upgrade on a UN46C6500 LCD HDTV.

Now you can search through Netflix’s catalog directly on the device, but you still won’t be able to add DVDs to your queue. There’s no official word on this yet, so it might be a test phase or a slow rollout, so it might not appear right away.

Netflix button coming to remotes soon

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on January 4th, 2011

This is a great move by Netflix. The company has announced that it has partnered up with several manufactures to add a Netflix button to TV, Blu-ray and media streaming device controllers. Starting this Spring, buttons that say “Netflix” including some featuring the red Netflix logo will be added to device remote controls.

The list of manufacturers that Netflix has made a deal with is impressive. The list for Blu-ray player remotes includes, Memorex, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Haier and Best Buy’s Dynex brand. Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba will place the Netflix one-click button on remote controls for some new Internet-connected TVs as well and Boxee, Iomega and Roku STBs will get Netflix buttons on their remotes.

Netflix to continue international expansion next year

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2010

Three months after Canadians got a taste of Netflix, CEO Reed Hastings says that the move was a success and that the company will expand its service to other countries in 2011. He told the Canadian press, “Based on the early success of Netflix.ca we’re going to continue our international expansion next year and we’re going to allocate significant dollars to it,”.

He didn’t specify which countries. In other Netflix news, Canadians hoping to get an experience similar to the original US service will be disappointed, since Hastings says there are no plans for a movie queue for the streaming-only service. He says that was a “strategic decision.”

Blockbuster Kiosks Face Same 28 Day Wait As Netflix

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 17th, 2010

Blockbuster has confirmed that its Express kiosks will have to wait 28 days before getting new movies from Warner Bros. to rent, even though they have recently tested same-day launches. The company made the move in an effort to have closer contact with Warner Bros. and to lower distribution costs.

The company already has similar deals with Fox and Universal. This news means that Blockbuster’s kiosks are now in the same position as Netflix, which also is restricted by the 28 day wait to ensure access to major titles for physical rentals and online streaming.

OnLive CEO dismisses plans to take on Netflix

Posted in Games by Conner Flynn on December 9th, 2010

Word on the street was that OnLive would be getting into the streaming movie business. And why not? They are a streaming gaming service. However, the CEO of OnLive, Steven Perlman, has come out and said that the company is not aiming to compete with Netflix.

That’s good news for those who are buying the service. The company needs to focus on games and bolster up their somewhat meager games selection. It’s smart to just focus on games, at least for now.

Netflix licenses more TV for streaming from ABC/Disney

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on December 8th, 2010

Netflix was rumored to be offering to pay $100,000 per episode for these shows. We don’t know if that was the price or not, but the company has reached a new deal with Disney-ABC Television Group that keeps episodes of shows like Lost on your streaming list and adds some new ones.

The delay time for adding new episodes is 15 days minimum so they will arrive soon. You can look forward to every single episode of Scrubs, Ugly Betty and Reaper due in 2011, plus expanded offerings from Disney Channel and ABC Family.

Amazon working on Streaming Service to compete with Netflix

Posted in Amazon by Conner Flynn on December 7th, 2010

Netflix owns subscription-based streaming TV at the moment, but it may have some new competition soon. Word is that Amazon is in the early stages of developing a subscription streaming service that will compete with Netflix.

If these rumors are true, the service will be included as a bundle with the company’s Amazon Prime shipping service which costs $79 a year. In case you are not familiar with it, Amazon Prime offers members free two-day shipping on all Amazon orders and allows for overnight shipping at $3.99 per item.

Comcast is making Netflix partners pay a toll to deliver streaming video

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on November 30th, 2010

A lot of stuff goes on behind the scenes that we never see. Some of those things we want to know about. Like the fact that Level 3 Communications, a networking company that delivers streaming video to Netflix users, claims that Comcast is demanding a recurring fee for the transmission of these videos to its subscribers. On a road this would be called a toll. Sucks either way.

If this is true, this isn’t good news for Netflix users, since increased operation costs always trickle down to the end user. After a few days of negotiating, Level 3 Communications paid the fee. Comcast has come out with a statement claiming that the fee has nothing to do with Netflix or video traffic in general. Instead it’s related to the amount of traffic that Level 3 Communications is pushing off into Comcast’s network.

Netflix launches $7.99 streaming-only plan

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on November 22nd, 2010

The streaming-only plan for Netflix unofficially rolled out last month is now being officially launched. The company opted to go with the $7.99 price, which helps it compete against Hulu Plus. However, at the same time the prices for all unlimited plans that include DVDs have jumped by at least one dollar.

So now you’ll be paying $9.99 for a one DVD at a time plan. So, it’s a cheaper option for those of us who have moved beyond physical media. Anyone going to try this new option, or are you sticking with DVDs?

Orb TV Streams Netflix and Hulu for $99

Posted in Media Streamers by Conner Flynn on November 18th, 2010

Apple TV and Google have their own TV solutions but if you are looking for a value TV product that deliver Netflix and Hulu, (in non high definition format), then check out the new Orb TV. The Orb TV boasts a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and has 200mb of storage space with 1GB of RAM.

The Orb TV supports H.264 BP/MP/HP, VC-1 SP/MP/AP, MPEG4 SP/ASP, MPEG2 MP, MPEG1 video formats and Audio : MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4), AAC, Lossless, WMA, WAV.

Netflix coming to select Android devices early next year

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on November 14th, 2010

Now that iOS, Windows Phone 7 and seemingly every game console are streaming Netflix video, the company is focusing on Android. In early 2011, Netflix will appear on “select Android devices,” according to the company’s blog, which promises a “standard, platform-wide solution” for Android in the future.

So why did it take so long? And you might also be asking why Netflix will be limited to particular handsets when it first rolls out? They have an answer. “The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android,”

Time Warner considering longer delay for Netflix, Redbox?

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on November 4th, 2010

Time Warner is considering a policy change that could mean longer delays for content to come to rental services like Netflix and Redbox. The current 28-day window has been pretty successful, but the current deals with partners are going to expire sometime in 2011. At that point, the company might want to extend the delay period. Not good for netflix users.

The company may also be planning to offer brand new movies via video-on-demand (VOD), before the titles are even out of theaters. This move is expected sometime in the middle of next year.

Yamaha Blu-ray player with Netflix, YouTube streaming

Posted in Yamaha by Conner Flynn on November 1st, 2010

Yamaha has introduced the BD-A1000, a “universal Blu-ray player” with streaming capabilities. This model allows you to play Blu-ray discs, DVDs, SACDs, DVD Audio discs and web-based media like Netflix, YouTube and Blockbuster. What else do you need?

It’s dual USB ports can also be used to attach an external hard drive or thumb drive. Full HD Audio decoding is supported, with four two-channel DACs that split the signal into a 7.1-channel analog output. The BD-A1000 is now available now and will cost you $700.

Netflix testing $7.99 and $8.99 streaming-only plans in US

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on October 24th, 2010

Netflix has quietly made streaming-only plans a reality in the US. The odd part is that depending on which computer and web browser you use, you’ll see a different result. For instance according to Engadget, a Windows desktop running Chrome was invited to sign up for the same $7.99 disc-less plan as Canadian customers enjoy, while Firefox asked for $8.99 for the same, and in both cases it would cost $9.99 in total if you want physical discs as well.

It all adds up to this. You may get a $1 discount if you only use the company’s online service now, but if you like DVDs delivered to your door you may find yourself paying for those who don’t.

Netflix could offer DVD-less plan this year

Posted in Netflix by Conner Flynn on October 21st, 2010

While announcing the company’s Q4 financial results, CEO Reed Hastings called his Netflix “primarily a streaming company that also offers DVD-by-mail.” There was also an indication that a streaming only plan for US customers, mirroring its offering in Canada, is currently in limited testing.

This could become widely available later in the fourth quarter of this year, when “pure streaming” could become the core package for Netflix, while DVDs might require a premium service charge like Blu-ray does now. If the price ends u being reasonable, this is awesome news.