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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » Netflix (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Author Topic: Netflix
Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12446
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-02-2016 10:48 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have always been a hard-liner about Netflix, namely why should I spend money for that when I have a perfectly good movie theater I can watch the new releases in?

My wife, however, is out of town on business at least 3 nights (sometimes more) a week, and does not have satellite, cable or internet during these trips, so she wanted to get a Netflix account so she could watch movies on her iPad when there was nothing good on the 2 or 3 "antenna" channels.

OK so fine, now we have Netflix. I figured, sure, there are times my usual night-time TV isn't all it's cracked up to be so an occasional movie would be good. Until now my knowledge of Netflix has been limited to reading about all the idiotic ways they keep trying to screw the theater industry, and how they also keep trying to screw the studios. The fact that everybody wants to get in bed with these people (it's the $$$$) is a textbook example of what's wrong with this world. Still, I had to admit some excitement at being able to watch virtually any movie I wanted to!

I was under the impression that Netflix had "almost everything." Well I have found out that's not exactly the case. I've thought of at least a half-dozen movies, things we didn't play at the theater or older ones I wasn't sure I wanted to buy, that I would like to watch and guess what....they're not there. Same with a lot of TV shows that crossed my mind.

We also have Amazon Prime, which we have mainly for the shipping advantages -- the movies and music-on-demand are a nice little added perk. But it's a disappointment too, because although the movies you really want to see might be there, most of them cost extra to "rent." Well screw that, if I'm going to pay extra for a movie I'll just buy the blu-ray.

I thought the whole appeal of these online streaming things was "watch what you want, when you want, where you want." I'm finding it's not exactly the case. And then there's a whole range of stuff that Netflix DOES have, but only on physical disk, which (of course) costs extra.

It turns out that far from being the ultimate video store, Netflix is really just an online TV network. They only carry things that bring in viewers. So my bubble was quickly burst. If not for my wife I would shut it off right now, but she's already heavily into Breaking Bad, so...

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 763
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 05-02-2016 11:01 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Someone from a TV network once called Netflix reruns. But, they donhave some good original stuff like House of Cards and Lillyhammrr. The streaming librsry is more limited than their disk library. I believevwith streaming they need to continuously renew licenses while once they have a disk, they can rent it until it breaks.

Harold

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Daniel Schulz
Master Film Handler

Posts: 362
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted 05-02-2016 11:10 PM      Profile for Daniel Schulz   Author's Homepage   Email Daniel Schulz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I take your point, but I still think Netflix Streaming is an incredible bargain for the amount of content that you do get. I do find it interesting, though, that so many people equate Netflix with the streaming service and don't think about the disc service at all. I use both, and I would give up the streaming service long before I would give up the discs, especially since video rental stores are now so few and far between. I periodically check my disc queue to see how much of it is available to stream, and it's usually less than 20%. Plus, for movies, you have to double-check aspect ratios, as many times a 'scope movie streams cropped to 16:9!

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2112
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 05-02-2016 11:37 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mike, what you're talking about illustrates a growing problem with streaming services. Basically everything is becoming so fragmented that a person needs to subscribe to multiple services just to get all the content they desire: Neflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBOGo/HBONow to name a few.

Now we're starting to see Networks have their own streaming service which is replacing OnDemand services from TV providers, and have their own subscription rates.

I wouldn't mind this fragmentation so much if there was more real-time access to sports and other live events. Once this happens I will be happy to ditch my satellite service and just subscribe to the streaming services which offer the products I want to see.

What I have found with Netflix is their original content and archive of TV shows is what makes it worth while for me. Same with Amazon Prime, and since I mainly get Prime for the shipping the content is a bonus.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12446
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-03-2016 12:12 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Daniel Schulz
I do find it interesting, though, that so many people equate Netflix with the streaming service and don't think about the disc service at all.
That's because the physical disk is completely dead and nobody has used or a DVD (or a CD) for the past 5 or 6 years, and everybody is streaming everything. At least that's the notion the media keeps puking out. I thought Netflix wanted to GET OUT of the business of shipping disks around.

quote: Justin Hamaker
Basically everything is becoming so fragmented that a person needs to subscribe to multiple services just to get all the content they desire
Isn't that the truth. I've often wondered how much people are spending every month while they're "saving money" but cutting their cable.

quote: Daniel Schulz
I would give up the streaming service long before I would give up the discs, especially since video rental stores are now so few and far between
Some of the stuff I searched for isn't there on disk either. Just one example that pops to mind is the John Belushi movie "Continental Divide." Not available on Netflix in any form, but you CAN buy the DVD from Amazon.

For a real big eye opener on how limited Netflix really is, try searching a person's name instead of a movie title. John Wayne for example. The man made over 200 movies, yet only three of them are on Netflix.

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2112
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 05-03-2016 12:24 AM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Netflix does still ship disks as DVD.com. I subscribed to the 1 at a time unlimited just because there were so many movies I was missing at the theatre.

Although I love watching the movies at the theatre, I'm finding it increasingly undesirable to stay late and watch movies after work. Partly because I spend so much time at work that I just want to go home when I'm done. And partly because hardly any of my staff is interested in watching movies late at night, so stay to watch usually means watching alone.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5198
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-03-2016 03:42 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think Netflix originally intended to move everything to streaming and to actually phase out the DVD shipping side; in the early streaming months they were enticing people to go streaming, but after about two years out, when contract negotiations with the studios came around, they got into a pissing war with the studios demanding a lot more for their product than they had in the past. Evidently the studios saw how little they actually were getting for their titles via the new streaming services and wanted a much bigger piece of that growing pie. All of a sudden content on the streaming side began to get a lot less current and generally more limited compared to the disc offerings. Disc titles still dominate with the newest and the most popular titles.

Thing is, they have the disc service down to such a well-oiled operation that it's practically as "immediate" as streaming. I put a disc I have watched in their mailer and drop it in the mailbox in the AM on Monday. On Tuesday I get an email that they received my title (ONE day later) and it also tells me what title in our cue they are shipping out THAT SAME TUESDAY (I have at least 50 titles at all times in our cue) and THE NEXT DAY, I get the BRay in the mail! What kind of deal they have made with the USPS to get this kind of efficiency is beyond me because there is NO mail service that I can get from the post office with first class mail, that will get a letter delivered from point A to point B, even in the same zip code, in a single day. Sometimes from work to home -- 16 blocks away -- it takes 3 or even 4 days for first class mail.

Like Mike, I also have Amazon Prime mainly for the shipping advantage. I find their library much less interesting than Netflix, plus I get really annoyed when they have REALLY old titles, 1940s and 50s titles, that are not included with Prime that they charge a rental fee.

BTW, early Netflix streaming quality was awful -- blocky, studdery...totally unsatisfactory compared to a DVD and now BRay -- so bad that I didn't for a second think to give up the disc service. I had what I consider mid-level cable service, not fiberoptic, so probably about what most people were getting at the time and I couldn't enjoy watching streamed content at all. It has gotten a lot better in recent years and it is tolerable, but still doesn't come near DVD quality.

Plus, my cable company offers their own movies on demand -- lots of junk, but some good titles and new releases are mixed in. All titles used to be $4.99 for a 48 hour rental on Optimum On Demand service; in the last year or so, they have upped the pricing on the newest titles to $5.99 and $6.99. And again, it still is only the level of quality that the cable is delivering from one moment to the next.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1830
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 05-03-2016 09:02 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From the studio's point of view, a streaming service is the same as premium cable channel in that they all have to compete against each other to get exclusive titles, for a limited period of time. This makes streaming a very different business that renting DVD/Bluray discs, where they buy the disc, usually at wholesale, and then can rent it forever with no additional fees.

I dropped Netflix streaming when they started charging for it separately from the DVD/Bluray service. My issue was not so much the limited streaming library, but rather constant reliability issues. When I called Netflix, they would blame Roku, Roku would blame my ISP, and my ISP would blame Netflix, and ultimately the problem never got resolved. I had the same issue last year with Amazon Prime, and when I called Amazon support, they checked something on their computer and blamed my ISP. Skeptical because of my earlier experiences with Netflix, I called Cablevision service, and much to my surprise it was a Cablevision issue that was promptly resolved.

In any event, between Amazon Prime, which I have mainly for the free shipping, and Netfilx's DVD/Bluray service, with a little patience I can see almost anything I want. Sooner or later everything ends up on DVD.

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David Buckley
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 522
From: Oxford, N. Canterbury, New Zealand
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted 05-03-2016 03:41 PM      Profile for David Buckley   Author's Homepage   Email David Buckley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've dumped Netflix, mainly because there was so litle I wanted to see on it, or more accurately, what I wanted to see i couldn't find, and the last straw being when they became VPN unfriendly. The younguns like it 'cos its got all these new original series they like.

I've now gone over to the dark side. I watch less, but watch what I want to see.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 864
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 05-03-2016 10:40 PM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I like a lot of their original content but my biggest beef is also the lack of available titles. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I look up some title I want to see(typically a really big title that I just happened to have not yet seen like The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction, Airplane!, Shindlers' List, etc etc etc It is NEVER on there. I once went through and searched though at least half of my 120+ IMDB watchlist looking on Netflix, and didn't find a single title. I hardly even load up Netflix anymore because it makes me so angry. Only reason I keep it is because my family avidly uses my account.

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Scott Jentsch
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1033
From: New Berlin, WI, USA
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 05-06-2016 03:23 PM      Profile for Scott Jentsch   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Jentsch   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The promise and potential of streaming is what the media covers because it's exciting to think about what can be done with the technology. Covering "new media" gets the eyeballs that companies are looking for.

Somehow, these so-called "news" outlets fail to dig any deeper than the surface to point out the flaws outlined here that can be found without much work at all.

Libraries are fragmented across all kinds of services. If you really want to show someone that really cool movie that you like a lot, you better have it on disc, because more than likely, you're not going to find it online without a lot of looking, if then. Even if you watched it last month, that doesn't guarantee that it's still there.

Let's assume that you luck out, and the movie you want to see is available. Is the service going to deliver the movie, glitch-free, for the duration of the movie, and at a quality comparable to something approaching HD? Will it start buffering part of the way through?

If the movie does stall, whose fault is it? The server? The ISP? Your network? And you thought you were going to sit down and just enjoy a movie...

Buying a movie on disc is a relative bargain. New releases are available for $20. If you watch sales carefully, you can pick up some decent catalog titles for under $5 (Amazon and Best Buy have great sales periodically). Even Target has a decent collection of movies for $4.50-$5.00.

The trick is to build a library of movies that you find enjoyable. Sure, it's old-school to actually own a movie on a physical disc, if you listen to the media and that's permeated the public consciousness. But guess who our friends come to when they want to see a movie and they can't find it online and it's not available on the rack or via Redbox?

Losing the physical disc is one of the worst things that could happen to movie enthusiasts.

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2112
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 05-06-2016 06:40 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I find my expectations are lower when I'm streaming content. I know there is a good chance the quality will not be what I was expecting and there may be some glitching or buffering. But satellite and cable are not free from quality issues either.

If it's something I really want to watch in a true HD experience, then I'll be getting a BluRay. However I have limited my BluRay buying to about 3-4 a year because they mostly just sit on the self never to be watched again. In fact, many of the discs I purchase are movies I really liked and am likely to want to share with others.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10702
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 05-06-2016 08:32 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I use Amazon Prime and Netflix, but not primarily for streaming movies. It's about streaming entire seasons of TV shows without having to endure frequent commercial breaks 2 to 4 minutes each. That's the real attraction of the streaming services. On top of that, cable and premium cable TV series have been out-doing Hollywood movies in terms of dramatic content.

Of the movies I do watch on Netflix, they're often movies that never played in the local movie theaters around here.

I still prefer renting Hollywood movies on Blu-ray due to the superior video quality. For a growing number of people this is becoming a moot point due to increasing speeds of residential Internet connections. Once an Internet connection is sustaining 25-30 megabits per second Netflix will deliver 1080p at or very near Blu-ray quality.

After much deliberation I'm going to shit-can my AT&T "Univers" service and go with Fidelity Cable Internet. Univers can't even manage to match Fidelity's bottom tier of 10 megabits per second. I get the feeling AT&T doesn't even give a shit about residential Internet service anymore. Their concentration seems totally fixated on the mobile phone market. In my market Fidelity now offers 10, 25, 75 and 125 Megabit/sec service tiers. I'm trying to decide between the 25 and 75 Mb/s levels.

Much faster Internet connections are available in some markets. I heard Fidelity is rolling out 300 Mb/s service in some places. Fiber optic connections can potentially deliver connection speeds past the 1 Gigabit mark.

Physical media, like Blu-ray discs, will still be necessary for years to come since lots of people in sparsely populated areas still have very slow Internet connections. IMHO, the new Ultra-HD Blu-ray format is getting badly goofed up since so many of its initial launch titles are Fake-4K, movies originally rendered in 2K and then "up-rezzed" (faked) into 4K. The movie studios and electronics companies are courting disaster with such stunts.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12446
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-06-2016 08:59 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Geez, remember the good old days when the electronics industry was all about increasing quality all the time, not figuring out ways to make more money while delivering less quality?

I'm one of the poor souls out here in the hinterlands with the slow internet connection, although what's considered "slow" these days would have been blazingly fast about 10 years ago.

quote: Bobby Henderson
Fidelity's bottom tier of 10 megabits per second
10mb is our local provider's FASTEST available service, and in reality you usually don't get much more than 6 out of it. Here at the theater we have 4mb, because there's no great need to have a fast connection here -- no video streaming, no big downloads -- and I can't say there's that big a difference between the 4mb here and the 10mb we get at home.

In the ISP's defense though, they have been beefing up their infrastructure over the winter and expect to be offering "much faster" speeds starting this summer. I'm not sure what they're going to consider "much faster".... or what they'll charge for it.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10702
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 05-06-2016 11:23 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If your local ISP is cable-based and they're fixing to re-vamp their infrastructure they may be moving to the kinds of service tiers Fidelity has here in Lawton. A couple or so years ago Fidelity's Internet service wasn't nearly as fast. AT&T seems blissfully unaware of the situation.

It is pretty noticeable to move from a mere 3-6 meg connection to something in excess of 25 megs per second. Shows in Netflix start out looking pretty much perfect (my girlfriend has a 25 meg Fidelity connection at her home). Using my Uverse connection Netflix never gets above 720p and shows usually start out pretty crappy looking before getting to "okay" video quality.

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