Netflix Streaming

So I hadn’t rented from Netflix in a while, and thought it was time to remedy that. Especially with most TV shows having a season finale in May. I was actually surfing the site for a while before I noticed the “Watch Now” tab at the top. It turns out that Netflix now has over 2,000 movies available for streaming. I was amazed that they never sent me so much as an email about this major new feature. I can only guess that since I wasn’t costing them any money, they didn’t want to remind me I had a subscription, which is pretty lame of them. So I now must punish them by making up for my dormancy.

The feature is pretty simple, find a movie and hit play. You need to download a proprietary player, but that’s all quick and painless. Harvey, a 4:3 black and white film looked good in full screen on my 21″ monitor. The Italian Job (Marky Mark version) also looked good (certainly Charlize Theron did), but at 2.35:1, it used maybe 1/3 of my screen. Video quality is based on bandwidth; my connection rated “high”, which is the best offered at 1.6 to 2.2+ Mbps.

There is a limit on viewing, you get 1 hour per dollar you pay monthly. So my discounted 4-DVD plan gives me 20 hours of viewing per month. A nice, cost-free bonus.

Update: Looks like there’s an 18 hour cap, despite their wording. And another problem is that I was “charged” 1h50m for The Italian Job, even though I watched at most 10 minutes of it. So know that you’ll be dinged for the whole movie, even if you watch just a part of it.

The selection is pretty small by Netflix standards, but if I hadn’t already seen so many films, it might appear better. Here’s a partial list of movies I gave 5 stars to, which are available for instant playing:

The Bridge on the River Kwai
A Clockwork Orange
Cool Hand Luke
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Dirty Dozen
The Jerk
North by Northwest
Run Lola Run
Strangers on a Train: Special Edition

Now some movies, if you watch them on a computer screen, should get your subscription canceled. I mean, The Matrix? But many shouldn’t suffer at all from small screen viewing. And if you really cared about quality, you would have seen it in the theater.

5 thoughts on “Netflix Streaming”

  1. If it will help you spend some cash, I would like to offer the use of my 24″ widescreen monitor for your viewing pleasure to check out how some streamed netflix movies look. 🙂

    I do love to help other people spend money. 🙂

  2. Sure, that’d be a great test! Perhaps we should pick a movie one of us already owns for a DVD-to-Netflix comparison. In fact, we can be really sadistic and use The Matrix.

  3. Do they have T2 on the list? We could really stack the deck and compare the streaming video against the HD version of the movie that comes on the special edition DVD I have. I still havent checked out that movie on the new monitor. Technically I should get true HD quality from the monitor.

    The Matrix might offend my sense of sound more than anything else. I have a 5.1 system on my PC but nothing compared to the home theatre… although even that is 8500 Watts short of the IMAX. Everyone has to have dreams I suppose.

  4. So does that mean that I can bring my book-reading pillow and blanket so that we can all huddle in your room and watch a movie?? It sounds a lot like a sleep-over……if I only owned PJs….. Hmmmm, that did not come out right.

    All the same, it sounds nostalgic. Like when the whole family would gather around the 12-inch black and white set and watch the moon landing along with the whole nation. Or when the cavemen would gather around the campfire and try to figure out where the heck the flames were coming from and where they go after the fire goes out.

    Count me in for the experiment. I’ll bring the movie-theatre quality popcorn. Buttered, of course.

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