The Future of Netflix: Streaming


The Future of Netflix is All About Streaming

Friday, February 20, 2009 - by Daniel A. Begun

A great debate is raging as to what the future of movie distribution will look like. On one side of the debate are those who claim that physical discs like DVDs, Blu-ray, and whatever format will eventually supplant Blu-ray, will always deliver a superior viewing experience than anything that will be available via streaming or on-demand content. Pundits on the other side of the debate--and this is the side that appears to gaining the most momentum--say that as broadband's footprint continues to expand, throughput speeds continue to increase, advances continue to improve in compression technologies, and more consumer electronics devices gain access to streaming content, the inevitable future of video distribution will increasingly depend on online access.

In an interview with, Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, is siding firmly with the latter camp and it would even appear that Netflix is gearing up to move all of its eggs from the mail-distribution basket to the online streaming basket. Hastings indicated that perhaps as soon as later this year or sometime in 2010, Netflix might start offering online-streaming-only subscription plans (beyond just its current Starz plan--see below). The Bloomberg report states:

"The company's success hinges on its ability to transition to online video from DVDs, Hastings said yesterday in an interview in San Francisco. Netflix faces a challenge similar to the one AOL had as it lost subscribers who shifted from Internet service via a telephone connection to high-speed access, he said."
Netflix better hope that internet speeds keep getting faster otherwise the hardcore High Def crowd will not hop on board.
Oh well, technology never GOES BACKWARDS and in Finland, someone was already able to download a full length DVD in seconds so Netflix does not hope internet speeds will go faster, it KNOWS. Also, just for FYI, there's a Netflix Player made by Roku that is getting rave reviews from everywhere.
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Streaming movies is preferred by the MPAA. In the long run consumers will actually be the losers in the streaming wars. The MPAA hopes consumers will move to streaming videos rather than adding them to their personal DVD collections. When streaming is perfected you will pay for a movie and be limited how many times you can view it before the software will render the movie useless. Another type of control is to limit viewing to a specified time limit before the movie is rendered useless. The motion picture studios are able to increase their revenues by streaming the movie a number of times to each consumer rather than selling you a disc only once.


Other companies are doing the streaming thing, not just for movies: OnLive: The Future of Video Games

Pretty soon, we won't be buying a computer, just doing stuff on one over the internet.

In this economy's trend, it's probably the best option. The box would cost less than 200 bux, the subscription, 20 bux a month. That for access to an always-upgraded $4,000 computer over the internet 24/7.


Many new disc players come ready-for-LAN, to support streaming video.
Same with TVs now, w/ built in lan/streaming capability. Pretty soon our toasters are going to have wi-fi just in case we want to listen to streaming MP3s while we're toasting some bread. ;)