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Stephen Smith
Netflix
on Sep 16, 2010 at 3:49:46 pm

I know we have already discussed Netflix before. But I have to say, I just got a Wifi-enabled Blueray player that does Netfix and it is amazing. The movie loads and starts playing in 5 seconds. You can fast forward if you want. Plus, if you stop it you can pick up where you left off when ever you want. I can't believe how good the compression looks as well. Some movies better then others. I just thought this was amazing. The only draw back is the small selection of online movies.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Mike Cohen
Re: Netflix
on Sep 16, 2010 at 8:50:11 pm

I have been watching streaming Netflix on my computer for a while - since they ditched Microsoft Silverlight, the quality has improved. And it will automatically dial down the bit rate of the stream if, like me, you experience wifi speed fluctuations.

Netflix, like Hulu, needs a separate license agreement for every title they stream, so new movies are limited to DVD only for the most part.

But I find it is great to watch more obscure titles or tv shows.

Recently I watched American Graffiti on television and then, intrigued by the inclusion of Haskell Wexler as a consultant, looked him up. His sone made a documentary about his dad around 2003 (basically the son has a lot to live up to and both he and his dad know it) and it is available on Netflix streaming. I watched it that night. That type of interactivity is not possible in any other way.

Honestly, I thought Hulu could be the Netflix killer, but once I got caught up with LOST, and Hulu announced their new business model, I have not been back to the site. I think Hulu may be the Hulu killer!

Mike Cohen

PS - Redbox now has Blu-Ray.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Netflix
on Sep 16, 2010 at 8:58:49 pm

Yeah, I just really enjoyed watching a streaming movie not on a laptop or a laptop hooked to a TV. I was very happy with the results. I'm a big fan of Redbox as well. I renew my Netflix account when I have time to watch a lot of movies such as when I'm sick. (If I can get time off of work). Most of the time I can only watch a movie or two in a month and on those months I go with Redbox. I saw that they had Blueray but the selection was not that good yet in my neck of the woods. A $1.50 for a blueray is a great deal by the way.
And speaking of American Graffiti. What a great film!

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Mike Cohen
Re: Netflix
on Sep 17, 2010 at 2:23:49 am

I just watched GI Joe: The Rise of My Blood Pressure on Netflix. At least it didn't cost me a whole dollar on Redbox. It was worth, perhaps 18 cents.
I kept an open mind, but it was truly awful.
Fitting into numerous threads on this forum:

Good effects (marginal in some scenes), poor acting, silly story and just too much eye candy to be a cohesive movie. This was basically a commercial for Digital Domain and The Actor's Studio by exception.

I will admit, it is inspired by a comic book, cartoon and toys and the history of rewrites spelled certain doom.

But, as expected, the film made 300 bills at the box office so it was perhaps a monetary success. But it cost 175 million to make, so after marketing costs it actually didn't do very well. Neck and Neck with Superman Returns perhaps.

Mike Cohen


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Tim Wilson
Re: Netflix
on Sep 17, 2010 at 4:02:22 am

[Mike Cohen] "the film made 300 bills at the box office so it was perhaps a monetary success. But it cost 175 million to make, so after marketing costs it actually didn't do very well. Neck and Neck with Superman Returns perhaps."

Supie made more like $400m worldwide. Both scored B+ at Cinemascore.

Don't forget: ancillary dollars tend to be double b.o. - and thanks to Netflix, Redbox, Hulu et al, the pie is growing. But theatrical drives it all, which is why "straight to video" is synonymous with "dreck." But there's also game, comic and toy tie-ins, etc. Of the two, my guess is that GI Joe will come out way, way ahead of Supie. Sequel already in the works. No kidding. The studios are very, very happy.

Don't listen to me though. I liked it. Good clean fun. Stuff blows up. Dennis Quaid is dreamy. What's not to love?

This may be the only time I ever say "Back to the topic," but...back to the topic. As we've been looking at 3D TVs (yes, really), one thing really, really stands out to us: Panasonic TVs have a crazy better picture, but only Samsung's 3D Blu-ray player streams Netflix.

This dissonance is enough to hold us back. Yes, really. We're waiting to see where freaking NETFLIX settles out in the 3D TV wars.

Which made me realize: I believe that the future of every home entertainment device is...

Apps.

This has actually been coming for a while. Pioneer TVs (back when Pioneer still made TVs) had the Viera Marketplace for a while - think Verizon's app store: overly complicated, underwhelming selection - but look through your local TV store. It can even be Sears, which is where I noticed this: little parades of icons across the bottom of every device: YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, etc etc etc. Heck, my A/V tuner has Ethernet to play Pandora from the web.

Apple is in an interesting position with Apple TV and the iOS, but it's not there yet. In the meantime, there's a reason why Steve used Netflix in his keynote as THE example of the best that streaming video can bring to the iOS.

So Stephen, dig this: you can pause a Netflix movie on your Blu-ray player, and start watching it again from the very same point ON YOUR IPHONE. Then a while later, pause on your iPhone, and pick up at the same point on your COMPUTER. It is absolutely INSANE.

I really can't imagine buying a single device that doesn't support streaming Netflix. Not even a freaking wristwatch man. I'm not kidding.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Netflix
on Sep 17, 2010 at 3:31:22 pm

Technology is getting awesomely ridiculous! A blu-ray player with wi-fi and renting abilities sounds like exactly what I want, for the short term. But I'm definitely looking forward to when they perfect all of this on just a television, like build it into a television. As Tim mentioned they started doing this already, and I saw some not-so-great versions of this when I was researching TVs a couple years ago. It's probably much better now. I basically want a TV that is a borderline computer, THAT would be the ultimate goal, no players or anything, maybe even just a Blu-ray disc drive on the side of it, like an iMac. Right now I have the ghetto version of that theory, as I have used Playstation Network on my PS3 to get movies relatively quickly on my HDTV without ever getting up or using a computer, and can store them on the Playstation 3 hard drive, but PS Network is nowhere as good as basically any other rental service, at least in terms of selection. But it got me liking the concept of just downloading things right to my TV.

I'm not entirely sold on the whole watching things on your phone, though. I have an iPod Touch, and I have watched movies on it on long car rides (when I'm not the driver!) and watched a few movies recently on an airplane ride (it was a great alternative to watching a Queen Latifa in-flight movie), but watching movies on that little screen isn't exactly a pleasant experience. I do appreciate the fact that the option is there to do so, but mobile devices abilities to view movies aren't a huge selling point to me (maybe it's better on an iPad, I don't know, I don't have one... sigh...). A big HDTV is the next best thing to a theater screen (unless you dished out for a projector), and that's where the research focus should be on, and how to get movies onto TVs easily. Not my iPod, not my computer monitor, my big ole TV!


And on a side note, simply because it was mentioned earlier in this thread, here is possibly my favorite reference/homage to American Graffiti of all time:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/uqfxmWbelcQ?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/uqfxmWbelcQ?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>


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Stephen Smith
Re: Netflix
on Sep 17, 2010 at 3:47:00 pm

One thing that bugged me about GI Joe is that Cobra Commander's army was super big and full force. Since the movie is called Rise of Cobra I think it would have been cooler if Cobra's army would have been a small band of bad guys. And the GI Joe task force would have been a Squad. Then in the next set of movies they could get bigger and bigger as the stakes rise.

Anyways, about Netflix. I was wondering if I could pick up where I left off on a different device. Thanks for letting me know Tim. I just think this is really amazing. The quality was that of a SD DVD and I didn't have to drive anywhere to get it. My girls have never steeped foot into a video rental store and get frustrated when we watch a show that is not recorded on the DVR because we have to watch the commercials. Because they only know TV via a DVR. Not that long ago this technology was unthinkable. To me this is just so cool. Plus, I watched a documentary I really disliked a lot and didn't feel bad because I didn't waste a shipped DVD. I could have stopped it and watched something else if I wanted.

Scott, as for that new cool thing...you may want to wait for the Google Box coming very soon.

The one draw back with my wifi blueray player is that it does Netflix, Amazon and Youtube...but NO blockbuster or Hulu. It would just be nice to have an option. What I'm getting at is this. The blueray players I looked at did either Blockbuster or Netflix, but not both. I'm not surprised but that is why I'm excited about the Google box.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Adrian Jans
Re: Netflix
on Sep 17, 2010 at 4:27:13 pm

As we've been looking at 3D TVs (yes, really), one thing really, really stands out to us: Panasonic TVs have a crazy better picture, but only Samsung's 3D Blu-ray player streams Netflix.

You know Tim, the PS3 is also a blu-ray player (and 3D capabilities) with Netflix streaming via disc (for now), but Netflix announced they will soon be offering discless streaming on PS3's.

Speaking of Netflix though, i just got an account a couple months ago and I absolutely love it. It took me about 24 hours to put 250 movies in my instant que AND my DVD que.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Netflix
on Sep 17, 2010 at 6:42:59 pm

[Adrian Jans] "You know Tim, the PS3 is also a blu-ray player (and 3D capabilities) with Netflix streaming"

That thing really is an amazing device that I keep forgetting about. I was fortunate to step into a demo at EA just before they launched their first HD version of Madden football. They had the game controls turned off, so that they could just move things around at the theoretical limits of the device's display capabilities - this is how they make those insane commercials. But they showed it off on PS 3 - wow.

We came pretty close to buying one as our Blu-ray player, but I gotta tell you, worth revisiting as we throw in 3D....

Scott, your vision of a TV that IS a computer is where Apple TV is going. Right now, it's a streaming device. The old one was more of a DVR with local streaming. So combine them for DVR-ing from the cloud.

That's the vision of Hulu+, btw. Every episode of every show on Hulu, not just the last 5. (Not that every show is on Hulu, of course, but they keep adding a bunch of ace oldies as well - like all of Buffy.) For $10/mo. you can get rid of cable AND have fresh TV, in as little as a day, at most, a week behind live airing. You get the same "start on one device, switch to another" functionality as with Netflix.

Combine the 2 and get pretty darn close to the entire world of TV and movies for $20. Anything you can't get streamed, get via Netflix.

You're obviously never going to have Blu-ray integrated with ANY Apple device...but maybe, someday, HDMI in so you can work around. I ain't countin' on that either though...but still...

If you haven't checked it out, you should: a gleaming black box that fits in the palm of your hand. Share content with every Wi-Fi device in the home. http://www.apple.com/appletv/

Honestly, this was going to show up sooner or later via iTunes, but I swear that Netflix jump-started this whole phase of innovation.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Netflix
on Oct 14, 2010 at 10:45:37 pm

Speaking of Apple TV. Will this be Apple TV's worst nightmare: http://www.google.com/tv/

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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