HD Streaming Anything Close to Blu-ray? No. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 118 Old 02-19-2009, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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HD Streaming Anything Close to Blu-ray? No.

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The Consumer Reports Electronics Blog ponders we wanted to know if the quality of these streaming HD shows was equivalent to what we're used to seeing from high-def TV services and Blu-ray discs

Their answer: In a word, the answer is no.

... While the quality of these services may be acceptable to many viewers, those looking for high-quality high-def content will likely be disappointed...

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post #2 of 118 Old 02-19-2009, 10:24 PM
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Here is a link to the full report:

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/ele...really-hd.html

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post #3 of 118 Old 02-20-2009, 07:32 AM
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Nice post. Yeah, I have watched a few HD movies on cable either through the networks or on demand, and they don't look nearly as good. And this is on my 36" HDTV. So, I can definitely see those with larger setups being very annoyed by the reduced quality.
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post #4 of 118 Old 02-20-2009, 07:41 AM
 
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We may never see DNL's match the PQ of BD. It will take alot of bandwidth to get the bit rate as high.

The issue is . . . who cares?

ANSWER: Videophiles - a very small % of the total marketplace.
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post #5 of 118 Old 02-20-2009, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

We may never see DNL's match the PQ of BD. It will take alot of bandwidth to get the bit rate as high.

The issue is . . . who cares?

ANSWER: Videophiles - a very small % of the total marketplace.

They can barely get the dvd quality and as such everybody except the teenage youtube fan does care. Hell if they could at least feed their customer something on par to broadcast tv without disolving in a pixelated mess when there is a lot of action then it could be barely adequate but you may not even get that. DL content is a crapshoot.
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post #6 of 118 Old 02-20-2009, 08:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nosferax View Post

They can barely get the dvd quality and as such everybody except the teenage youtube fan does care.

So why are people still buying 720P and 768P HDTV's?

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Hell if they could at least feed their customer something on par to broadcast tv without disolving in a pixelated mess when there is a lot of action then it could be barely adequate but you may not even get that. DL content is a crapshoot.

I believe HD OTA is almost 18 Mbps. Which IP is offerring that kind of speed for $40 a month?
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post #7 of 118 Old 02-20-2009, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

So why are people still buying 720P and 768P HDTV's?

720p > youtube quality.
Lots of people here are using 720p pj or tv and you can bet your house that they can tell the difference between broadcast, dvd and BR.

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I believe HD OTA is almost 18 Mbps. Which IP is offerring that kind of speed for $40 a month?

I was talking cable and sat. you know those recompress feed that still look better than DL content.

And when i'm talking about dl content i'm not talking about those high quality rip you get on pirate bay or other site. I'm talking about those streamed content that barely makes the cut.
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post #8 of 118 Old 02-20-2009, 09:23 AM
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I tried the Amazom onDemand and the PQ is not even close to SD DVD.
An no, I don't have a 500 eleventy billion connection. I have a 1.5mb connection like most J6P have.
Even Netflix recommends 3mb.

Not everyone can afford $40-60 +TAX a month for a fast broadband connection.

I figured most people will give these streaming services a try but the horrible PQ at average bandwidth of 3mb or less probably deters them from trying again & they go back to DVD/blu-ray rentals/purchases.

Even the PQ/connection for Netflix on the LG Blu-ray player was found unacceptable in Home Theatre Magazine.

Until everyone gets 10-20mb connections at a reasonable cost(below $20-30), I don't see streaming taking off of quite a while.

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post #9 of 118 Old 02-20-2009, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

HD Streaming Anything Close to Blu-ray? No.

But you did not mention their Vudu comments:
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The one standout for quality was a new video technology, called HDX, from a lesser-known player, Vudu. HDX titles, however, are downloaded, not streamed, which can be time-consuming. So while Vudu's streamed content, in both SD and HD, fared no better than the others, movies downloaded in the Vudu HDX format are delivered in 1080p, with crisp detail and rich colors. Though not as sharp as the best Blu-ray titles, Vudu HDX movies at least looked like high-def.

Heck even when I use Amazon Unbox, I always choose the download option rather than stream. We need more deployment of things like Ben Waggoner's streaming technology to make streaming decent quality.

http://www.smoothhd.com/
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post #10 of 118 Old 02-20-2009, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobgpsr View Post

But you did not mention their Vudu comments:

No, I did not, the post is in reference to Streaming.

And how long will Vudu be available? They have had two rounds of employee layoffs in 2008. Just for caparisons, IIRC, a Vudu rental is $5.99 for 24 hours, my Netflix Blu-ray rental (for my two and quarter year period) has averaged $1.91 each. The total for Netflix is $432.00 (226 Blu-ray rentals), the same for Vudu would have been $1353.74, that is a sizeable difference in my book.
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post #11 of 118 Old 02-21-2009, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobgpsr View Post

But you did not mention their Vudu comments:


Heck even when I use Amazon Unbox, I always choose the download option rather than stream. We need more deployment of things like Ben Waggoner's streaming technology to make streaming decent quality.

http://www.smoothhd.com/

At 1.5mb, downloading is very slow then playing back the video requires you to basically shutdown virus protection & other high usage processor/memory tasks to free up memory & processing power on the PC.
I can go to HWV or BB in 5 minutes and get the DVD or blu-ray, pop it my player and call it a day.

btw:
I received a leaflet in my phone bill that I can upgrade to 7mb for $7 extra.
I looked into it and it's not available in my area!
I live in Seattle and I currently can't get anything faster than 1.5mb from my DSL provider, Qwest.

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post #12 of 118 Old 02-21-2009, 10:48 AM
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It's very simple.. it's just a matter of time and it won't be too long. 2-3 years for streaming. Full downloads even sooner as HDX is damn close to BD from what I experience.

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post #13 of 118 Old 02-21-2009, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

No, I did not, the post is in reference to Streaming.

And how long will Vudu be available? They have had two rounds of employee layoffs in 2008. Just for caparisons, IIRC, a Vudu rental is $5.99 for 24 hours, my Netflix Blu-ray rental (for my two and quarter year period) has averaged $1.91 each. The total for Netflix is $432.00 (226 Blu-ray rentals), the same for Vudu would have been $1353.74, that is a sizeable difference in my book.

How many rounds did Sony have? what about Pioneer?

What about the growth in streaming sites like Joost and Hulu. I posted in another thread, but Hulu and Joost combine for 5M users per month and had a growth of over 1800%. But will that be reported. Of course not because no one cares about streaming!

If Vudu fails it will be because they targeted the videophile market, not the mainstream. The PS3 failed because Sony assumed resolution was king. It isn't. Content is! Folks like apple know that.

It doesn't matter how good a format is if studios hold back content or price the content too high.
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post #14 of 118 Old 02-21-2009, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av.pallino View Post

how many rounds did sony have? What about pioneer?

What about the growth in streaming sites like joost and hulu. I posted in another thread, but hulu and joost combine for 5m users per month and had a growth of over 1800%. But will that be reported. Of course not because no one cares about streaming!

If vudu fails it will be because they targeted the videophile market, not the mainstream. The ps3 failed because sony assumed resolution was king. It isn't. Content is! Folks like apple know that.

It doesn't matter how good a format is if studios hold back content or price the content too high.

+1

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post #15 of 118 Old 02-21-2009, 11:56 AM
 
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I think a download/streaming hybrid device and service could solve many problems and would be very valuable to consumers. Imagine a device that worked with your Netflix queue to download HDX quality videos to the device and hold "X" number of titles based on your plan.

If you had a 3 at a time package, you would have 3 titles on the device. When you watch one and delete it, the device immediately starts to download the next title so you always have at least "x-1" titles ready to watch in high quality with faster turn around and more convenience than physical discs. I would personally pay MORE for this service than I would for a comparable 3 at a time disc package from Netflix.

Even if the price was the same, Netflix would still save money on shipping, loss, etc from physical media.

Now imagine if this was also a built-in feature of one or more next gen game consoles..... (drool).

The point is that you may wish to limit the conversation to streaming, but there are fairly simple ways to increase the convenience of the all you can eat offerings from Netflix and get the quality advantages of downloading.... and in a way that is very seamless for the consumer.
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post #16 of 118 Old 02-21-2009, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSound View Post

Now imagine if this was also a built-in feature of one or more next gen game consoles..... (drool).

Unless there is a major change, Netflix streaming will only be on Microsoft game consoles, sorry.
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post #17 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

Unless there is a major change, Netflix streaming will only be on Microsoft game consoles, sorry.

Eh? Samsung, LG, Microsoft, Netflix themselves, TVs with embedded Netflix etc etc.. even PS3 has it through PlayOn that people are using massively on PS3 not to mention every PC capable of watching Netflix. Not sure what you are referring to when you are talking about just on Microsoft console?

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post #18 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 02:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bozster View Post

Eh? Samsung, LG, Microsoft, Netflix themselves, TVs with embedded Netflix etc etc.. even PS3 has it through PlayOn that people are using massively on PS3 not to mention every PC capable of watching Netflix. Not sure what you are referring to when you are talking about just on Microsoft console?

Microsoft has exclusive console rights, at least for this generation. I think Sony was confident that Blu-ray playback was the main content feature it would need. I doubt they will make the same mistake next generation and will at least try to break the exclusive right to Netflix (if not try for exclusive rights themselves).
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post #19 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 06:42 PM
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The BD Forum should rest assured that the internet will never get any faster, compression codecs will never become more efficient, and the quality of streaming HD will never get any better. Accordingly, internet distribution will never threaten BD as a medium of media distribution.

Several studies done by the nation's top scientologist have proven that the internet is a dead technology, and in the future there is zero chance that it will be able to compete with technologies that exist today. The internet is a niche technology, isn't likely to catch on or improve, and so BD is all but guarenteed to be the superiour technology of the future.

The End
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post #20 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av.pallino View Post

If Vudu fails it will be because they targeted the videophile market, not the mainstream. The PS3 failed because Sony assumed resolution was king. It isn't. Content is! Folks like apple know that.

So how is the Apple TV doing these days? Does Apple even give numbers on it? Oh, and when did the PS3 fail?

It's understandable that some people would rather have ease of use over quality. The problem is there are too many players in the game at the moment. I would never dream of buying to "own" from a download/streaming company because chances are they will not be around 5 years from now.

It's better to have blu-ray (or even dead HD DVD). You can still play those movies if you have a player and the disc... what are you going to do in 5 yrs if Amazon and Apple call it quits, or if Hulu doesn't make the money it promised its investors? If you have one of those tvs with built in download services, or a bunch of equipment (apple tv, roku, etc) You'll now have obsolete equipment that you cant do anything with. The format war is nothing compared to what we're going to see if download services begin offering exclusive content... it will be a nightmare.

Once those wars are through, and bandwidth has increased, better compression, etc, then I'll be ready to move to downloading. Until then blu-ray is big enough to satisfy me, and won't be dying any time soon.

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post #21 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by stumlad View Post

So how is the Apple TV doing these days? Does Apple even give numbers on it? Oh, and when did the PS3 fail?

It's understandable that some people would rather have ease of use over quality. The problem is there are too many players in the game at the moment. I would never dream of buying to "own" from a download/streaming company because chances are they will not be around 5 years from now.

It's better to have blu-ray (or even dead HD DVD). You can still play those movies if you have a player and the disc... what are you going to do in 5 yrs if Amazon and Apple call it quits, or if Hulu doesn't make the money it promised its investors? If you have one of those tvs with built in download services, or a bunch of equipment (apple tv, roku, etc) You'll now have obsolete equipment that you cant do anything with. The format war is nothing compared to what we're going to see if download services begin offering exclusive content... it will be a nightmare.

Once those wars are through, and bandwidth has increased, better compression, etc, then I'll be ready to move to downloading. Until then blu-ray is big enough to satisfy me, and won't be dying any time soon.

I still think its a bit funny people actually think the vod/download services are going to win trying to SELL you content to own.

What VOD/streaming can offer IMO is something better than the download to own market. I understand some people are die hard owners but I think the vod/streaming market is what will take over for physical media and not download to own. To me VOD/streaming has always been about reinventing the way we watch movies and not trying to replicate the way its been done for decades (and was done that way because of technical limitations).

Nobody is really offering a download to own option for hd movies.... its all streaming or 24hr rentals while people are trying to figure out how to best make money off VOD/streaming. And personally netflix is the clear run away winner so far in that space (even though their service has some very big flaws).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagouar View Post

its all streaming or 24hr rentals while people are trying to figure out how to best make money off VOD/streaming. And personally netflix is the clear run away winner so far in that space (even though their service has some very big flaws).

Not to take things TOO off topic, but I think that pre-cached downloads that use the Netflix model would be HUUUUUGE!!

Imagine having 3-4 titles ready to watch in high quality HD (think Vudu HDX) that are sitting on a local device based on a managed queue. When you are done with a title, your next choice starts downloading in the background. Think the Netflix model without snail mail.
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post #23 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagouar View Post

Nobody is really offering a download to own option for hd movies.... its all streaming or 24hr rentals while people are trying to figure out how to best make money off VOD/streaming. And personally netflix is the clear run away winner so far in that space (even though their service has some very big flaws).

Do you have proof that Netflix is making any money from streaming. IIRC from their last public statement indicated they had not made any money from streaming. There are rumors they will separate disc rentals from there streaming in 2010.

I am a Netflix customer and am very irritated they use profits from disc rentals to support streaming. They should provide streaming to customers that want it and let them pay for it. The results from all the lawsuits against Netflix may produce some unexpected changes.
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post #24 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

Do you have proof that Netflix is making any money from streaming. IIRC from their last public statement indicated they had not made any money from streaming. There are rumors they will separate disc rentals from there streaming in 2010.

I am a Netflix customer and am very irritated they use profits from disc rentals to support streaming. They should provide streaming to customers that want it and let them pay for it. The results from all the lawsuits against Netflix may produce some unexpected changes.

Are you serious?

Check out the Download forum. There is tons of info you can use to educate yourself, including links to the Netflix earnings call where their CEO cites streaming as THE driver of their record growth last quarter, and how they expect to break that record again due to streaming driving new subscribers and reducing shipping costs.
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post #25 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jagouar View Post

I still think its a bit funny people actually think the vod/download services are going to win trying to SELL you content to own.

What VOD/streaming can offer IMO is something better than the download to own market. I understand some people are die hard owners but I think the vod/streaming market is what will take over for physical media and not download to own.

To me VOD/streaming has always been about reinventing the way we watch movies and not trying to replicate the way its been done for decades (and was done that way because of technical limitations).

Nobody is really offering a download to own option for hd movies.... its all streaming or 24hr rentals while people are trying to figure out how to best make money off VOD/streaming. And personally netflix is the clear run away winner so far in that space (even though their service has some very big flaws).

The only way "owning" will be taken out of the equation is if all streaming/download services offer a netflix style approach.. pay a fixed monthly fee, download all you want. This would work, but the problem is, the market for new rentals is so much bigger than the market for old rentals. What this means is offering a flat monthly fee would most likely not include "new" movies because they can make so much more if they were to charge per viewing. Of course they could always have something like a fixed fee for unlimited catalog + 3 "new" per month.

The problem with the unlimited download is this: your catalog titles never get noticed... Unless you use the same approach as DVD where you bring out a few new "catalog" titles each week. This of course can be another problem because what is the motivation for a studio to bring catalogs if they dont benefit directly? This means the download services would have to treat them as "new" in the sense that they are pay per view. Now if you own a "catalog" subscription, you wont be able to see it for a fixed time unless you pay... but if you wait it will be "free"...

There's lots of ways to play around with this, but people enjoy "owning" stuff....

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post #26 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSound View Post

Are you serious?

Check out the Download forum. There is tons of info you can use to educate yourself, including links to the Netflix earnings call where their CEO cites streaming as THE driver of their record growth last quarter, and how they expect to break that record again due to streaming driving new subscribers and reducing shipping costs.

The 360 and its 28 million users discovered that they could watch netflix on their big tv starting at only $9 a month... of course they were going to get new customers. Until then it cost $4-5 a movie rental on the 360, so this was a bargain.

Imagine if the PS3 didnt have blu-ray playback at first (assume it sold the same amount)... Now imagine if one day sony announced that the 20 million people who own a PS3 can now play back blu-ray movies on their consoles. Do you think there may be a surge in sales equivalent or greater than what netflix experienced?

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post #27 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSound View Post

Are you serious?

Because Netflix charges more for the Blu-ray plan it is easy to see how they can determine subscriber growth from Blu-ray. With no increase in cost for streaming, how do you determine profits from DVD rentals vs. streaming? Under My Account it shows that I have streamed many titles, truth is, I have clicked many titles and viewed only a few minutes of each at most. When they make separate plans for DVD rental and streaming then profits will be much easier to define. And I am sure that 20% marketing spending did not hurt their cause.

From Video Business
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Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, McCarthy said Netflix already surpassed its year-end goal of having 500,000 subscribers pay an extra $1 a month for the option of renting Blu-ray titles. The company expects to have about 9 million total subscribers by the end of the year.

Possibly benefiting from a U.S. economic slowdown that has likely forced many customers to go out less frequently for entertainment, Netflix reported that it has had better fourth-quarter sales than it expected, allowing the largest U.S. movie-rental service via mail to spend about 20% more on marketing than it had planned.

Just curious, do you have a Netflix account? If so, have you ever contacted them with a question, comment or complaint?
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post #28 of 118 Old 02-22-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

Because Netflix charges more for the Blu-ray plan it is easy to see how they can determine subscriber growth from Blu-ray. With no increase in cost for streaming, how do you determine profits from DVD rentals vs. streaming? Under My Account it shows that I have streamed many titles, truth is, I have clicked many titles and viewed only a few minutes of each at most. When they make separate plans for DVD rental and streaming then profits will be much easier to define. And I am sure that 20% marketing spending did not hurt their cause.

From Video Business


Just curious, do you have a Netflix account? If so, have you ever contacted them with a question, comment or complaint?

Comments from Netflix Co-Founder and CEO (Reed Hastings).

Quote:
Our goal is to grow subscribers and earnings every year while expanding into Internet delivered video. We made great progress against this goal in 2008. Despite the recession we grew our subscriber base from 8.7 million to 9.4 million subscribers in Q4.

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In hindsight in Q4 we under-forecast our subscriber growth primarily because we underestimated the positive impact of the introduction of the multi-function CE devices from LG Electronics, Samsung, Microsoft and TiVo that promote Netflix streaming.

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Turning to streaming in Q4 we substantially increased our investment in streaming content and we plan to substantially increase our spending on streaming content in 2009. We have a basic plan at $4.99 per month that offers some streaming of some content and we have premium unlimited plans starting at $8.99.

One of our content investments is to include Starz Play in all our premium plans. Starz Play includes the major films of Sony and Disney. Most of our streaming content spending however is directly with TV networks and studios. We now have over 12,000 movie and TV choices up from 2,000 two years ago and we plan to spend as much money as we can with the studios, licensing as much content as we can and we are already one of the studio's largest Internet revenue sources.

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Our existing subscribers are watching instantly in ever greater numbers and in just the last month millions of our subscribers got more value from their Netflix subscription by streaming. The more subscribers watch online from Netflix the more likely we think they are to remain subscribers and to watch slightly fewer DVDs in a month.

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Increased streaming content not only helps us with our current subs but also helps us with CE partnerships.

One of the main reasons LG Electronics, Samsung, Microsoft, TiVo and others want to offer Netflix streaming to their customers is instant access to compelling content with the promise of even more content to come. This helps them differentiate their products against non-Netflix ready devices and adds value to the customer.

The LG Electronics and Samsung Blu-Ray players in particular had a very high connect rate during the fourth quarter. That is a high percentage of purchasers are subscribing to Netflix. Xbox and TiVo had a lower percentage but larger total numbers due to their software updates to their substantial installed bases.

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We continue to gain new and deeper partnerships with CE manufacturers. At CES a few weeks ago Samsung and LG announced the expansion of Netflix into a wider range of their Blu-Ray models in 2009 and to have the Netflix application included directly in some of the LG broadband connected televisions. Similarly we announced our first partnership with Vizio to have the Netflix application included in their televisions.

We're in discussions with nearly every major CE company and one by one we hope to be able to broadly cover the Blu-Ray category and the Internet TV category over the next few years. In terms of having our Netflix application included in additional video game consoles we currently have an exclusive deal with Microsoft Xbox.

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No firm or model owns an entertainment customer and we think there's room for us to create a large subscriber base while other firms also succeed with their model. All in all we are making solid progress in our online video efforts.


http://seekingalpha.com/article/1166...all-transcript

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1114772
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post #29 of 118 Old 02-23-2009, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Comments from Netflix Co-Founder and CEO (Reed Hastings).

Yes, I have read most all the Netflix stuff. The real proof for me will be when they separate the plans and have plans just for streaming.

And once again: Just curious, do you have a Netflix account? If so, have you ever contacted them with a question, comment or complaint?
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Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

Yes, I have read most all the Netflix stuff. The real proof for me will be when they separate the plans and have plans just for streaming.

And once again: Just curious, do you have a Netflix account? If so, have you ever contacted them with a question, comment or complaint?

If you had read all the Neflix stuff you would understand that they are already discussing a streaming only plan. I would guess they are not going to do that until they increase the library of available titles. With only 12,000 titles, an online only offering would not make sense yet (just like a BD only plan would not make sense).

If you had read the Netflix stuff, you would also realize that they know exactly how many people signed up directly because of the streaming capabilities of 3rd party hardware. They won't release that info as streaming is a strategic piece of their growth and substainability.

I am a Netflix subscriber. I am sure I have contacted them in the past, but don't recall why (probably to inform them of a damaged disc).

Netflix has been steadfast in proclaiming that streaming is THE reason for their unexpected and record breaking growth. They have also been steadfast in stating that they believe it brings both cost savings and competitive advantage. All of this (and more) is posted in the Video Download section for anyone who wishes to be informed on the topic.
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