Wow, Netflix is definitely not what I expected when I signed up - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Call me a noob, call me uninformed, call me anything you want. I probably deserve it for going in with such high expectations.

When I decided to finally get Netflix (for the streaming aspect) and drop most of my movie channels, I did so under the impression that I would be able to find almost any movie I want. What a shock it was when I started searching for a bunch of titles I wanted to see and almost nothing came back as being available.

I finally decided I wanted to see all of the Resident Evil movies because it's a pain to try and find them on regular movie channels so I can see them in order. Nothing! The only one that was available was the animated one which I didn't care about.

How about the Harry Potter series? They have to have that, right? Wrong! Not a single one was available. Are you kidding me?

Then I went through a list I compiled of over 20 movies that I either wanted to see for the first time or watch again from my past. I think maybe 4 showed up as being available to view.

I honestly thought that almost everything would be available for streaming just like it is for a physical copy.

Am I missing something here or is their streaming list really limited?
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post #2 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:07 AM
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You aren't missing anything. Everyone considering Netflix should definitely spot check InstantWatcher.com before making any major moves. Netflix is essentially a clearing house for titles that wouldn't otherwise make any more money. Although they have many thousands of titles, most are things you've probably already seen or B-list crap you'd never even consider otherwise. That said, I have it primarily to catch up on old tv series I missed last year or find a foreign film when I can't find anything else to watch. It's definitely not a replacement for discs, far from it.

Thank goodness for the 1-month free trial.
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post #3 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Imp View Post

I honestly thought that almost everything would be available for streaming just like it is for a physical copy.

First of all you, I'm sorry you were disappointed, but here's one major point you should've considered that would've clued you in:

Costs:
  • Netflix: $8 per month for as much as you can watch.
  • Vudu/PSN/iTunes/Zune/Pretty much any VOD or PPV provider: $3.99 - $5.99 for a 24 hour viewing period for one movie.

Did you really think you were going to get access to every movie for the cost of less than 2 movies from every other service? Even if you went with Redbox ($1.50 for one Blu-ray for 24 hours for a physical copy), Netflix still costs less than renting 6 movies from them a month. For what you want, you need to stick to discs, or rent from another VOD service that you're going to pay a LOT more for since you'll be renting one title at a time.

That being said, there's a ton of great stuff on Netflix, and you should really check out the Gems & Finds thread. My Instant queue rarely dips below 40 titles, and then of course I just supplement that with the discs from Netflix or Redbox or using another streaming service here and there for the stuff that's not available.

It's really designed to browse movies for something that looks interesting, rather than have a movie in your head you want to watch.

Hope that helps.
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post #4 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Imp View Post

I honestly thought that almost everything would be available for streaming just like it is for a physical copy.

If they did it would cost a heck of a lot more than $8 per month. Probably more like $20 per month, minimum (and quite likely much more.) Rights to stream movies don't come cheap. You're not the first one to get this wakeup call,though. Plenty of my friends were perplexed by the streaming content, until they thought about the costs. Then it made sense to them (they weren't happy, but they understood.)

If you want more first run movies, look at VUDU. It's pay as you go, no monthly fee. Yes, they cost up to $6 per movie, but that's about what Blockbuster used to charge, and you don't have to leave your home.

The Resident Evil series is only available for purchase, but they have all the Harry Potters for rent.


Also, Netflix is moving more towards TV shows over movies, probably because it's more lucrative.

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post #5 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:34 AM
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I signed up for the free trial to give it a try, its not what I expected eithed, but it is worth the 8 or $9 they charge after the trial is over. I will be keeping it and dropping all of my movie channels from directv, other than hbo. I have a question for those of you that use the disc by my service netflix offers. Do new releases come out often and early enough to subscribe to it and use it for new releases or should I go with a ppv service like vudu?
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post #6 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Netflix is essentially a clearing house for titles that wouldn't otherwise make any more money. Although they have many thousands of titles, most are things you've probably already seen or B-list crap you'd never even consider otherwise.

That's just it though. A lot of the movies I searched were pretty old. I'm talking 80's and 90's. They still didn't show up.


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Originally Posted by mproper View Post

First of all you, I'm sorry you were disappointed, but here's one major point you should've considered that would've clued you in:

Costs:
  • Netflix: $8 per month for as much as you can watch.
  • Vudu/PSN/iTunes/Zune/Pretty much any VOD or PPV provider: $3.99 - $5.99 for a 24 hour viewing period for one movie.

Did you really think you were going to get access to every movie for the cost of less than 2 movies from every other service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

If they did it would cost a heck of a lot more than $8 per month. Probably more like $20 per month, minimum (and quite likely much more.) Rights to stream movies don't come cheap. You're not the first one to get this wakeup call,though. Plenty of my friends were perplexed by the streaming content, until they thought about the costs. Then it made sense to them (they weren't happy, but they understood.)

Now that you guys put it that way, yeah, I guess I was foolish to assume I would be able to find almost anything for that price.

Guess I'll just try and watch as much as I can for the free month and then decide if it's even worth keeping. Thanks.
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post #7 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Imp View Post

I honestly thought that almost everything would be available for streaming just like it is for a physical copy.

Am I missing something here or is their streaming list really limited?

No, you aren't missing anything... Netflix is very limited with what they can offer through streaming purposes. I know they wanted to eventually do away with the mailed discs services and have everything available through streaming, but they are running into too many roadblocks for that to happen anytime soon.

My own Netflix account has been placed on hold for the last 4 or 5 months and will probably remain that way until things improve.

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post #8 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

You aren't missing anything. Everyone considering Netflix should definitely spot check InstantWatcher.com before making any major moves. Netflix is essentially a clearing house for titles that wouldn't otherwise make any more money. Although they have many thousands of titles, most are things you've probably already seen or B-list crap you'd never even consider otherwise. That said, I have it primarily to catch up on old tv series I missed last year or find a foreign film when I can't find anything else to watch. It's definitely not a replacement for discs, far from it.

Thank goodness for the 1-month free trial.

Everybody should do free trials of any service they want to subscribe to (if available).

You're right about Netflix not being a replacement for discs. But then again, I feel the same way about all of the streaming/on demand services. Especially the ones charging $5.99 for a HD movie when I can rent a BD for $1 - $3.

But Netflix is not a clearing house of grade B titles that can't make any income for their owners anymore. For example it has lots of foreign films and anime that are hard to find anywhere else. And the tv series selection makes it far better than any pay-tv providers on demand selection (although series are a season behind).

Netflix isn't for everybody. But honestly, what is?
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post #9 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:49 AM
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That's why they let you try it for free for 30 days.
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post #10 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

You're right about Netflix not being a replacement for discs. But then again, I feel the same way about all of the streaming/on demand services. Especially the ones charging $5.99 for a HD movie when I can rent a BD for $1 - $3.

Well, the $6 per movie is on par with most VOD services. Plus, to rent a physical BD, you have to trek over to a Redbox (or one of the rapidly diminishing video stores) or wait for it to come in the mail. Sometimes I'm in the mood for that, but othertimes, yeah, I'll plunk down the $6 just to satisfy my lazy butt. Especially when VUDU will often have movies that are still in the theaters.

Plus VUDU has plenty of $2 movies and a daily 99 cent movie that's often something fairly recent.

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post #11 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:52 AM
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Id like to add that if I use vudu over netflix by mail I will mostly be watching the standard defenition 3.99 movies, with an occasional purchase or two with hdx quality for movies that are of demo quality. Vudu gave me a credit that I used to rent a couple of SD movies to try out their service but after upscaling there isn't enough of a difference for me to warrant the extra cash of the hd streams.
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post #12 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by JDEaston View Post

I have a question for those of you that use the disc by my service netflix offers. Do new releases come out often and early enough to subscribe to it and use it for new releases or should I go with a ppv service like vudu?

Well....they definitely come out "often enough" since there's new releases every week.

"early enough" is another matter, and is entirely dependent on your preferences. A lot of studios have a 28 day delay from the day the disc is released to retailers before Netflix gets them, and Warner just recently pushed it back to 56 days (trying to increase sales or drive renters to more expensive VOD platforms).

That being said, whatever date Netflix gets a movie is the de-facto release date for me. I'm not going to buy discs, and I'm not going to use Vudu to watch it for $6 (disclaimer: I do use Vudu here and there, but it's certainly too expensive for me to use as a replacement).

So it's up to you. Do you absolutely positively have to watch a new release the day it's available on disc, or can you wait 4 weeks (or 8 for a Warner title)? Would you be sitting at home breaking out in a cold sweat and the shakes because you have to wait 4 weeks to watch whatever spectacular remake or sequel or prequel or 3D suck-fest (excuse my biases) is being released, and would have to watch something else instead?

Personally, when the delay was first put in place, I had a single 28-day adjustment period where new releases dried up, but then "new" releases started flowing again. Like I just got In Time, Dream House, and The Thing (the new one) all of which are new (to Netflix) this week. I personally have no idea if those all had 28 day delays or not....and don't care. They're available with Netflix now, so that's the "real" release date for me, and I don't even pay attention to when the retail version was available.

Oh, I'll also point out the other rental outlets have delays as well, although Redbox is supposedly buying Warner titles at retail to avoid the 56 day delay (but it's my understanding it's still taking a week or so for them to show up in the machines). I don't really know what's going on with Blockbuster....they were buying some titles at retail but they've closed so many stores and from the Official Blockbuster thread in the BD Software forum, it sounds like the mail service is even worse than it used to be (at least that's the opinion I have based on the last several pages of negative posts about it).
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post #13 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

Oh, I'll also point out the other rental outlets have delays as well, although Redbox is supposedly buying Warner titles at retail to avoid the 56 day delay (but it's my understanding it's still taking a week or so for them to show up in the machines).

That's how Redbox operated when they first started. Their franchisees would just go to WalMart, buy a dozen copies, and stock their kiosks. The studios b*tched and WalMart subsequently limited sales to like five per customer.

Quote:
I don't really know what's going on with Blockbuster....they were buying some titles at retail but they've closed so many stores and from the Official Blockbuster thread in the BD Software forum, it sounds like the mail service is even worse than it used to be (at least that's the opinion I have based on the last several pages of negative posts about it).

I thought Blockbuster was the one outlet exempt from any delay. I think their issues are just a lack of capital and out of control expenses.

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post #14 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

That's how Redbox operated when they first started. Their franchisees would just go to WalMart, buy a dozen copies, and stock their kiosks. The studios b*tched and WalMart subsequently limited sales to like five per customer.

Yeah, it didn't work out for them (lawsuits and everything). Curious how it will work out this time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

I thought Blockbuster was the one outlet exempt from any delay. I think their issues are just a lack of capital and out of control expenses.

They were. Warner hit them with a 28 day delay back in October: http://consumerist.com/2011/10/warne...tal-delay.html

I don't know what they did about it. Maybe it was just Warner. Doesn't matter to me since I don't use them (doesn't matter if they don't have a delay if they don't ship you anything anyways). I thought a couple other studios recently hit them with delays as well, but maybe I'm mistaken.
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post #15 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 11:18 AM
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Redbox seems like the winner.
For under $2 total cost(plus some of your own time) you own the DVD movie and can watch it whenever and wherever you want.
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post #16 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Imp View Post

Call me a noob, call me uninformed, call me anything you want. I probably deserve it for going in with such high expectations.

When I decided to finally get Netflix (for the streaming aspect) and drop most of my movie channels, I did so under the impression that I would be able to find almost any movie I want. What a shock it was when I started searching for a bunch of titles I wanted to see and almost nothing came back as being available.

I finally decided I wanted to see all of the Resident Evil movies because it's a pain to try and find them on regular movie channels so I can see them in order. Nothing! The only one that was available was the animated one which I didn't care about.

How about the Harry Potter series? They have to have that, right? Wrong! Not a single one was available. Are you kidding me?

Then I went through a list I compiled of over 20 movies that I either wanted to see for the first time or watch again from my past. I think maybe 4 showed up as being available to view.

I honestly thought that almost everything would be available for streaming just like it is for a physical copy.

Am I missing something here or is their streaming list really limited?


I think your expectations are too high for what you are paying.
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post #17 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

Redbox seems like the winner.
For under $2 total cost(plus some of your own time) you own the DVD movie and can watch it whenever and wherever you want.

Own it? Not unless you rip it (which is illegal to do to a rental disc.)

And for $8, you can rent like 20+ discs from Netflix for the same purpose. And have a much bigger selection.

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post #18 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

Redbox seems like the winner.
For under $2 total cost(plus some of your own time) you own the DVD movie and can watch it whenever and wherever you want.

Yeah let's advocate ripping and piracy. That will bring our costs down! Come on man.
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post #19 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Well, the $6 per movie is on par with most VOD services. Plus, to rent a physical BD, you have to trek over to a Redbox (or one of the rapidly diminishing video stores) or wait for it to come in the mail. Sometimes I'm in the mood for that, but othertimes, yeah, I'll plunk down the $6 just to satisfy my lazy butt. Especially when VUDU will often have movies that are still in the theaters.

Plus VUDU has plenty of $2 movies and a daily 99 cent movie that's often something fairly recent.

That's why I specifically didn't name any services. They're all like that.

I have used Vudu (received $5 credit when I bought my streaming BD player) and it does have great pq. Nearly all of those 99 cent movies I already get on Netflix, most are in HD too. Since my tv is 720p, HDX would be a wasted experience. And I have a Dish 722K dvr with quite a backlog of stuff on my external HDD.

I understand about getting lazy, and everybody has their priorities.

For me it's getting the most for my money. It really bothers me paying $6 for something I can easily get for far less. Just the way I am. I can always get to a video store or kiosk going to or from work or even combining mutliple stops into one. Of course I'm cheating here. I only live a 10 minute walk from my local BBV.
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post #20 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 12:14 PM
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I have Netflix both streaming and discs. I'm considering dropping discs because there are so few movies that I have much interest in that come out first on disc. Most of my streaming queue is foreign and indie because Hollywood movies are mostly contrived junk managed by bean counters. Anything I want to watch without a delay I do by Vudu or Amazon. That said I probably have too much to watch.
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post #21 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

For me it's getting the most for my money. It really bothers me paying $6 for something I can easily get for far less. Just the way I am. I can always get to a video store or kiosk going to or from work or even combining mutliple stops into one. Of course I'm cheating here. I only live a 10 minute walk from my local BBV.

I understand. I lived <1 minute from my local Blockbuster (it was on the same block.) Then it shut down. As did the next nearest, and the next... now they're a considerable trek away.

Of course I don't have much of a commute living across the street from my work. Getting to a Redbox is actually more inconvenient than getting to my place of employment, believe it or not. Don't get me wrong, if there is a blu-ray I want to see, I'll get it from Redbox if I'm out and about, but I also don't consider $6 for an HDX movie to be that big of a deal. Plus, I don't have to wait 28/56 days.

My ideal is renting online and purchasing physical discs for keeps (BD if available, DVD is okay.)

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post #22 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 12:38 PM
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I think netflix streaming is great. yeah - it's old stuff, but the kids love it, it's cheap, and it's flexible. The software is miles ahead of Amazon Prime service - which is the only thing out there that even comes close in value, imo. Even without Starz content, I can't see myself not spending the $8/mth for the service.

Redbox could be great. Biggest issue I have is the other users. Seriously - they need to have machines dedicated to people who are smart enough to browse and reserve on-line, and a separate machine for people who feel the need to spend 30 minutes making their entertainment decisions while everyone behind them waits. Amazingly annoying - makes me actually miss Blockbuster. That's the primary reason I'd chose Amazon VOD over the less expensive, higher quality physical disc from Redbox - I don't have to wait behind slow people at Amazon...
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post #23 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 12:47 PM
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Yeah, Redbox attracts the mouthbreathers. Which is why I usually avoid it after 7pm, especially on Friday or Saturday night. I've also got the app on my phone so I can ninja-reserve a movie before I get there, or at least see what's available if I'm away from my computer. Helps a bit, or at least makes sure the movie I want isn't going anywhere.

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post #24 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 12:49 PM
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If you are someone who is ONLY interested in recent major Hollywood blockbusters, then run, run, run far away from Netflix streaming.

However, there is no lack of great content there. My movie viewing range has expanded exponentially with the advent of Netflix streaming. Some of the best movies I have EVER seen in my life were previously unknown to me until I found them on Netflix streaming.

Yes, there is a lot of garbage as well. With the invaluable assistance of the Netflix Streaming: Gems and Finds thread on this very forum it is really not that difficult to sort through the chaff.

Best of all, with streaming, if the show is craptacular five minutes in, there is absolutely no financial penalty and no regret in stopping the thing and moving on to something else - not so with physical media rental or even streaming rental, where replacing the bad will involve at least additional expense and likely hassle.

In fairness, my biases are 1.) I'm a cheap bastard. 2.) I enjoy foreign, independent, and "old" material. 3.) My curiosity and interests are wide-ranging. 4.) I'm a cheap bastard.
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post #25 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 12:55 PM
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The streaming is great especially in the summer when there is nothing but repeats on.

Also, if like me, you have kids, there's a ton of stuff available and of course on many platforms (PS3, Ipad, Ipod touch) so the kids can always find what they want when they want.
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post #26 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 01:06 PM
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With a netflix streaming account, can more than one person be logged on at a time? My daughters have accounts, so if I use theirs, will it kick them off if they're on it at the same time?
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post #27 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 01:12 PM
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Netflix says that it limits the streams based on the level of your account, but users have reported that it isn't enforced, or at least isn't enforced very hard.

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post #28 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 01:16 PM
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Another factor I'd like to point...the pay channels starting buying up streaming rights to the movies they licensed to run on their linear channels long before Instant Watch was started, even though they didn't know what to do with them. That means if popular movies-regardless of age, are under license to Showtime, HBO, or Starz, Netflix is unable to gain access to them. That was the impetus behind the Starz deal nearly 4 years ago-Starz had it's own streaming service available only to it's subscribers, and the deal allowed Netflix to essentially sublet movies Starz controlled internet distribution rights to. That is the primary reason why so many hits from the past few decades are not present on the service.
Its' really an odd situation...nobody signs up to HBO expecting EVERY single movie they want to see on the channel (and this not a slight towards Tom Imp). No single channel will carry everything, and that's just how the studios like it. More services equals more and prolonged sales life for the content they own.

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post #29 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 02:32 PM
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The last day of Starz Play on Netflix was yesterday, greatly decreasing available popular, near current release-to-disc titles. Starz Play titles were never in HD, so I didn't watch them very often anyway.

They're trying to get rights to stream recent-released-to-disc movies with some limited success (True Grit, The Lincoln Lawyer, Limitless, No Strings Attached and a few others).

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post #30 of 122 Old 03-02-2012, 02:47 PM
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There are some newer releases .. True Grit / The Lincoln Lawyer .. others Michael mentioned ..

You get a free trial period to see if it works for you

Yes, the content is limited

They are developing their own content (Lillyhammer)
http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Lily...?trkid=2361637

which is an excellent first effort on a series and fully available

Counting series I'd like to watch, my Q hovers around 200 .. and also has alot of documentaries in it ..

I take the one disk BD plan which averages me 2 disks a week as well as the streaming .. I have streamed material from my Q about anywhere in the US that I could get a fast enough connection .. I also "loaned" my account to a sister that fell on hard times and could not even afford basic cable .. she streamed 120 miles away from me while I was streaming as well ... do that with CATV ..

It is what it is .. and I consider it the best entertainment value currently available .. warts and all ...

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