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House of Cards: Has Netflix changed the game?

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
When television shows debut in January or February, they are known as mid-season replacements. They used to be shows that were "crap shoots" for networks. These shows usually had half-season orders, meaning the networks were only responsible for 10-12 episodes instead of the 22-24 episodes in a season. If they did well, you order more for the fall, if they failed, no big deal.

But the TV landscape changed. It began with cable networks premiering new shows any time. HBO started doing short seasons of shows with very high production values and gritty stories. Then the big 3 networks started doing the same... in their own way, followed by cable nets upping the ante even more. As you can see,in the last decade, TV has evolved. We do have a lot of great television to watch.

It seems Netflix has taken the next step in the television evolution. "House of Cards" is a Netflix exclusive. A one hundred million dollar gamble to get new subscribers, and have all of those in the Netflix universe change the way they watch television. Not only can you watch "House of Cards" anytime, all the episodes have been posted, so you make this series fit your schedule. It is the convenience of the DVR, without worrying about taking up hard drive space.

But can this upstart production deliver on this gamble? It appears the answer is "yes".

With Kevin Spacey,Robin Wright starring and David Fincher directing, reviews have been very positive about the first 2 episodes. And everyone has been talking about the high production value of the show.
Quote:
HOUSE OF CARDS IS MORE LIKE A THIRTEEN-PART MOVIE THAN EPISODIC TV. - The Verge
Quote:
And it practically reeks of money well-spent: Outside of a repeat of Planet Earth, this may be the most gorgeous piece of television you see all year. - USA Today

But pretty pictures are not the only thing to drive viewership. You got to have a good story to get people to continue hitting that "next episode" button.
Quote:
I should say that all 13 episodes are available as of today but that I’m basing this review on the first two that Netflix made available to critics. You can bet I’ll be consuming the rest as soon as I can. - Entertainment Weekly

Now several questions come to mind with this venture. Can Netflix continue feeding the television viewer? After these 13 episodes, what is next? Television viewer consumption is a ravenous beast. You watch all 13 episodes in two weeks, you are right back to the same old Netflix streaming. The next show up for Netflix, is the revival of one of my favorites, "Arrested Development" coming in May.

Is this worth $8.99 a month?

Time will tell if this is the next step in television viewing, or a mid season replacement that doesn't get picked up in the fall. Tell us, is the show any good? Will you subscribe to Netflix just to watch? Also, how long did it take you to watch all 13 episodes?

http://www.theverge.com/culture/2013/2/1/3940620/house-of-cards-netflix-review-parts-one-and-two
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2013/01/31/bianco-review-house-of-cards/1880835/
http://watching-tv.ew.com/2013/02/01/house-of-cards-netflix-kevin-spacey/
Edited by IfixitBIG - 2/3/13 at 6:50am
post #2 of 61
I think this is just another step in the process of an eventual sweeping change in how we watch T.V through traditional cable and on networks, you take this with Hulu type services and all the other things out there, all the cord cutters and you can start to see the writing on the wall that the traditional ways of watching our favorite shows in going to change. The big cable companies are fighting tooth and nail to keep this from happening but its inevitable at this point IMO. As Apple Itunes, Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and so many other sources get bigger and bigger they wield more and more influence. I really think that once HBO finally decides to break from being only tied to cable providers and either offers its own streaming service or ties itself to and established streamer(s) the dominoes will really start falling at that point. just my 2 cents for what its worth
post #3 of 61
This is all very interesting. Netflix, Time Warner, Roku, Android have all been in the news recently and seem to be 'changing the game' on how streaming media is being made available. The most interesting I have found is the Time Warner/Roku deal in which Roku is going to be streaming around 200 'LIVE' Time Warner cable channels through their media boxes. Being a Time Warner customer, I've been waiting to see how this pans out.

On the consumer side, its been confusing on deciding which media box to use for streaming online content. How do they work? what content do they stream? what necessary connections are needed?

I just recently built an htpc (my first build) to setup my own streaming and dvr unit. Since the Roku/Time Warner deal I'm confuse on if I even needed to build this computer.


Just my 2 cents worth of rambling....smile.gif
post #4 of 61
You bring up a good point of confusing to the consumer on what streaming service to dive into, I have been kicking back and forth with should I go all out and buy up the Blu-rays of the movies i love or should I go the vudu route and get them in "the cloud" and have access them wherever i am. My dilemma is what if Vudu goes under then what happens to all my movies, or certain media devices stop suddenly supporting vudu. Just one example with using vudu but similar problem with all the streaming sources.
post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by H8ter2 View Post

You bring up a good point of confusing to the consumer on what streaming service to dive into, I have been kicking back and forth with should I go all out and buy up the Blu-rays of the movies i love or should I go the vudu route and get them in "the cloud" and have access them wherever i am. My dilemma is what if Vudu goes under then what happens to all my movies, or certain media devices stop suddenly supporting vudu. Just one example with using vudu but similar problem with all the streaming sources.

Thats one reason I built an htpc, and the ability to dvr and store all my media. However, if you backup your media via cloud service, you shouldnt lose everything. But, I'm not sure these 'clouds' are capable of delivering/keeping the high quality (blueray) movie format. Seems to me you would lose some video quality streaming online.
post #6 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by robistro View Post

Thats one reason I built an htpc, and the ability to dvr and store all my media. However, if you backup your media via cloud service, you shouldnt lose everything. But, I'm not sure these 'clouds' are capable of delivering/keeping the high quality (blueray) movie format. Seems to me you would lose some video quality streaming online.

Yea I'm looking into setting up my own HTPC to do the same things as well. The issue with quality with a streaming service is the internet connections are so unreliable, so even when they offer same quality as blu ray or similar its all depends on your internet speed/connection, and in many places thats very unreliable day to day.
post #7 of 61
Thread Starter 
So how many of you have Netflix? Are you planning to get it?
post #8 of 61
I have netflix, its pretty good to watch older movies as they rarely get new stuff or get it way late, its great for kids though as is the main reason I've had it for almost a year now as it has all the kids shows with all the seasons way cheaper then if you were to buy all of those shows on DVD/blu ray
post #9 of 61
Has anyone seen the show yet? It looks quite good.
post #10 of 61
Thread Starter 
I want to see it, but I believe I'll hold out until "Arrested Development" come on, then I'll subscribe.
post #11 of 61
I have seen the first episode. The blacks appear to be blown out; i.e., there is no gradation. Directed by David Fincher, the 13 episodes seem to be promising, even with the first person narration by Kevin Spacey.
post #12 of 61
Quality seemed good to us. The problem we had watching Ep. 1 on Sat. at about 7PM PST - the streaming stopped to reload several times. We are on Comcast (Oakland, Ca) with the hghest internet grade they offer (15 or 20M??). Never had this problem before with streaming many hours of programming.
We are only going to watch one hour at a time. The only programs on our record/watch list now are Stewart/Colbert and Elementary.
post #13 of 61
I have yet to check the series out as I plan to this week. Can someone give me a quick rating on how good it is maybe a 0-10 and perhaps a brief plus/minus thanks
post #14 of 61
One think I keep hearing in all of this is "how stupid Netflix is to offer them all at once instead of spacing them out to hold subscribers longer".

I couldn't disagree more.

Not everyone is going to subscribe on day one of the series coming out, eat it all up and then bail at the end of the month.

First, not everyone who joins to check out this show will dump the service when they finish. Some might, but many will keep it a little longer because they'll have the whole month to get a taste of it and get used to just calling stuff up whenever the mood strikes.

Second, not everyone has time to binge on all the episodes that quickly. They might only watch one or two a week, depending upon their schedule.

Third, you have plenty of people that might have an interest in the show, but are waiting until they hear just the right review - in particular from their "friends" online. That means you have staggered subscriptions starting up over the course of several weeks rather than everyone joining up on day one. Unlike with network TV, there's no need to be there from the beginning: you can catch up any time. There's no more "I missed the first episode, so to heck with the show".

Finally, you have a lot of subs that already have the service and are happy with it. This just gives them even more reason to keep it.

The fact is, currently, everything on Netflix allows for binge viewing. I honestly think not doing that with their new shows would frustrate those subs who are used to being able to eat larges bites at once. This is TV where the viewer decides when the next episode will be on.
post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

One think I keep hearing in all of this is "how stupid Netflix is to offer them all at once instead of spacing them out to hold subscribers longer".

I couldn't disagree more.

Not everyone is going to subscribe on day one of the series coming out, eat it all up and then bail at the end of the month.

First, not everyone who joins to check out this show will dump the service when they finish. Some might, but many will keep it a little longer bause they'll have the whole month to get a taste of it.

Second, not everyone has time to binge on all the episodes that quickly. They might only watch one or two a week, depending upon their schedule.

Third, you have plenty of people that might have an interest in the show, but are waiting unti lthey hear just the right review - in particular from their "friends" online. That means you have staggered subscriptions starting up over the course of several weeks rather than everyone joining up on day one.

Finally, you have a lot of subs that already have the service and are happy with it. This just gives them even more reason to keep it.

The fact is, currently, everything on Netflix allows for binge viewing. I honestly think not doing that with their new shows would frustrate those subs who are used to being able to eat larges bites at once. This is TV where the viewer decides when the next episode will be on.

I agree with this, I think netflix learned a valuable lesson about making drastic changes a few years back with the whole debacle with spliting the DVD and streaming business and charging more and that whole mess, they are again gaining subscriptions and I believe have added 3D streaming as well. They are most likely taking the approach where they see word of mouth for this series or just its curiosity gets people signed up then they get renewed monthly automatically and realize there is tons of good content on here for only $7.99 a month which is a very fair price for what they offer IMO.
post #16 of 61
Thread Starter 
I think this "all in one" model is going to put pressure on the series. The content has to be really good to get viewers to be driven to watch. I hear people with DVR's always say I'll get around to watching that, and it just sits for months. So I'll be curious to see how many people start the series, and how many complete the series? Also, how long does it take them to watch it?
post #17 of 61
I'm disinterested in 3D TV but am curious how Netflix or anyone could make streaming 3D work with all the technical hurdles.

As for HoC, it's well made (Fincher directing and adapted from a proven property) although episode 1 didn't blow me away. Then again first episodes of anything rarely do. What I don't understand about that is HTH it can possibly have a $100 million budget. GAME OF THRONES is $60 million a season and something set in D.C. 2013 is almost twice as much? Are Fincher and Spacey just greedy or did Netflix overpay for the rights of the U.K. original or what?
post #18 of 61
I don't know about most people but I have been known to have a few "lazy" weekends where I will watch a season of something in a day or two LOL
post #19 of 61
Thread Starter 
Wow, I never knew how much Game of thrones cost to make. To do that show for $60 million is amazing. Shooting all those locations, all those actors and crews. Hell, the opening titles each week could eat up a lot of that money.
post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bewlaybrothers View Post

I'm disinterested in 3D TV but am curious how Netflix or anyone could make streaming 3D work with all the technical hurdles.

As for HoC, it's well made (Fincher directing and adapted from a proven property) although episode 1 didn't blow me away. Then again first episodes of anything rarely do. What I don't understand about that is HTH it can possibly have a $100 million budget. GAME OF THRONES is $60 million a season and something set in D.C. 2013 is almost twice as much? Are Fincher and Spacey just greedy or did Netflix overpay for the rights of the U.K. original or what?

Probably a combination of both
post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by IfixitBIG View Post

Wow, I never knew how much Game of thrones cost to make. To do that show for $60 million is amazing. Shooting all those locations, all those actors and crews. Hell, the opening titles each week could eat up a lot of that money.

The titles are mostly a fixed cost, although they do vary when intro'ing a new locale. $60m was quoted for the first season, I'd guess it's a baseline figure now. But if anyone wonders why there weren't any huge battles shown until the end of season two, that's why.

Question remains though--financially does this make sense for Netflix and why couldn't they spend less?
post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by H8ter2 View Post

I have netflix, its pretty good to watch older movies as they rarely get new stuff or get it way late, its great for kids though as is the main reason I've had it for almost a year now as it has all the kids shows with all the seasons way cheaper then if you were to buy all of those shows on DVD/blu ray

Couldn't agree more. If I really need a new movie today the Redbox it is. I cut the cord last yr, replaced with Netflix and Hulu and couldn't be happier! Some of my favorites are Breaking Bad, Burn Notice and White Colar.
post #23 of 61
Can't wait for season two. Season one ... in a few big gulps was very enjoyable. I've always like Kevin Spacey, ever since his arc on "Wiseguy", and he is very good. Does Netflix qualify for Emmys?
post #24 of 61
I have watched 3 episodes so far and I like it. Just got home from watching the Super Bowl and ready to watch a few more episodes.



m
post #25 of 61
Have seen 6 episodes and the series is stunning. Hopefully, it will come out on BR. Machiavelli didn't have anything over Francis Underwood. House of Cards makes Dangerous Liaisons look like children at play. There are already over 700 reviews up on the Netflix website.
post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huskyguy View Post

Can't wait for season two. Season one ... in a few big gulps was very enjoyable. I've always like Kevin Spacey, ever since his arc on "Wiseguy", and he is very good. Does Netflix qualify for Emmys?

I wondered the same thing. There is always a chance that the established players will find a way to keep it out of the awards. I watched the first three episodes Saturday and was really impressed with it. It is a high quality production.
post #27 of 61
I remember the original BBC House of Cards. Spacey is a great choice for this remake.
post #28 of 61
I watched the first episode yesterday and enjoyed it. I was happy with the picture and sound quality--watched it on my Apple TV. Love David Fincher so I will be definitely watching the whole series. This is a bold move by Netflix and I'm sure others like Amazon and Apple will follow. The more entertainment available, the better off we all are. I got rid of my mail order Netflix account last year and am very happy with just Netflix streaming. Some interesting movies and I have really enjoyed watching the 7 seasons of Supernatural. Definitely worth the monthly fee for me.
post #29 of 61
I've been a Netflix streamer for four years and I love it, there's always something to watch for the entire family and it's only $7.99 a month. I use to be a disc subscriber but now I use Amazon VOD for new releases.

I have House of Cards queued up and I plan on watching it this weekend.
post #30 of 61
I watched all the 13 episodes and loved the series. The picture I got was mediocre--a well mastered dvd quality. However, the story made up for it and I am looking forward to the next season!
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