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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yep, Netfix. Huge customer base, even Walmart couldn't budge them from the No. 1 spot.


I wish Apple had included a tab for them in Front Row, but it's gonna be Vista instead:-(


I bet you, if MS doesn't have a MCE menu plug already, someone will have it done in a month.


Apple should really reach out, and open Front Row to third party developers, if it wants to stay in the HTPC game. A service like Netflix, being unavailable on Mac OS, can sway potential buyers straddling the OS fence, to Vista boxes. Apple TV just became a tougher sale. Just my 2 cents.

http://www.neowin.net/index.php?act=view&id=37220
 

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"The feature, which cost Netflix about $40 million to develop, is designed to adjust the picture's resolution based on a user's cable bandwidth so that the movie doesn't freeze during play. "


And will your cable/DSL connection keep up with an 8 Mbps (DVD quality) stream? Not mine. If it will sense that fact and send me a 360x240 movie (instead of 720x480), then I'm better off going through iTunes (apart from the cost of each movie).


But, I do applaud Netflix for working on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually, I can stream the Apple HiDef clips from their site.


You are forgetting the new compression standards. DVDs are encoded in MPEG-2, these Netflix files are almost certainly to be encoded to some type of MPEG-4, which is much more efficient. So, with some caching, streaming at "DVD-quality," or very close to it, is entirely possible.


I pay $20 per month to Netflix, and this service will allow me to keep my 3 movies at home, PLUS 18 hours of streaming content per month. For the SAME fee.


I am really, really surprised, that Jobs didn't see this coming, and accommodate it. Unless Apple TV can match, and top this offer (because there are other providers, like Vongo.com coming on line, all as Vista plug-ins,) Apple TV is dead before it hits the market.


I will repeat: movies are not like songs - they rarely get repeat play (except for 4-year olds watching Disney flicks non-stop, and turning their brains to mush prematurely:) Streaming rentals, for a flat fee, is where this market is going.


I do think, that, if executed right, this Netflix thing may turn out to be the "killer" application which drives HTPC sales for the masses, or at least for the millions who subscribe to Netflix.


I know some will get upset at my saying this, but I am afraid, Apple is missing the HTPC boat, just like it missed the Gaming boat. I wish we had a good front-end and good video codecs, I wish we had a sleek Apple box with Apple Streaming TV integrated into a beefed up Front Row, I wish we had Apple two-way remotes like the ones shown at CES for Vista.... I wish for all these things, but someone at Apple decided they know different....


My hope is that Leopard will change this, but judging by Apple TV, that hope is fast fading.
 

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I'm not a NetFlix member. I checked the web site and I didn't see any information about their streaming movies feature. Where can I find information about what NetFlix is offering for streaming?


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like it will roll out over the next few days.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...1-ArticlePage3


Netflix rocks, although I have also been tempted by GreenCine.com, who are more Indie oriented, and have offered DIVX downloads for a while.


Also, check out Vongo.com (which just appeared as a Vista MCE menu plug-in.) Vongo just started offering flat-fee streaming rentals, as well as the streaming of Starz! programming.


If you access Vongo.com with a Mac, they actually show you a statement about how they have designed the service also for the Mac, but Apple is refusing to license Fair Play to them, which prevents them from offering their product on the Mac platform:-(


This market is just exploding, but for OS X, the Apple TV looks like the only game in town, kind of like VLC is on the player end.... Not a happy picture, IMO.


The best thing I can say, is that some of the Apple hardware is perfectly designed for HTPC, and it can run Vista MCE as well as anything, at least until we see what Leopard has to offer.
 

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This is all well and good for Netflix customers, but how does it have anything to do with us Mac users? This service is not Mac compatible and doesn't have any Apple or Mac tie-in. Perhaps this thread needs to be moved elsewhere.
 

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I agree, doesn't have anything to do with Mac users. The idea of it being on the AppleTV is a pipe dream. The AppleTV is just a means for Apple to further push the iTunes store and I highly doubt they would open it up to companies like NetFlix. Now the SlingCatcher on the other hand sounds like by default it will have to ability to Sling the movies from the computer to the TV (supposedly will work with any online content...I curious how well the will actually work though?) I think a more likely partnership would be NetFlix and SlingMedia (SlingCatcher press release says: "Additional Applications, Services and Partnerships Forthcoming") with Sling adding direct access to NetFlix streaming movies to its box.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleCubsFans /forum/post/0


I agree, doesn't have anything to do with Mac users. The idea of it being on the AppleTV is a pipe dream. The AppleTV is just a means for Apple to further push the iTunes store and I highly doubt they would open it up to companies like NetFlix. Now the SlingCatcher on the other hand sounds like by default it will have to ability to Sling the movies from the computer to the TV (supposedly will work with any online content...I curious how well the will actually work though?) I think a more likely partnership would be NetFlix and SlingMedia (SlingCatcher press release says: "Additional Applications, Services and Partnerships Forthcoming") with Sling adding direct access to NetFlix streaming movies to its box.

Wouldn't it be great if they had another announcement in February just before Apple TV ships that included a new version of iTunes that supported video rentals. The Apple TV could be used to browse the Apple Video rental store and then you can just download it into the built-in 40GB HD without going to your computer. Or just do it in the computer. One or the other (just to keep the studios happy). The file will be playable for 48 hours. They can even sell them alacarte for $4 a pop. Or, have a monthly fee of $20 for may be 15 movies or something like that.


This is better than the netflix deal because it is not streamed, it will be used in a living room and it will increase sales of Apple TV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew67 /forum/post/0


This is all well and good for Netflix customers, but how does it have anything to do with us Mac users? This service is not Mac compatible and doesn't have any Apple or Mac tie-in. Perhaps this thread needs to be moved elsewhere.

I'm planning on using the Netflix service with IE 6 running in Parallels on a Macbook Pro.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew67 /forum/post/0


This is all well and good for Netflix customers, but how does it have anything to do with us Mac users? This service is not Mac compatible and doesn't have any Apple or Mac tie-in. Perhaps this thread needs to be moved elsewhere.

Hm, with all the hoopla about Apple TV, aren't you curious about other options being announced, including this one from the largest DVD rental service in the world? See no evil, hear no evil....:)


I think it is very relevant, particularly since it will likely impact Apple's position in this market, and it will certainly impact many users here: I bet there are more Netflix subscribers here, than in the general population.


Also, if enough consumers kick and scream, Apple sometimes responds, as it did with Boot Camp.
 

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This type of offering is still in it's infancy, if that.


I strongly believe that Apple will be a major player in this market. I'm confident they will release products for online movies that will be as good as the iPod and iTunes are for music.


The Apple TV is just the beginning.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 /forum/post/0


Hm, with all the hoopla about Apple TV, aren't you curious about other options being announced, including this one from the largest DVD rental service in the world? See no evil, hear no evil....:)

Yes and No. Yes if it's a service supported on the Mac, and No if it's a service that's built with Windows technology and is limited to that platform only. In my mind it doesn't matter how this service competes with the Apple TV because it doesn't run on a Mac. And if anyone brings up the point that Windows can run on a Mac... at that point it's no longer a Mac, it's a Windows PC. I'm simply a little tired of reading two weeks of discussion about Apple's product failures and how such and such service is going to kill Apple TV, iPhone, iPod, iTunes, etc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 /forum/post/0


I would suggest Boot Camp. Parallels is great, but doesn't do well on video, even the new Beta (at least on an Dual 2.0 iMac.)

Right you are. The video was lacking when I tried via Parallels, but it looked quite acceptable when I actually booted into Windows. For those interested, Netflix granted me the "high" video setting based on my 3Mbps DSL connection.


It's not really clear to me how Netflix will make this available for Mac OS X. The latest release of Windows Media DRM technology doesn't work on OS X. The native DRM on OS X is Fairplay, and I don't forsee Apple licensing that to Netflix.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The way I read it, it seems like they determine the max resolution based on your connection, then if the speed of the connection drops, they throttle down the size of the incoming stream.


There may be a glimmer of hope for OS X users. This is an unconfirmed report about Apple licensing Fair Play out to Made for iPod licensees, which is certainly a feeble start, but at least it is a start:

http://www.tech.co.uk/home-entertain...leid=394429162


As far as not being interested in any products not working with Mac OS, it just smacks of religion a bit. The box and the OS are just the means to an end (in this case, a good HTPC,) not the end. We all like Apple here, because it offers elegance and ease of use. But if Apple doesn't provide the means to achieve a decent HT experience, many of us will look at alternatives. Or at least ***** to Apple, because they do listen from time to time. (I actually think it is good that someone like Vongo.com cares enough about the Apple market, to actually bother to invite us to demand the licensing of Fair Play to them.)


And, face it, Apple is primarily a hardware company: this is where they make their money, and that's why they don't like to license their software. So, I would guess, that Apple would much prefer that consumers purchase Apple hardware and dual-boot, than choose a PC box and be lost forever to the dark side. And I don't know if you are familiar with Netflix at all, but it is likely that its lack of support for OS X would affect the OS purchasing decisions of at least some of its millions of subscribers.
 

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Interesting thread. Lots of new directions opening up. I wonder what Blockbuster has up its sleeve?



But really, I think the news of Netflix is a logical outgrowth of their business model. As to tying their service to Microsoft's DRM, it will definitely limit their audience: to Windows PC users (or to whatever players may be licensed to use that DRM on the Mac, which at this point is...??? Zero). Apple's DRM on the other hand is not tethered to an OS, but it is tethered to iTunes. This added flexibility is definitely a plus, as it is platform agnostic. But I read some interesting material at Roughly Drafted about how tethering your DRM to software limits its applicability.


In this case, one of the hugest limitations I found with appleTV (as to Apple or a partner provided content, that is) is that it lacks the ability to directly go out to the iTS and order content, or directly access other content via IPTV, or any other method like P2P. I initially thought that by Apple's showing how you can access movie trailers via the Front Row-like interface, that it would be logical for them to take the next leap and offer one-click downloads from the iTS to your bigscreen via remote at the strato lounger. My thought is that this convenience would drive appleTV sales and content sales phenomenally. As would the addition of a rental and a subscription model. If you have a romantic moment going, whop wants to get up off of the couch, go into the den, login to the computer, get on iTunes, go to the iTunes store, purchase a flick, and start a dowload. Only to go back to the couch to find that the moment has passed...
because you had to go and play with your computer to do it.


But the problem with Fairplay, is that it needs iTunes to manage it. And how do you get iTunes on the appleTV? Or how do you design another system, or advance Fairplay to work via streaming, or download from the iTS directly to your appleTV? DRM built in to the hardware or whatever software that runs on the appleTV? How do you (or can you) manage purchased, DRM'd content on the computer from the appleTV? This is the huge gap that Apple now needs to cross, and something we know nothing about yet. Apple's last mile. This problem also affects the iPhone. How to purchase from the iTS directly from the iPhone? Port iTunes to OS X running on ARM and build a secure WiFi bridge to AT&T and from AT&T to iTS? It's why Apple has not announced anything about the iPhone having the ability to purchase directly from the iTS. It may be another of SJ's rabbit in the hat tricks yet to play out. Apple needs to advance fairplay and build some flexibility in it that it currently doesn't have (another sticking point with the studios over content licensing?)


So it is good that Netflix is upping the ante here, and forcing Apple to compete against a different model--albeit one that has flaws. I think that Netflix's streaming technology, however, is going to bite them in the rear, as they are already going to throttle lower bandwidth connections, and consumers will suffer sub-par content quality and/or resolution. And will they have the ability to saturate your broadband pipe with an adequate edge distribution network? Or will the cable and dsl providers limit it (net neutrality wars loom large here). Apple has developed a great distribution network through its history with the iTS, swupdate, trailer downloads, and its alliance with Akamai for edge distribution.


I think that the appleTV's supporting 720p is a huge benefit over Netflix's file delivery model. How will Netflix compete in the HD space streaming over an already too narrow network channel? And Netflix will have to rely on Microsoft's DRM, OS, and third party computer manufacturers to develop a system for outright sales, and downloads (as opposed to streams, rentals and subscriptions). This is the huge Apple advantage: an integrated beginning to end solution that is platform agnostic (though linux iTunes would help here).


And for a last bit of speculation about Apple licensing Fairplay, that opens up many different possibilities. Maybe Apple will enter into an agreement with either Blockbuster or Netflix and license Fairplay. The agreement then drives Apple hardware device sales (appleTV and/or content delivery technology and experience) to deliver Fairplay'd content via a rental or subscripton model. This potentially could get around Apple's problems with the studios not wanting to let Apple deliver content via its current model. Or it could just be a leveraging point that Apple could use behind the scenes against the studios. Just pure speculation, and it most likely is way off the mark, but is it coincidence that all of the following stars line up at once: Leopard, appleTV, iPhone, Fairplay rumors, Apple content negotiations, Google buying YouTube (and having a seat on Apple's board), Netflix streaming...???


So the big question, one that makes the appleTV more than a minor niche player, is how does Apple put iTunes, or a compatible web application, on the appleTV (or the iPhone or iPod for that matter), and extend Fairplay off of the computer, allowing lesser devices to purchase and manage the DRM? That is the million (multi billion) dollar question.


So there are still so many angles here as the pieces get put together, and the puzzle becomes a little more clearer, and players show their cards.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 /forum/post/0


As far as not being interested in any products not working with Mac OS, it just smacks of religion a bit.

To me it smacks of the point of this forum, and that is one targeted towards Apple and how it relates to AV. There are two other forums to discuss other products and environments. We don't discuss the xbox 360 and PS3 online video stores so why discuss Windows related services?
 
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