Netflix to become more uncluttered?

NetflixHere at Unclutterer, we love innovation that leads to a less cluttered living space. We have mentioned Netflix in the past as a way to curb DVD clutter at home. Much to our delight, it appears that Netflix is taking their business model in a new and exciting direction with movie downloads straight to your tv. From The New York Times:

Netflix, the DVD-by-mail company with more than seven million customers, has a new strategy that may one day make those red envelopes obsolete.

The company wants to strike deals with electronics companies that will let it send movies straight to TV screens over the Internet. Its first partnership, announced Wednesday night, is with the South Korean manufacturer LG Electronics to stream movies and other programming to LG’s high-definition televisions.

The partnership will extend a novel feature from Netflix, announced a year ago, that allows paying subscribers to watch any of 6,000 movies and television shows on its Web site free. But that service can be accessed only with a personal computer.

This news comes at a time when the Unites States Postal Service is threatening to increase shipping rates on all soft edged envelopes because they are not sortable using their machines. According to the USPS, it has cost them around $42 million in labor expenses over the last two years. Netflix isn’t too concerned over the increase for various reasons, but the idea of receiving movie rentals over the internet takes the USPS out of the equation altogether.

I have a couple of problems with Netflix at the moment, one of them being that the system isn’t perfect. Sometimes I receive damaged discs that cannot be read by my DVD player. At other times, I have received the wrong disc. These two problems would be eliminated with the new service.

This new and inevitable direction that Netflix is heading will unclutter my mailbox and my entertainment center. I can’t wait for the day when I have a Netflix “channel” on my television with my queue viewable with a press button on my remote. This is just more reason to love Netflix.

23 Comments for “Netflix to become more uncluttered?”

  1. posted by Divine Bird Jenny on

    Heck, I’d be happy if they didn’t have that stupid flap on their envelopes. They always collect around the house because we never seem to open the movie near a trash can. I just tossed out five of them!

    This is definitely a step in the right direction, though I don’t know if we’ll be able to use the feature. At least we still have the internet version!

  2. posted by Karen on

    Unfortunately, because of the movie studios, movies that you receive over the internet are going to have some major limitations. For example, you will have to watch them in a particular time period, or they will “expire”. (I’m not sure about the Netflix version, but the iTunes version will only give you 24 hours.) One reason I like Netflix is because it lets me watch movies on my schedule – even if I watch part of a movie one day and the rest of it a few days later. No late fees, no expiration dates. There may be less physical clutter, but having to keep track of time limits and expiration times is mental clutter.

  3. posted by Ruth on

    Whilst it’s true that scratched DVDs will stop being a problem with the new system, you will instead become a martyr to your network speeds – some days it will be fine, but at busy periods, or when there’s someone down the street digging up your broadband cable, you may find that bandwidth is what interferes with your viewing experience.

    Unless the system lets you download in advance, which makes it a little more like the DVD rental that it’s replacing.

  4. posted by Brooklyn on

    Hopefully this deal in the making will have better quality than the streaming ones currently are. Many of them are so bad they’re practically unwatchable when full screen, even on my 12″ laptop.

  5. posted by Kenna on

    TiVo and Amazon already have something like this for downloading movies, tv shows, and even behind-the-scene extras. It is called Unbox

    With Tivo you can have the movie on your DVR for as long as you want, but once you start to watch it, you have 24 hours before it expires. My husband and I enjoy the free downloads especially. :)

  6. posted by Liza Lee Miller on

    Another problem with Netflix new service is that it doesn’t work for Macs — only PCs. I also don’t like the 24 hour limitation — one of the main benefits of Netflix is the fact that if my life gets crazy and cluttered, I’m not stuck with late fees or returning a movie I didn’t get to watch.

  7. posted by Anna on

    I also love the Amazon Unbox service, and if you watch the weekend specials you can rent a movie for $.99. BTW you can’t keep it as long as you want, you have 30 days after you rent the movie to watch it, and once you push play, you have 24 hours before it expires. It’s still a great system!

  8. posted by Chris on

    Like Brooklyn, Video quality is my concern. It would have to be an equal or better picture than DVDs currently provide. This is especially true now that hi-def DVDs are becoming more popular, ie; blue-ray.
    That being said, I would love nothing more than to have Netflix’s entire catalog ready to watch whenever I want. This form of media delivery could be the next wave as long as the players do it right.

  9. posted by Gooniette on

    We have our television hooked up to both our DVD player and our computer tower, so it’s really easy right now to just watch a Netflix movie online.
    It is a little frustrating that I can’t watch anything on my MacBook yet, but I think Netflix will work on this. It would be nice to use Firefox instead of only Internet Explorer as well.
    It’s imperfect, but they are making strides in the right direction.

  10. posted by Alishia on

    This would be disappointing for me because I don’t have a television and I own a Mac, not a PC. Bummer. $42 million, USPS? C’mon, surely you jest.

  11. posted by Matt on

    Netflix is good, but e-bay is better. Buy the DVD you want to see, then sell it again (unclutter and use the same envelope it came in). Sure, you have to buy second hand, but if you spend $5 on a movie, chances are good someone will pay $5 to take it off your hands.

  12. posted by Paula on

    Netflix is already sending out the internet movies, and we have watched several. The video is so bad that on a screen larger than 27 or so inches, the movie is almost unwatchable.

  13. posted by ClickerTrainer on

    Am I the only one who finds browsing NetFlix for something new at best frustrating? Their browse section is overly complicated and nearly unusable.

    @matt, buying/watching/reselling is indeed the way to go

  14. posted by Betsbillabong on

    A friend of mine is participating in a beta for a company called Vudu. I checked it out the other day… it works great, but the selection is really really limited compared to Netflix. I think that Netflix should just buy out Vudu! Unless the limitations have more to do with the studios that with the company’s finances, which is entirely possible (actually the two are most likely intermingled).

    There is a queue kind of feature called something else on the Vudu set. Actually the remote is quite simple and cool and I think it won some kind of award for an innovation of 2007.

    A mashup of Netflix’s selection with Vudu’s technology would be amazing.

  15. posted by Kath on

    I watch DVD’s on my MacBook. So yeah, I am not all that happy to hear this.

  16. posted by melissa on

    my husband and I have watched several movies/tv shows via the Netflix download service and have always had excellent service. I think a lot of it depends on your internet service. We have a very high speed connection. We watch them using a Mac (via Windows and Parallels) on our LG 42″ Plasma screen and they look pretty good. The newest season of Heroes looks really good. And the great thing is that some of the TV shows are available very soon after they air on TV.

  17. posted by Valerie on

    We have crummy, rural, packet-dropping Windstream DSL (slowest possible service that can be called DSL) and it is so buggy this would be impossible. I am a NetFlix customer, but I won’t be if this is what they propose… it just won’t work for many people for differing reasons.

  18. posted by The Shopping Sherpa on

    This is the exact reason I decided to not buy a DVD player.

    I figured within a 5-10 year period we’d all be connected to digital TV with the ability to download and watch on demand and I expect it will have an option like the Amazon recommendation service where it will stream trial selections based on your previous viewing patterns. So, for instabce, if you watched The Colonial House it will send you a sample of the any think in the series when it’s released…

  19. posted by The Shopping Sherpa on

    I forgot to mention I do have two laptops in the house with DVD players in them so the situation is not quite as dire as you may have imagined :-)

  20. posted by Ursula on

    What I don’t like about Netflix is you can’t watch their movies on a Mac or a machine with Linux. Time for them to grow up.

  21. posted by Susan on

    Although this seems to go in the direction of less clutter it certainly encourages spending more money to purchase the equipment needed to have a good viewing experience. The current system works fine for me; I can have a Netflix DVD within a day, and hang on to it until I am ready to watch and if there is something new that I must see immediately, we still have actual stores you can walk into and rent a movie.

  22. posted by Andamom on

    Of course, I’ll be watching the Keynote to see if the rumor that Apple is going to stream movies is going to come true.

  23. posted by MBC on

    I like the ability to watch on my computer and on the TV. I wouldn’t want them to go to a download-only model though because I don’t want to have to buy more hardware AND duplicate hardware (for living room, bedroom, den).

    As for the current quality for instant Netflix, I haven’t had a problem. Video looks excellent on my large laptop screen. Haven’t plugged into the HDTV yet, but as far as I’m concerned, the current arrangement is pretty much just a perk. If they canceled that, I wouldn’t cancel my subscription.

    Scratched discs are a real problem though.

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