Unlimited(??!!) Streaming downloads from Netflix

The AP reports that Netflix is poised to release news that they will lift the monthly “view instantly” streaming video limits currently on their plans. A quick check over on my Netflix account does not yet show any changes or updates. Perhaps I need to wait until after midnight to see if this helps. This is seen as a presumptive strike against Apple’s anticipated Movie Rental/Download service, expected to be announced at MacWorld this week.

When this service first came out from Netflix, I was very excited. And truth be told, I was really hopped up about it. But the reality quickly set in, and I have never once come close to hitting my maximum hours. This is really no big thrill. I am the perfect candidate for this service. I have a PC with a high speed connection and a Huge wide screen monitor in my bedroom, so I can tune in movies and watch them in bed. Heaven, right? Would be except the movie selection pretty much sucks. OK- corrected statement , you can not say it is full of bad movies when it contains movies like Tootsie and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, these are great movies. There are some great classics on there, but I am not a “watch this movie a million times, because I love it so” kind of gal. I watch a movie once, maybe twice and then not again for years and years. The balance of the selection is filled with Shows from the History Channel and Rock and Roll Documentaries. Again, not all bad– but not the variety that suits the whims of my fickle movie viewing mind.

Then there are the other strange hoops and jumps to watch the movies– first off, it only works on the Windows OS, so if you run Macs or Limux or any other OS.. You are SOL. Then, even if you have a windows box, their player requires that you be using the MS Explorer Browser. I wonder how much MS paid them for that one, or what sort of lazy hack of a programmer sold that as a good idea. Last I checked, 75% of the browser hitting up this Blog were running Firefox.

The article expresses financial concerns for this move by Netflix, as the extra load will cost them more money- but unless they fix a bunch of other things about the service, I see this as no increased burden at all. I would love some data from Netflix, showing how many users currently already max out their allotment and will be excited to hear about this option. Looks more like empty PR smoke to me. Once Apple ( or Amazon, or anyone else) starts allowing download rentals of current movies, with hotter content with an easy, cross platform portable playback option? Netflix downloads are sunk. I will still not stop getting Netflix DVDs in the mail ( at least for now…) but I will be checking out those other rental options.

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