I wasn’t one of the lucky 250,000 to receive Netflix’s new movie download service, but my buddy Matt got the hook up. Matt and I go way back and he’s always kept me current on the video game industry. As roomies in college he made sure we had 3DO and the Japanese Nintendo 64 months before US release… not to mention the Sega Saturn and the first Playstation, plus a huge Mitsubishi monitor to game on.
Anyhow, Matt’s Watch Now tab is active and he spent some time playing around with it:
It works fine — easy installation, no interruptions during the stream. Video quality is good. But the library of titles SUCKS right now (all old stuff). And uhhhhh, sitting at my desk to watch a movie… sucks too. Kinda cool overall, but I don’t see myself using this. I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it better!
Matt emailed me again the next day (after I left an urgent voicemail saying he must send pics ;) ) and mentioned the quality level provided by Netflix varies:
Funny, last night my video quality was ‘Good’. Tonight it was ‘Basic’… although it is Saturday night — prime viewing time. The drop in quality was noticeable from one to the next.
I can’t say I’m surprised by Matt’s conclusions. With the exception of those running HTPCs connected to a television (or projector), this service isn’t so appealing. Not only does Netflix keep you tethered to a PC, you also must be online at all times. I do appreciate their innovative pricing model (1 hour of viewing time per dollar spent on monthly rental service), but otherwise this (in its current form) doesn’t do much for me.