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Disc-Free Netflix Streaming Arrives For the PS3 and Wii 188

Posted by Soulskill
from the explaining-this-to-my-mom-just-got-easier dept.
tkdog writes "Netflix has added Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii to the list of devices that can stream their catalog's content without the need for a disc. On the Netflix blog, VP Greg Peters adds, 'In addition to removing the need for discs, we've developed a new user interface on both applications that significantly improves the experience. The new applications will allow you to search for content directly from the device and you'll also be able to view an increasing portion of our content library with subtitles or alternate audio tracks.'"
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Disc-Free Netflix Streaming Arrives For the PS3 and Wii

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  • I love Netflix (Score:2, Informative)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

    What I love most about Netflix is the ability to watch movies online as well as have them send me DVDs in the mail.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What I love most about life is that I'm not dead.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Netflix is nice, but I wish they require have subscription (another reasons why I don't have a PVR/DVR and prefer to VCRs, computers, etc.) but on demand payments. I don't watch many movies and others. I like RedBox for its 99 cents per day (even for late fees), but its selection is not very big and doesn't stream like Netflix. Amazon's on demand is OK, but limited, costs more, and has time limits unless buying it (still has DRM if keeping it). Mom and Pops, Hollywood Videos, Blockbuster, etc. are dying and

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Netflix in Canada is streaming only. And it's $8 a month. If you compare that to renting from the rental store, 2 rentals could cost as much. Compared to on demand movies from my cable provider, it's only $2 more than a single rental. $8 at the end of the month is almost completely unnoticeable. If they started doing on demand payments, it would just mean that you'd have to think about whether or not you wanted to pay $X every time you turned it on. By making is a single, very low, flat rate, they ma
        • by antdude (79039)

          Well, I rarely watch movies these days like every other month. Theater is even super rare. Maybe once or twice a month these days? :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by yodleboy (982200)
        Why would you want on demand payments?? Sure, I use Amazon for new releases, but for old content, why would you want to be nickle and dimed like that? Say you're a big fan of TJ Hooker. Now, at this point, the only people willing to pay for something like that have to be serious fans that would probably want all the episodes, not just one or two. You can stream it from Amazon for the low price of $2 per episode. For a one time viewing. At that price, you can just buy the DVD's and "enjoy" Hooker as ofte
    • Netflix USA and Netflix Canada are two very different things, as far as content goes.

      First, let me say that what Netflix is doing is really great. They offer their services on a lot of devices and their streaming-only service in Canada is only 8$CAD per month. I'm sure all the competition is scared of Netflix, especially the cables companies. I can't wait to see them try to lower our already-low monthly caps to try and stop Netflix from gaining ground. I even bet the CRTC will stay silent and do nothing whe

  • by Serenissima (1210562) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @12:08AM (#33942556)
    But everything seems to play fine on my PS3. One thing that's awesome is that you can push and hold the left and right and scroll continuously through the lists. Also, it shows 2 horizontal lists instead of one list. Nothing wrong with it, but I'd prefer to be able to choose how it's displayed.
    • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      One thing that's awesome is that you can push and hold the left and right and scroll continuously through the lists.

      Speaking as somebody who doesn't own a video game console, and someone who doesn't use netflix, that sounds like any awfully low bar for "awesome".

      Isn't being able to hold down a key and scroll continuously pretty much a universally standard UI feature? Hell, even xterm does it...

      • It was quite irritating when you could NOT do it on the disc version. Now that it is there, by comparison to the previous version, it is SIGNIFICANTLY more awesome. By several degrees.

        :D
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          You could always do it on the disk version. Only analog stick and hold it about 50% into the right or left. It scrolls rather slowly though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by internewt (640704)

        One thing that's awesome is that you can push and hold the left and right and scroll continuously through the lists.

        Speaking as somebody who doesn't own a video game console, and someone who doesn't use netflix, that sounds like any awfully low bar for "awesome".

        You obviously haven't used proprietary products much recently. They are frequently so dumbed down and simplified that if there is a useful feature, the users that can recognise its usefulness go "wow". Those that can't recognise the usefulness get confused by it, and call the manufacturer to complain. This raises support costs, meaning that the next generation of product from the manufacturer stands to be dumbed down even further!

        Now then, I'm not saying that this means Free stuff doesn't have UI deficienci

  • Absolutely love streaming Netflix on my PS3. This just made it even easier for me to be lazy and never need to get off my couch!
  • by adamwpants (858079) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @12:12AM (#33942596) Homepage

    Canada has had this technology for weeks now!

    God, I've always wanted to say that.

    • by Ecuador (740021)

      Well, we're not exactly back in the days of the Avro Arrow...

    • by cob666 (656740)
      I live in the States and travel to Canada several times a year for a few weeks each. I was pretty pissed off on my last visit when I wasn't able to watch any of the shows I had in my instant queue because I had a canada ip address. I'm up there now and signed up for a separate account just to watch some of the stuff in my US queue and I'm appalled by how much stuff is NOT available in the great white north. The regional restrictions on content due to licensing issues is just absurd. I honestly feel that
      • I live in the States and travel to Canada several times a year for a few weeks each. I was pretty pissed off on my last visit when I wasn't able to watch any of the shows I had in my instant queue because I had a canada ip address. I'm up there now and signed up for a separate account just to watch some of the stuff in my US queue and I'm appalled by how much stuff is NOT available in the great white north. The regional restrictions on content due to licensing issues is just absurd. I honestly feel that if I have a US mailing address as well as a credit card on my account that has a US billing address then i should be able to watch my movies when I'm traveling.

        Look into setting up a VPN on your home computer or using a VPN service.

    • I was going to post the same thing. We had this released up north last month. Been enjoying my free discless trial for several weeks already.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <<slashdot> <at> <worf.net>> on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @12:16AM (#33942622)

    Well, given I haven't updated my 3.15 PS3, but also have a 3.41 update firmware on my hard drive. And given all updates beyond 3.41 were more of ways to stamp out jailbreaks than actual features (well, there's the crippled 3D Blu-Ray support... but anyone with 3DTVs would probably want a better 3D Blu-Ray player that what the PS3 gives you).

    This might be the only real reason to lose the jailbreak...

    Anyhow, I wonder what Microsoft has to counter this - their Fall Update is due soon. They need to give Netflix out for free at the minimum, but the 5.1/1080p support is also required. Fun times.

    • by socsoc (1116769)
      I'm not sure what fw it requires, but it just showed up under videos, then asked for permission to install when I clicked on it. It may have come in a recent fw update, but there's not a new fw update out tonight explicitly for it.
      • by nschubach (922175)

        Am I the only one that saw it appear for a split second, then disappear? I was on my PS3 Friday and after I shut down Borderlands, I scrolled over to video and could have swore I saw Netflix flash on the screen for a second then it vanished. I had to do a "digital doubletake" and go back to look, but it was gone.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        For PS3 it requires 3.5 and I'll be complaining to my Attorney General about that later on today. Because while it's not Netflix's fault that Sony is being a dick about it, I don't think that Sony can legally take away features that have been there previously because you're not willing to update. As in I don't think they can take away the PSN access and require that you update in order to do things like watch Netflix movies.

        As for the Xbox360, no clue what firmware that's going to require. But supposedly
    • I'd much rather have a higher bitrate 720p feed than the same at 1080p for what you tend to get over internet streams... upscaling in the device would be better than the relative feed per px stream... a good 3-5Mb stream for 720p is better than the same bitrate for 1080p. Once you clear 5+ Mb it starts to even out and move in favor of 1080p
      • by hedwards (940851)
        I was actually shocked at how much better the 720p stream of Eureka was than the other day when I was watching it on my old TV. I know 720p isn't real HD, but it is impressive nonetheless and everything just seems to pop in a way that wasn't possible previously.
    • They'll probably introduce some sort of online system that makes it extremely easy to chat online with your friends while in separate games or party up and find/join/party up with each other in the same games. That would be really helpful in competing with the PS3 finally catching up with netflix ;)
  • Disks Expiring (Score:4, Informative)

    by toleraen (831634) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @12:17AM (#33942632)
    Engadget is reporting [engadget.com] that the disks will stop working after 31 days, however it's not clear if that's all disks or just those that downloaded the update.

    Anyone know for sure for those of us that are holding out for OtherOS?
    • Netflix sent me an e-mail indicating that they would no longer support the discs after 31 days.

      I won't miss the discs. The upgrade rocks.

    • by Nimey (114278)

      I installed the Netflix channel on my Wii and now it refuses to use the disc version.

    • Well my girlfriend tried using the Netflix disc last night and it told her to go download the installable version instead. I didn't see the message, perhaps it could have been skipped, but she left me with the impression the discs are already dead. She also noted the disc told her in big, bold font:

      Do Not Return This Disc To Netflix!

    • by hedwards (940851)
      You're screwed. Basically either give up the OtherOS feature or you don't get to stream. Last night when I tried it, I wasn't successful getting the disc to work. I may have missed something, but it wasn't working.

      In order to download the update you have to be logged into your PSN account, which means that you have to be running the 3.50 firmware. I recommend complaining to your Attorney General or whoever it is that is in charge of consumer complaints in your region. Given that Sony has been disabling f
  • Bandwidth Hog (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Scorch_Mechanic (1879132) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @12:32AM (#33942712) Journal
    Losing the disk for the Wii is great, and the search function is something I've pined after for many an evening. However, Netflix has yet to address my biggest concern: Bandwidth usage.

    I'd like it if I had more control over how much of my pipes Netflix gets to use. Yes, I know I can diddle my router/modem to fix this, but it needs to be in the interface. Y'see, I play multiplayer FPS games (mostly TF2) during my downtime, which is co-incidentally the same time other people in the house have downtime. They'll load up the Netflix streaming player on their laptops, and my latency will double for thirty seconds. Which wouldn't be so bad, if Netflix didn't continue to hog the entire pipe for three quarters of a second every five seconds after the main load to update its buffer. Mix in the weird lag compensation Valve uses for TF2 and the relatively high latency values I get on my favorite server, and trying to use any strategy but sentry-humping turtling becomes impossible.

    Needless to say, this kinda ruins my entertainment. I've come a cease-fire agreement with the other parties in the house about usage periods and times, but the truce remains uneasy.
    • Re:Bandwidth Hog (Score:5, Informative)

      by toleraen (831634) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @12:49AM (#33942776)
      In the time it took you to write this post you could have googled your router model + set up QOS and had the issue taken care of. I'll take Netflix's dynamic quality-change-based-on-available-bandwidth any day.
      • I love my tomato loaded wrt myself... My torrents and other large downloads don't interfere with my browsing and email.
      • the time it took you to write this post you could have googled your router model + set up QOS

        Google WGR614 QOS or WGR614 custom firmware shows that the stock firmware doesn't support it, and unlike the WGR614L, the WGR614 has only 1 MB of RAM, into which the vast majority of custom firmwares don't fit.

      • The situation isn't that simple. I have QoS to my xbox for things like this, but it doesn't help when my wife uses netflix on her laptop because the system isn't as simple as you envision it. When my bandwidth use hits its cap (4Mb) for more than 1 second my ISP increases my latency. It is there way of punishing me for ... i dunno. Same thing happens when I torrent even on file with a limit of 10 connections (they must do packet inspection).

        Thankfully, my wife goes to bed before me, so I use that time t

      • by CaseM (746707)

        It doesn't have to be an "either-or". Netlix is taking the easy way out by just hogging the full pipe. It would be far better if they had allows for several, hard-coded speed tiers and, additionally, had a variable option that operates the same way it does now.

    • by SheeEttin (899897)
      Perhaps you could watch something with them? ;)
    • My girlfriend watches Netflix all the time while I'm neglecting her for some TF2 action. I've never noticed a problem whatsoever on my 7mbit down, 0.5mbit up cable connection. On the other hand, bit torrent gets shut off with a fury.
  • Stability (Score:5, Interesting)

    by internic (453511) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @12:37AM (#33942734)

    On the XBox 360 I'd simply take a client was a bit more stable. Heck, I'd probably even be willing to put in a disk. When I use the Netflix application, trying to fast forward or reverse more than a few seconds leads to probably about a 30% chance of being kicked out of the movie and back to the screen you were on when you selected it. What's more, it seems that most of the time this happens the software loses all record of where you were in the movie.

    I'm shocked that the player could have such a basic usability problem on known (locked down) hardware used by so many people. Hardware, I might add, where you have to be signed up for an extra pay service (XBox Live gold) in addition to your Netflix subscription and Internet service just to be able to watch the streaming movies.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      On the XBox 360 I'd simply take a client was a bit more stable. Heck, I'd probably even be willing to put in a disk. When I use the Netflix application, trying to fast forward or reverse more than a few seconds leads to probably about a 30% chance of being kicked out of the movie and back to the screen you were on when you selected it.

      And on the PC, trying to seek to another location, even one which is included by the buffer, forces a rebuffer. Anyone notice that the common factor in both these pieces of shit is Microsoft?

    • by CaseM (746707)

      Wireless connection? I'm betting so. I have no problem fast-forwarding movies when I'm hard-wired in.

  • Why did it take them until now to figure out that people might want to search through the selection of thousands of movies?
  • I was hoping something like this would happen. The CD drive (can I call it a CD-ROM?) failed and was replaced with a new unit. I have not yet had a chance to try replacing the drive... but this means I can add streaming to the TV in the bedroom. While it seems the Wii only plays games when my little one has friends over, it gets used for Netflix on a regular basis.

    • by SheeEttin (899897)

      The CD drive (can I call it a CD-ROM?)

      No, because it's a DVD-ROM drive. I hear Nintendo continually denies it, but Wii drives can and do read DVDs.
      Just install the Homebrew Channel [wiibrew.org] and MPlayer CE [wiibrew.org], stick in a DVD, and off you go.

      • by tepples (727027)

        Wii drives can and do read DVDs

        Nintendo optical discs have a slightly different sector layout from DVD-ROM. Reading standard DVD-ROM requires a debug mode in the drive's firmware that apparently Nintendo has since removed from newly manufactured consoles.

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          But it's certainly not a CD drive. It's a crippled DVD drive.

          • But it's certainly not a CD drive. It's a crippled DVD drive.

            It certainly is a CD drive as well as a crippled DVD drive; its conceivable that a "crippled" DVD drive might be crippled in such a way as to not be a CD drive, but normal DVD drives are CD drives and the one in the Wii is not crippled in a way that changes that.

  • It does, after all, have a web browser. I use it all the time. You can rather painlessly switch between the Netflix streaming app (for watching movies) and the web browser (for searching for movies to stream).
  • I have both a PS3 and a Tivo and I'll definitely be using my PS3 more for streaming now. I'm hoping that someone at Tivo gets a clue and pushes for updates to the Netflix client on their devices. I love my Tivo's but the Netflix client is absolutely terrible.

    Tivo if you read slashdot update your damn client!!! :-P

  • This is great news, but it bothers me. As a Linux user I can't use Netflix's streaming content, despite being a paying customer. I've watched many movies and television shows on hulu.com with no problems. There are no technical issues, Netflix just doesn't have a problem with giving the middle finger to some of their paying customers.

    • by OneFix (18661)

      Hulu uses Flash and does not apply DRM to any of their streams. Netflix had to add DRM to stream to the desktop, so they had to go with Silverlight...so, it's the MPAA that you have to thank for that. On the other hand, embeded systems like Roku, XBox, and most likely PS3 and Wii are able to receive the stream without the DRM, so there might be hope yet.

      • Thanks for the info.

        I've been thinking about going Mac after my Ubuntu box dies. I had my box custom built with good parts and it is still running extremely well after a large number of years so there is time to wait to see if this happens.

  • When does netflix come to linux?

    Hulu.com has no problem streaming movies to linux users, why does Netflix?

    • Because it runs on Silverlight and Microsoft refuses to offer the necessary parts of their DRM stack to Moonlight.

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