Netflix one step closer to conquer your living room Buzz this

Posted by Prasada Martala Oct 26, 2009

Over the weekend, Netflix announced that PS3 owners soon will be able to watch Netflix's streaming content. This is an interesting announcement from Netflix, considering the fact that their streaming service is already available on XBox and they are using Silverlight technology from Microsoft in their players. PS3 now joins the long list of devices that support Netflix's streaming: Roku player, Tivo player, XBox 360, LG/Samsung/Insignia Blu-ray players, LG/Sony/Vizio HDTVs, LG/Samsung Blu-ray Home Theatre Systems, Windows and Mac computers. This will help Netflix get more gaming customers subscribe to their service with the possibility of starting their own game rental service to PS3/XBox community (Beware, Gamefly!).

Next step for Netflix would be to provide the streaming service to Mobile users. An iPhone app that can start playing the show that is paused before. Also, the ability to edit 'instant queue' from the Mobile app or TV remote. I see three hurdles associated with this Netflix iPhone/Mobile app. i) iPhone compatible player technology [either Microsoft should make Silverlight iPhone/Mobile ready or Netflix should abandon her bedfellow for a while and go with different player technology for Mobiles ii) Bandwidth - While you may enjoy the streaming content on a 3G mobile, content streaming to 2.5G mobiles will not yield desired results. iii) Apple's reluctance to host such an app, as it would cut into it's iTunes service.

As the ever increasing customer base demands more quality, Netflix would have to improve it's streaming service by providing more 'new' movies to the "watch now" list and improving the stream quality. Improving stream quality is costly and time consuming. The quality of a typical streaming content falls between that of DVD and broadcast HD content (depending on your internet speed). Also, at present, streaming does not support multi-channel audio (just stereo) or closed captioning. The devices that come pre-installed with Netflix streaming service are capable of 1080p. So, Netflix should aim at providing atleast broadcast HD quality content through the streaming service in order to keep the new customers coming to them.

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