Posts Tagged ‘Streaming’

Android Market Now Rents Movies

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Google’s annual IO conference began today, and Android was a highlight of the keynote. Among the more notable new features, Google is now offering movie rentals through the Android Market. Movies range from $1.99 to $3.99, and have similar terms and expiration policies as other services. I am still looking for the $1.99 selection. There is a good mix of newer and older titles available, from “The King’s Speech” to Monty Python’s “Meaning of Life”.

Browsing through the movie selection, there are a number of features available. You can watch a preview with YouTube, get critic reviews or user reviews, tweet about the movie, read a synopsis, and find out general information about the movie. Movie ratings, length, and contract terms are available as well. Once purchased, the rental is valid for 30 days if the movie is not watched. Once playback begins, the timeline drops to 24 hours. This is comparable to the PlayStation Network and Dish Network’s pay per view options.

I think this service is poised to give both Netflix and Amazon a run for their money. The layout is clean, easy to follow, and conveniently connected to your Google account. This means you can watch on your Android phone or your computer, no matter where you are. There’s even a feature to watch the movie offline if you don’t have a consistent connection. This is done with a “pin” feature, and can take a good chunk of time on a tablet such as the Xoom. Google posts download times as 45-90 minutes for HD and 30-60 minutes for SD. Streaming is instant, so you might want to do that if your data plan isn’t unlimited.

The service is currently available only in the United States. Google suggests you download the movie before leaving the country if you want to use the service elsewhere. An Android app is available on the Xoom, and requires Flash. The app should be available for Froyo and above soon, but you can browse for movies at market.android.com/movies.

I think this feature will be getting a lot of action in my household. I’m looking forward to spending some more time with it. This weekend’s road trip should provide ample opportunity to play, so I’ll post my experiences next week.

Netflix Launches Streaming-Only Plan in the US

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Netflix announced its new streaming-only service today. For $7.99, you can watch unlimited streaming video from your internet-capable TV, device, or video game console.

“We are now primarily a streaming video company delivering a wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet”
Reed Hastings, Netflix Cofounder and CEO

The pricing of the DVD plans is going up by at least $1. The $1 hike is for the one or two disc options. The other ones increase slightly more. See the updated pricing list below for details.

Streaming videos are definitely becoming more popular, and evidently Netflix’s streaming customer base has been growing. Canadian customers already had access to stream-only service. It will be interesting to see how well Netflix does with this new US plan. It would have been nice to see the pricing remain steady, but the increase isn’t terribly steep at the bottom tier.

At $7.99, Netflix is competing directly with Hulu Plus. I think Netflix is the better value between the two, so we’ll see if the market agrees. Netflix’s streaming content is not as extensive as its DVD collection, but according to Netflix the streaming options have been steadily increasing. Even so, I think I am interested in keeping the DVD option a bit longer.

Netflix Now On iPhone

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

As Blockbuster is heading for Chapter 11, Netflix is making headlines the right way. You can now stream Netflix on your iPhone and iPod Touch. For subscribers with an $8.99 plan or higher, the app is available at “no additional cost.” The app is available over Wi-Fi or 3G. If you stop the stream it will resume where you left off. You can even resume playback on another device, say a video game console like the PS3 or Wii.

Netflix has been making great strides lately. Even if it bowed down to some of the larger movie studios who mistakenly think a 30 day delay will improve sales, Netflix is clearly showing it has what it takes to survive. Blockbuster can’t claim anything of the sort. Netflix is available in a number of places already, and the list is consistently growing. Once it hits Android, Netflix will be hard to displace. From all appearances the Android version is forthcoming. How do you use Netflix? I currently have it on disc, Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, and of course streaming on my laptop. There are DVD players and even televisions that come with the app too. Are you excited about the iPhone version? Let me know in the comments.