Sunday, April 18, 2010

Streaming Netflix Movies on the Apple iPad is Great

I just watched Bad Company on NetFlix and it was a good movie.

Bad Company (2002) PG-13

Veteran CIA agent Oakes (Sir Anthony Hopkins) hooks up with street-smart bookie Hayes (Chris Rock), who's been asked to replace his murdered, Harvard-educated, twin brother spy on a top-secret mission. But Oakes has only nine days to train Hayes, and Hayes looks like a lost cause. This eye-popping action comedy from director Joel Schumacher and producer Jerry Bruckheimer co-stars Kerry Washington and Peter Stormare.

I have been a fan of Netflix for quite some time. I just checked my account and it states "Member Since November 2004".  Here is a little bit of Netflix history from WikiPedia:

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is a service offering online flat rate DVD and Blu-ray disc rental-by-mail and video streaming in the United States. Established in 1997 and headquartered in Los Gatos, California, it has amassed a collection of 100,000 titles and approximately 10 million subscribers. The company has more than 55 million discs and, on average, ships 1.9 million DVDs to customers each day. Netflix previously claimed to spend about $300 million a year on postage. On February 25, 2007, Netflix announced the billionth DVD delivery. Two years later, on April 2, 2009, the company announced that it had mailed its two billionth DVD, and awarded the recipient with a complimentary lifetime membership. It topped the ForeSee Results’ Top 100 Online Retail Satisfaction Index with an American Customer Satisfaction Index score of 86, well over the industry average of 75.

So it looks like a was a fan long before I became a customer. I remember being being cautious about Netflix at the beginning. But the late fees abuse by Blockbuster had reached an all time high back in 2004. Then another thing happened, in August 2004, Blockbuster introduced an online DVD rental service in the U.S. to compete with the established market leader, Netflix. I knew that I was through with Blockbuster from an offline rental source and I had started using Hollywood Movies instead. The lure of the Internet movie rental was still there and growing strong, I finally bit and became a NetFlix member in November.

My decision was confirmed as the right choice, because the very next year Blockbuster showed that they weren't done screwing their customers. In 2005, Blockbuster launched a marketing campaign describing changes in its late fees policy and offering "No Late Fees" on rentals. The program sparked investigations and charges of misrepresentation in 48 states and the District of Columbia, as state attorneys general including Bill Lockyer of California and Eliot Spitzer of New York argued that customers were being automatically charged the full purchase price of late rentals and a restocking fee for rentals returned after 30 days. I was glad that I had cut myself from such a foolish company.

So I have enjoyed being a NetFlix customer since then.

One of the best features about a Netflix membership is that it offers internet video streaming ("Watch Instantly") to eligible subscribers, enabling the viewing of films directly on a PC or TV at home. Internet video streaming comes free with Netflix's regular subscription service.

In its simplest form, video is streamed to the user using standard PC hardware, and requires Microsoft's Silverlight software to be installed. Viewing is initiated by pressing a "Play Instantly" button, and played back on the PC monitor. Films can be paused or restarted at will.
Video can also be viewed on various set-top devices which are listed as follows:

Apple iPad, Insignia Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems, LG Electronics Blu-ray Disc players, TVs (LH50 series LCD and PS80 plasma), and home theater systems, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Panasonic Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems, Philips Blu-ray Disc players, Roku set-top box, Samsung Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems, Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD Media Players, Sony Blu-ray Disc players, TVs, and PlayStation 3, TiVo DVRs (HD, HD XL, Series3, Premiere, or Premiere XL), Vizio Blu-ray Disc players and TVs.

They have also announced that streaming video would be available on Boxee Box set-top box, Philips TVs, Popbox set-top box and for you Apple lovers, on the iPhone, and iPod Touch ( I hope the Gen 1 iPod Touch is supported ).

I was delighted when Netflix announced that a Wii disc would be available for April 2010 and they delivered on that promise and on time. I now enjoy watching these streams on my Big TV via the Wii (on my couch)instead of on my 17" laptop computer.

Even though you can't stream every movie that is available on DVD, this extra no additional cost is very much appreciated and used often. The nice thing is that Netflix will remember the last stopping point of each movie that you stream, and will continue from the point as you jump between different devices. The iPad is one of the newest devices added to the ever growing list.

Apple iPad owners can now enjoy streaming video from Netflix on their iPad. The only issue I saw so far is that the iPad version wasn't picking up my recently viewed movie that I watched on the Wii. So I had to remember what the name was because it wasn't in my recently viewed movies list. I am sure they will fix that soon enough. If you are a Netflix member, then it is a no-brainer to get the free app from the Apple App Store and start enjoying the streams. If you are not a Netflix subscriber, I highly recommend joining and enjoy yet another reason to love you iPad.

After viewing this, there are more Youtube videos showing off Neflix streaming on the iPad. Check them out.

Carl W. Brooks is an entrepreneur that specializes in new technology. Mr. Brooks has been an online publisher since 1999 and has numerous sites and blogs that educate everyday people on how to either use, save money on or make money from the technology around us. He enjoys sharing with the world his unique take on technology and how to use it best in your life.

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