Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Netflix for the New Year

This is not a news flash because it has been operating for a while, but if you haven't gotten around to trying Netflix, there's never been a better time to start. I re-enlisted about a month ago and it has improved significantly over the past year. First of all, it's not just about movie titles, although there are about a gazillion of those available, all nicely arranged by genre. If television is what you're looking for, there are thousands of episodes and entire seasons. Those are arranged by genre too. You can hunt for classic TV shows, sci-fi, dramas, comedies or documentaries. There is even a miniseries section, which (alas) does not yet have ABC's Stephen King classic The Stand, although it says it's coming.

The best part about the all new Netflix is that much of its content is available instantly. That's right, no waiting for the DVD in the mail. If you have a PC or a laptop or an HDTV, you can stream TV shows and movies on the spot. You can also hook up an XBOX, PS3 or Wii to your TV set and watch with those devices as well. It is, without question, the coolest thing for TV and movie junkies ever. Check out the weird list of programs old and new that I've streamed over the past few days:

Tigers of the Snow

Dogs Decoded: Nova

Berkeley in the Sixties

Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West

Lonesome Dove: Leaving (4 episodes)

Auschwitz: Ep. 1: Surprising Beginnings (6 episodes)

Precious: Based on the Novel by Sapphire

Touching the Void

Battlestar: Ssn 1: 33 (15 pisodes)

As you can see, Netflix also very nicely kept a tally of what I've ordered so far. It's always asking me to rate the content, so it can use its Artificial Intelligence algorithm to determine what I might like next. I have no idea what it would make from the list above. It should just suggest David Lynch's "Eraserhead" for anyone that has this kind of eclectic roster.All of this endless fascinating content (unlimited DVD's and instant streaming) is available for around $8 a month. I also got the first month free. How is that kind of pricing even possible? I'll tell you right now, I'm never paying the high cost of PPV again. If anything is going to offer solid competition to cable, this is it. Netflix already has 16 million members in the U.S. and Canada, and they are growing like gang busters. Plus they just announced that a number of the world's leading electronics companies will place the Netflix "One-Click" option on their remote controls so Netflix content can be streamed by pressing a button.

Netflix is located in beautiful Los Gatos (my neighbor!) and is one of the fastest growing tech companies in Silicon Valley. I think it's heaven and I can't remember the last time I was so enchanted with a content pipeline. Not even my early addiction/adoption of YouTube comes close. What a wonderful world where I can stream a Nat Geo episode about Siberian Tigers one night and eagerly await a special edition of the classic movie "East of Eden" in tomorrow's mail. It's gonna be a great year for viewing!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I'm also a big Netflix fan, mostly because of the instant viewing option, and their good supply of TV shows. We're making our way through the "30 Rock" (which my husband missed most of) and he's also loving the pretty good selection of Spanish language movies (that's the Chilean in him). I love the doc section, like you. Finally the price point is good, too. If we can only be sure that our internet providers aren't going to try to throttle our broadband, we will be in like Flynn! Also great for Canadians who actually got the streaming-only option before we did!

I'm with you -- Netflix is terrific!