If you are a current Netflix subscriber, you’ll likely recall that they decided to enter into an agreement with Warner Bros. back in January that would delay Netflix from making new films from the studio available to subscribers for 28 days from the in-store release date. Well, it looks like more studios are jumping on board, as both Fox and Universal has now come to similar terms. What’s the upside for Netflix subscribers? More streaming movies.
For example, with the Fox agreement, you’ll need to wait 28 days before you’ll be able to get a movie like Avatar in the mail, but in exchange you’ll find streaming titles like 24, Bones, Lie to Me, Arrested Development, Prison Break, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With Universal, you’ll have to wait a bit longer for movies like It’s Complicated, but don’t fret, because Billy Elliot, The Pianist, and Being John Malkovich (among others) will be at your instant streaming disposal.
Expect more of these deals to be made, as Netflix is banking on streaming movies as the future of distribution (we agree,) and they are of the mindset that having customers wait an extra 4 weeks to get new discs is worth it if it means greater access to streaming rights. Let’s see how this all plays out. Anyone upset about this?
Read More | Netflix
When Apple finally revealed the iPad to the world back at their January 27th event, it was a long time coming for many an Apple fan. After almost three years with the iPhone around, everyone figured it was time for Apple to unleash a full-sized, proper tablet. However, time and time again the rumor mill was incorrect, as Apple Event after Apple Event came and went with nary a mention of a tablet device. So when the announcement finally came, and when pre-orders finally were being taken, many prepped to grab the iPad on day one. That day came on April 3 with the launch of the Wi-Fi iPad in the United States, which you can now purchase at the Apple Online Store.
The hype has been off the charts, so let’s step back for a minute and examine this thing. The iPad sits somewhere between the iPhone juggernaut and the ridiculously popular MacBook. Many have said that it is simply a “big iPod touch” and nothing more. Apple has called it “magical and revolutionary.” Who’s right?
We bring you the answers in our review, so hit that read link and follow along as we delve into the iPad.
For anyone concerned about a lack of killer apps on the iPad that would differentiate it from the iPhone or oPod touch, we bring you news that the Netflix iPad app is now available for download for free from the App Store, and it includes Instant Streaming. That’s right, if you’ve got your iPad connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can use it to watch the entire catalogue of Netflix Watch Instantly movies and TV shows, right on your iPad. In addition, you can add movies to your queue, rearrange things, and everything else you’d expect to do with your Netflix membership.
Of course, none of this will work unless you are a Netflix member, but if you are, you can start enjoying the 20,000+ titles available on the service right from your iPad on Saturday. Oh, and for the record, the app currently works only on the iPad - there is no Netflix app available yet for the iPhone or iPod touch.
Read More | Netflix iPad app
Our inbox has been blowing up with a bunch of readers letting us know that the Netflix Instant Streaming discs for Wii have finally started shipping. Netflix has been sending emails to members who signed up to receive the disc, letting them know to expect it to arrive in the mail tomorrow. Exciting for Wii owners who don’t own any other Netflix-enabled device, since the Wii is pretty much the only modern Netflix streaming device that doesn’t support high definition playback.
We talked with Syabas Technology, makers of the Popcorn Hour line of set-top boxes, about their new Popbox at CES 2010, where they gave us a walkthrough of the 1080p streaming, Netflix-supporting, app-centric home theater device. Seriously, this thing seems to support everything under the sun, including Java, Flash, and tons of video codecs in full HD.
A big thank you to Bing for sponsoring our CES 2010 coverage!
Blockbuster isn’t doing so hot these days, as they are in the midst of closing up shop on another 500 retail locations. They realize that they need to figure out ways to make money with their highly outdated model (rather than quickly adopting the Internet to its fullest capacity,) so they are bringing back late fees! That’s right, the late fees that Blockbuster did away with five years ago are back, although some would argue that they never went away in the first place, they were just renamed. We digress.
From here on out, you can expect to pay $1 per day in late fees when you rent a disc from your local Blockbuster, with the cap being $10 after 10 days. We bet at that point, they just charge you for the full price of the disc and call it a day. Yeah, this is why we stick with Netflix.
Read More | Slashfilm
If you’re a gamer who doesn’t own an Xbox 360 or PS3, then you’ve been left out in the cold as it pertains to Netflix streaming. All of that changes this Spring, though, as Netflix and Nintendo have announced a partnership that will allow you to stream Netflix instant content using your Wii console. Similar to the Playstation 3 scenario, you’ll have to insert a Netflix disc in order to view content, as opposed to the Xbox 360 method, which has Netflix built right in to the dashboard. No firm date has been announced just yet, but the Netflix streaming disc will be free with the cost of your Netflix subscription.
We wanted to find a nice mid-range HDTV we could recommend this year, and we think the LG 47LH50 is it.This is LG’s 47-inch, widget-powered television, and it brings the heat with a 1080p display, and 5.1 surround sound output. Why would you want to output sound from the display? Well, thanks to the Yahoo! widget support, you get things like Netflix, YouTube, and a bunch of other embedded media playback services, including the Vudu streaming movie service. Just connect the LG 47LH50 to your home network, and the content is right at your fingertips. The part, though, is the price. These typically sell for about $1500, but Amazon is selling it for $1,139.
Read More | LG 47LH50 HDV
If you’re a Playstation 3 owner who ordered one of the Netflix Instant Streaming discs, you’ll be happy to know that they’ve started shipping to customer as of today. In fact, our disc is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, alongside copious amounts of junk mail, we’re sure. The disc is the only way you’ll be able to enjoy the Netflix Watch Instantly service on your PS3 for the time being, so if you want to get in on that action and haven’t already done so, go ahead and order your disc. You do need to have an active Netflix membership as well, of course.
We are kicking off our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide with the Roku HD-XR player. Why? Well, we think that it’s the perfect time to introduce someone to the new hotness that is TV, delivered over the web, and right into the living room. Sure, Netflix has come to the Xbox 360, but if you want streaming access to the Netflix service and don’t own a game console, this is your cheapest barrier to entry. The HD-XR model also gives you access to the Amazon Unbox catalogue, as well as the entire MLB game service as well, if you are subscribed.
Definitely a great gift for movie buffs, the Roku HD-XR player is able to stream over 12,000 movies and television shows from the Netflix Watch Instantly catalogue, and over 45,000 from Amazon Video on Demand. It connects to your home network through an ethernet port, or over Wi-Fi, connecting at up to 802.11n if you have it. There’s also a USB port on back, which Roku says is for future use. Our guess is that they’ll be allowing the device to read from an external USB drive, which would be stellar.
The actual device is tiny, so it takes up barely any space, and setup takes just a couple of minutes - very simple. Of course, a Netflix subscription is required, but once you have that, everything else is a piece of cake.
Honorable Mention: If you want all the features of the Roku HD-XR, but don’t need the USB port or 802.11n wireless speeds, you can grab the Roku HD Player for $99!
Read More | Roku HD-XR
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