Almost a year after the first announcement, Netflix finally has on-demand video

Netflix has begun to roll out the company’s long rumored video streaming service. The new feature will automatically be added at no extra charge to Subscribers' Monthly Membership over the course of the next six months.

Netflix’s new video streaming feature will allow users to stream movies instantaneously online. The new feature does not require Netflix users to download any large media files. Instead, video clips are instantly streamed using real-time playback technology. The only software needed is a one-time installation of a Netlfix browser applet. After that, videos can be viewed directly inside the browser. Users are allowed to pause the movie along with jumping to any part of it. Naturally, Internet connectivity is required at a minimum bandwidth of one megabit per second. The higher the bandwidth, though, the better the video quality will get. Quality ranges from “current Netflix previews to DVD quality with a three-megabit-per-second connection.”

“Subscribers on the entry-level $5.99 plan will have six hours of online movie watching per month and subscribers on Netflix's most popular plan, $17.99 for unlimited DVD rental and three discs out at a time, will have 18 hours of online movie watching per month.” Each minute of video you watch will count against you. This feature will come in especially handy when previewing content, such as watching the first ten minutes of a movie to see whether you will actually like it.

The service is currently Windows XP only. Netflix is planning, however, to expand it to a larger number of platforms, including cellphones. "Over the coming years we'll expand our selection of films, and we'll work to get to every Internet-connected screen, from cell phones to PCs to plasma screens. The PC screen is the best Internet-connected screen today, so we are starting there. "

At its launch, the new feature will have around 1,000 titles. Netflix hopes to have the selection rapidly expand throughout this year and it already has a number of launch partners, including , “NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema and Lionsgate.”

The feature is aimed at attracting Internet users who have made streaming video-based websites like YouTube popular. In addition, the new feature will also allow Netflix to continue competing with rival BlockBuster.

Netflix originally slated the service for a late 2006 launch, but missed its target date.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Related Articles
NetFlix via Downloads in 2006
May 30, 2006, 10:48 AM

Latest Blog Posts

Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki