Print 29 comment(s) - last by rburnham.. on Feb 6 at 10:36 AM

Netflix on the Xbox 360 has hit a significant milestone only three months after launch

To make game consoles more appealing during the current economic crisis around the world, console makers are adding features and services that help the consoles appeal to non-core gaming audiences. These features typically revolve around home entertainment like music and video streaming.

Microsoft announced that its Xbox 360 console would get an application for streaming Netflix movies in July of last year and the application launched in November. Microsoft announced this week that since its launch in November, a million Xbox owners have installed and activated the Netflix application.

The Netflix application allows Xbox Live Gold members with Netflix accounts stream movies and TV shows from a library of 12,000 available titles directly to their TVs via the Xbox console.

Netflix Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Kilgore said in a statement, "Netflix continues to provide its 9.4 million subscribers unprecedented convenience, selection, and value. With more than 100,000 titles on DVD and 12,000 movies and TV episodes available to watch instantly, there's no better way to enjoy movies than Netflix. As these strong results on Xbox demonstrate, Xbox LIVE is a terrific way for Netflix members to enjoy watching movies instantly on their TVs."

So far, Microsoft says that Xbox owners have streamed a total of 1.5 billion minutes of content from Netflix. Netflix says that a growing portion of the 12,000 titles in its streaming library are available in HD resolution.

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I like it
By Ramshambo on 2/5/2009 10:55:02 AM , Rating: 2
Me and my girlfriend have watched 4 seasons of The Office and several movies on this and it's great. Only complaint is that Friday and Saturday night are pretty much out of the question when it comes to watching anything. Only get like 1 or 2 bars for connection speed.

RE: I like it
By novacthall on 2/5/2009 11:01:25 AM , Rating: 1
This is exactly our experience. We're on Charter 5MBPS cable internet, which during off-peak hours works swimmingly. We've been queueing up an episode of Heroes when I get home to watch through dinner. Usually the second one will have reduced quality, though still quite passable. Tempting a third, however, would be akin to watching Heroes with sponsorship by YouTube. ~shudder~

It's not a Charter problem or a Netflix/Xbox problem, though, so all involved parties get high marks in my book.

For us, this was the final nail in the Blockbuster coffin. And good riddance.

RE: I like it
By rudy on 2/5/2009 11:17:13 AM , Rating: 5
Then who's problem is it?

RE: I like it
By novacthall on 2/5/2009 7:58:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's an infrastructure problem. We live in a densely populated suburbia, where cable internet is the only real appealing choice. During non-peak hours our download is as advertised, but during peak it falls by an order of magnitude.

Such is the reality/dirty little secret of cable.

RE: I like it
By rburnham on 2/6/2009 10:36:41 AM , Rating: 2
Even though I live in busy Las Vegas, my neighborhood is mostly retired people, which I would assume means most of them do not use or need high speed internet, so our cable speeds have been mostly great. The new Netflix on the 360 has been a lot of fun, and, if I may be so bold, really gives me no reason to pirate movies or shows.

RE: I like it
By Hiawa23 on 2/5/2009 11:03:05 AM , Rating: 2
I have been a member of Netflix since day 1 & have loved this service. I too have been watching 30Rock & the Office, & caught up on the Ateam, some are HD. Also, they have a nice list of Kungfu movies I missed & a pretty nice African American selection. Great service, although I always have 3-4 bars & usually only watch my movies on the weekend.

RE: I like it
By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 11:10:59 AM , Rating: 2
Torrents. My only real options, aside from just ordering the dvds.

RE: I like it
By Mojo the Monkey on 2/5/2009 1:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
Dont forget "Weeds". They have seasons 1 and 2. I had heard about it but never took to the time to see it. Now that its so convenient, I'm hooked. The only problem is that it forced me to go to Blockbuster to get season 3 (not out on netflix - yet?)

Also, I hope they start rolling out more movies on their instant service. You can burn through the decent stuff they have pretty quickly.

RE: I like it
By kattanna on 2/5/2009 11:28:11 AM , Rating: 2
its quite apparent its being used.

before the xbox 360 launch we used the ROKU box and never had any slowdowns in quality. but afterwards.. wow, we almost always get slowdowns now in the evenings where the show will pause to readjust to a slower speed.

heck on my 7Mb line i have even had a show want to start with only a single bar... um no. thanks

hopefully netflix will get the demand issue worked out.

otherwise.. i really like the way the xbox does tv shows listed compared to the roku unit.

RE: I like it
By koenshaku on 2/5/2009 11:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
I have been thinking about this service ever since it released I guess I will subscribe since I don't have cable anyway.

RE: I like it
By StevoLincolnite on 2/5/2009 12:58:59 PM , Rating: 2
So have I, only problem is... It's not available in Australia, 1 Million Subscribers Netflix? Expand world wide and watch that number grow!

RE: I like it
By hcahwk19 on 2/5/2009 12:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto for my fiance and me. We have watch every episode of the first 4 seasons of the Office in HD and they look great. As long as I have 3 or 4 bars of connection, it streams in HD. 2 bars is basically DVD quality and I can tell the difference. Over the couple of weeks, the quality of the streams have improved greatly. I rarely get below 3 bars connection on anything I watch in HD now.

RE: I like it
By walk2k on 2/5/2009 1:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, when I used to have Comcast cable, their "On Demand" would crap out on Fri/Sat nights. Actually any time during prime-time, it was about impossible to get a HD stream. SD was generally better, but I don't watch SD.

That said, when it did work it was decent quality and started playing right away, no downloading, no buffering, etc...

RE: I like it
By NullSubroutine on 2/6/2009 7:14:20 AM , Rating: 2
I hate it and canceled netflix soon after trying it out. The movie selection sucks and the way the method to add movies to que is so messed up it barely worth trying.

On Demand FTW!
By SiliconJon on 2/5/2009 10:56:04 AM , Rating: 4
On-demand video services are what I've been holding out for. I haven't had a cable or satellite subscription in quite some time as I just don't find it's value to be what I am looking for. And I'm tired of buying physical media goods to only watch them a few times and then watch them take up space and collect dust.

The entertainment industry has a huge potential waiting in the on-demand future where I can watch what I want when I want. Yes, DVR does this to some degree, but not to the degree of cost and efficiency that on-demand is capable of now that we have some serious broadband technologies at the "cheap".

But I'll tell you this Netflix and Microsoft: I'm not paying for XBOX Live Gold, though I certainly did try it in conjuction with my Netflix membership. This multi-tier subscription fee bonanza is a pain, and unless Microsoft is footing some of the delivery cost, I don't see any reason other than greed as to why you require the gold subscription to obtain netflix feeds on the 360. As for you Netflix, the instant watch feature is fantastic, but I want you to trade in my mailed DVD's for a instant-watch new release program. You can limit me per month on how many new releases I instantly watch. Heck, I only get about 4 DVD's in the mail per month anyway since I prefer to watch at my leisure rather than in a rush to get another title - hense my optimal demographic for the instant-watch feature.

Nix any additional costs in utilizing my PS3 & 360 for Netflix instant watching and give me a better selection of instant watch titles and I'll be back there in a heart beat.

RE: On Demand FTW!
By bighairycamel on 2/5/2009 11:32:44 AM , Rating: 2
I pretty much share the same mentatlity as you. The service seems to be for people who already happen to have a netflix account, and also already have a gold account. I'm not paying for a gold account either, but I use an HTPC for streaming content so why would I?

As far as the new releases go, I've always assumed licensing fees play a big part in this. If I remember correctly I thought AppleTV was able to offer new releases, so Netflix probably has the ability to steam new releases as well, it just comes down to cost. Licensing would probably be higher, and the increase in bandwidth needs might cost more than postage.

RE: On Demand FTW!
By lukasbradley on 2/5/2009 1:20:38 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not paying for XBOX Live Gold

I agree completely. I don't get any value from it. Paying for a subscription to a service to access another fee-based service is not on my to-do list.

RE: On Demand FTW!
By Topweasel on 2/5/2009 3:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
Its supposed to be a bonus to people on gold and another reason for people to get gold. Silver is only supposed get you onto LIVE site for updates and stuff. Gold was always supposed to be the networking account. Why give you free networking services if your using a free non networking account?

RE: On Demand FTW!
By etherreal on 2/5/2009 5:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
For those of you not interested in xbox360/Gold membership, I highly recommend you check out the Roku. It's small, affordable ($120 shipped), easy to use, and best of all, the service is free with your Netflix account.

We have had no issue with it at all, the streams are easily DVD quality. Selection is improving with time, and it will soon be supporting Amazon's On-Demand rental service, and rumors abound of future Hulu support as well.

Its a good alternative for sure.

By Smilin on 2/5/2009 12:50:36 PM , Rating: 1
Some info for those looking into this:

I was using Tivo for this (same service as the xbox) and it sucks.

Despite having a connection with plenty of bars It would stop once or twice during a movie.

The HD movies are not high def, they are "higher def" in ALMOST the same quality as a DVD. Non HD movies are obviously lower quality...not as bad as say a webcam, more like say a good quality VHS tape.

Sound is in Stereo, not surround.

Also the Netflix movie selection generally sucks. First releases are few and far between. Downloadable content is even more limited, and if you also have discs shipped their blu-ray selection is pathetic.

I cancelled my membership a couple weeks ago. For now I'll stick to my local video store for Blu-ray and use Amazon Unbox (also on Tivo) to download anything else. I'm only interested in content I can view on the entertainment center. If you are willing to put up with PC only content there are tons of services out there to choose from.

You don't have to take my word for it though. Netflix has a free trial can experience the suck for yourself.

RE: Sucks
By walk2k on 2/5/2009 1:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
I don't use the streaming service but you are totally wrong about the disc/mail service they pretty much have EVERY title ever made, the selection couldn't possibly BE any better.

RE: Sucks
By zombiexl on 2/5/2009 2:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they sometimes are slow to get new releases on BR. Not sure why, I havent found a pattern yet.

RE: Sucks
By Bateluer on 2/5/2009 3:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't checked much into the BD selection, don't have a player, but their mail order selection is top notch. Easily on par with Amazon, Blockbuster, etc.

Their streaming service needs some work though. Ideally, everything that is available through the mail should also be stream-able.

Streaming HD content would be great, but lets be realistic. US broadband is a disgrace. Not only do we have a pathetic amount of bandwidth, the shoddy monthly caps that the ISPs impose would be maxed out after a few BD quality movies.

Stupid Service
By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 10:50:07 AM , Rating: 2
I wish US servicemen could register their consoles on Xbox Live to be able to receive these services outside of the US. I can't download movies/tv shows, Netflix is worthless, etc.

Make us re-register it every year to continue the services overseas.

Instead, we're just screwed. Only thing we get once in a while is a Xbox 360 or Zune Military Appreciate package. Same crap as everyone else, but save like $10.

Still in its infancy
By static1117 on 2/5/2009 6:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ive had the service for about a month, and I love it. My wife and I got caught up on Heroes already and Ive seen some movies that I wouldnt have otherwise.
HD quality is decent, not anywhere near BD on my ps3, but very acceptable for what it is.
For those glass half empty types out there. This is a developing technology. Being able to stream every movie in true high def is the goal, but for now we are dealing with 720p streams for a limited number of titles. Also, not everyone has super fast internet connections. I feel very fortunate that I have 18 meg u-verse at my place. I love it and always get 4 bars no matter when I want to watch something.

Just wait in 2 years, they will have all kinds of stuff out and we will be complaining how we cant multistream for some reason. lol


Impressive, but...
By blueboy09 on 2/6/2009 5:21:55 AM , Rating: 2
It only took 3 months to get 1 million customer base count? Eat you heart out Blockbuster! IMO, it going to take Netflix a little bit to fix any kinks with any bandwidth structure, so patience is needed. Good things come to those who wait, and Netflix will be no different. Those who have a crappy connection even in the suburbs/metro areas will hopefully see a significant improvement in reception for video bandwidth in the years to come, but again, only time will tell. Finger crossed on this one!!!

Fabulous Application but on a so-so device
By SunAngel on 2/5/09, Rating: -1
By Mojo the Monkey on 2/5/2009 1:04:20 PM , Rating: 1
i think its the fan size. I dont understand why they dont find a way to use a 120mm fan (most of which are dead silent at pretty substantial airflow). Even if they have to mount it laterally and redirect the flow, it would probably be a lot better. I bet it comes down to 2 cents savings per console and, therefore, not worth it.

By kattanna on 2/5/2009 3:27:25 PM , Rating: 3
my xbox 360 runs whisper quiet doing netflix. the only noise it ever makes is a disc spinning if im watching a DVD, but its not audible over any show.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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