Sony PS3 Netflix streaming loses disc requirement  (Source: Sony)
Service also gets faster and higher resolution

Over the last year, Netflix has greatly increased the number of devices that are capable of streaming content making it easier than ever for consumers to try the company's streaming offerings.

In 2009, Netflix streaming landed on the PS3 making the owners of the console very happy. That streaming content announcement was tempered a bit with the news that you couldn't just stream that content natively through the PS3, and that a disc would be required. The Blu-ray disc used the features of BD Live to stream the video and allow Microsoft to continue to claim exclusive streaming rights to the service.

Sony has now announced that starting next week that disc will no longer be required to stream content from Netflix over the PS3 console. An update will land for the PS3 on October 18 that will allow for native and direct streaming through the PS3. Along with losing the disc, the new service will also bring a richer and faster browsing experience. The content of the streaming library will be searchable directly from the PS3 and Sony promises "dramatic" improvements in the speed with which content starts to play once the content is chosen.

Other new features that will come along with the update include some movies and TV shows that will be offered in 1080i resolution with Dolby 5.1 surround sound. A larger part of the content will also be offered with subtitles, which are great for the hearing impaired and those that don't speak the language well.

"Netflix is committed to delivering an unparalleled experience to its members who watch TV shows and movies streamed instantly over the Internet," said Greg Peters, Netflix vice president of product development. "Netflix required an audio solution that could efficiently deliver an outstanding surround sound experience for a wide range of consumer devices.  Dolby Digital Plus proved to be the best solution to meet our needs and the needs of our device partners."

"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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