Print 17 comment(s) - last by df96817.. on May 30 at 10:53 PM

Is movie rental via Internet download coming soon?

Netflix, the most popular online DVD-rental service, has seen tremendous growth since the company's introduction in 1998.  Netflix now has almost 5 million subscribers and offers more than 60,000 movie titles.  Movie rental stores like Blockbuster have seen a significant hit in profits due to the unrivaled success of Netflix.  Netflix CEO Reed Hastings hopes to push Netflix via downloads by the end of 2006 -- even if the market for DVD downloading still has a lot of growing to do.  However, copyright issues and the fear of increased piracy are just two issues that stand in the way. 

Netflix recently settled a class-action lawsuit after the company admitted to delaying shipments to the customers that rent a significant number of films.  Offering films via the Internet may be another way to save on costs of postage and replacement of damaged DVDs.  Several movie studios are planning on making films available for download via the Internet.  Warner Brothers is even going to begin offering a movie download service via BitTorrent.

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Better for me to rent
By OrSin on 5/30/2006 10:59:45 AM , Rating: 2
The DRM in these downlaod is be very bad. I copy all movies I rent. Yeah I know its a bad thing, but i donlt sell them or even give them to others so I fell ok doing it.
I know its not right but its my thing. I doubt i can keep a copy of the downlaoded movie. Now if they let me burn the movie I might be down for the service, but i doubt it.
Being able to play the movie on the computer that DL it is just to much of an inconvience.

RE: Better for me to rent
By broly8877 on 5/30/2006 11:22:03 AM , Rating: 5
You're right, it is bad.

They will NEVER willingly allow someone to keep a copy.
You're renting it, there should be no "keeping" in there.

RE: Better for me to rent
By OrSin on 5/30/2006 11:52:44 AM , Rating: 3
But thats just it. If you can't burn it to a DVD then the only way to view it is onyour computer. Granted I have system connected, but less then 1% of users do so the if no copy then system only. I can't see that flying.

RE: Better for me to rent
By IsDanReally on 5/30/2006 11:32:47 AM , Rating: 2
IF they keep the current pricing model (x number of "rentals" out at a time) then it won't matter much. You could have 3 movies checked out at any time, and rent again any movie you wanted to watch in the future.

Granted, if you have an ISP with bandwidth limits, then that wouldn't be a good option.

RE: Better for me to rent
By Lord 666 on 5/30/2006 11:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
You will not have to watch on a computer... this is the main reason why Cisco purchased Scientific Atlanta the cable box provider. Not specifically for Netflix, but for the entire IP enabled video movement.

I agree for an additional slight cost increase, there should be a rent-to-buy option. Major movie studios are talking about doing this at major picture releases; offer the chance to buy the movie onsite for an additional cost. This simultaneous release of formats would be a great way to combat piracy.

Hope to learn more about it when I am at Networkers next month.

RE: Better for me to rent
By DigitalFreak on 5/30/2006 12:24:58 PM , Rating: 2
Heehee - at least you're honest about it... :-)

By VooDooAddict on 5/30/2006 12:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly what I've been waiting for.

I've been using Napster's subscription music service for a while now and it's exactly the type of system that makes me feel like pirating music isn't worth the effort. A low cost system that gives me access to the entire library from multiple locations and I can even take it with me on a portable. Yeah napster doesn't have everything ... but it's got more then enough for me. Anything I really want to listen to that they don't have ... I can barrow it from a friend (it's a quick torrent away). If Netflix models the rental system the same way ...

With subscription based access to movies I won't need to keep a 1.5TB RAID 5 array running to store and protect my downloads. I'll just be able to download the movie again at full quality. Sure it's been fun to setup the server and RAID, but with how intense work has been it would be nice to have one less thing to worry about. I used to make frequent backups of my 100+ gig music collection (High Quality rips from my own CDs and the CDs of friends and family) ... After subscribing to the new Napster, I don't worry about it anymore. I actually find it easier to search through Napster for what I want, then using winamp or windows MediaPlayer's library systems (CDDB hasn't been all that consistent with naming and tagging across artists and genres.). I hope Netflix downloads will be just as easy to navigate and won't have a terribly restrictive format. In addition, I hope I'll be able to download and watch the movies anywhere I can logon. Then, I won't need to carry DVDs (or Hard Drives) around with me if I go to a friends place and want to show them some indy movie I found.

I'll be anxiously waiting for more details to emerge.

RE: Sounds great to me... I just want more details.
By daveyd on 5/30/2006 12:57:28 PM , Rating: 1
So are theses downloads going to be equivalent to full length DVD9 movies around 7-9GB per movie?

By matthewfoley on 5/30/2006 1:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that seems quite ambitious for next year.

By rrsurfer1 on 5/30/2006 1:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be happy with a compressed version personally, maybe 2 gigs or so. Start going larger than that your talking considerable download time unless you have a super-fast connection (and the service doesn't get bogged down).

By PAPutzback on 5/30/2006 3:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
Forget compression, It sucks. They use compression on the On Demand shows and it is terrible. If this is for Cable boxes then what is the difference between this and On Demand\Pay Per view.

I think this will just be another option netflix will offer like there current option to have HD-DVDs sent instead of regular DVDs' If you have a media center pc then you would use this service otherwise just get your dvd's shipped as normal. AS har as the download time I don't see any reason why you couldn't start watching the stream once the download starts. I imagine there would be a higher cost because they would really have increase their bandwidth.

By IsDanReally on 5/30/2006 3:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
DVD and HD-DVDs are they must suck too. You have to remember their are varying levels of compression and different compression formats, all with varying levels of quality.

It's like saying "digital quality" sucks, because much of what you see digitally is overly compressed. It's all in the implimentation

By rrsurfer1 on 5/30/2006 4:24:43 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you.

they aren't the first to do this
By ZeRoSKiLL on 5/30/2006 11:36:26 AM , Rating: 2
By ZeRoSKiLL on 5/30/2006 11:39:23 AM , Rating: 2
...although not having to pay $x.xx per movie would be nice.

Sounds Awesome
By biglonstud on 5/30/2006 7:39:18 PM , Rating: 2
Can hardly wait. Now Ill actually have an excuse to get faster internet. And I wont have to wait for the slow US Mail.

Oh, and about compression. Lossy-Compression lowers the visual, and audio quality. But Lossless-Compression, keep the visual, and audio quality the same as the original, with NO data loss. It just takes up less Megabytes being Lossless-compressed.

By df96817 on 5/30/2006 10:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone know if Netflix still throttles the queue of users who rent a high volume of movies?

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