I tried Netflix’s on demand service for my 360 recently and I have a couple of thoughts on it. First, I had only minimal streaming problems with it. I think it hitched once or twice, but honestly for what it was, I was more than happy with it. I also had it take five minutes to queue up a stream, which sucked a little, but wasn’t the end of the world. That, however, is vastly different than what some other people experience. I guess it has to do a lot with your ISP, and mine is rock solid. I download stuff regularly at 1.2 mb/s and upload at 250 kb/s. Best internet connection I’ve ever had aside from working at Stanford. I love the idea of having a streaming on demand system that can get me almost anything I want to watch at any time I want to watch it.
That’s, unfortunately, where this system starts to fail. I did the test run of two weeks and managed to watch almost every movie I wanted to see that was available to me for online streaming. Netflix doesn’t have its entire catalog of movies online to watch. There are certainly a number of movies I’d love to see, but I wasn’t able to via the streaming service because they don’t have them there. It frustrated me to no end because it almost seemed like they purposefully didn’t have some of the best movies to watch. I’m sure I might be dreaming, but I was quite disappointed with the selection.
I did, however, get to watch some awesome, amazing movies.
First off was Primer. I’m not going to link to this movie in any capacity, and I implore you to not read anything about it. Just rent it and enjoy it. It’s one of those movies where knowing nothing about it at all is a HUGE benefit. I absolutely loved it. Trust me.
Second, I watched Born Into Brothels. Pretty good documentary on kids that were born to prostitutes in India and how one photographer tried to make their lives better. Sad, but good. My type of movie. It made me want to go to India.
Third, I watched B-Boy Nation, which was another documentary on breakdancing. Pretty interesting, and something I enjoyed, but certainly nothing fantastic.
I watched some other stuff inbetween this and the last good movie I watched, but I don’t remember what they are. There was one about the president being shot in Spain and how it was captured from tons of different perspectives. It sucked. Badly.
Lastly I watched Out of Africa, which was my favorite movie that I watched out of the whole bunch. My Dad has said that it’s one of his favorite movies of all time and ever since I was a kid he’s gone on and on and on about how he loves this movie. It’s kind of strange that I never watched it until now, but I was blown away by it. It made me respect Meryl Streep much, much more than I had (I thought she was terrific in The Devil Wears Prada as well). The whole movie was just spectacularly done. I can see now why my Dad liked it so much. I can especially relate to Robert Redford’s character, and his desire to be alone and to keep Africa the way it was instead of colonizing it. Very, very, very good movie which I’ll probably be purchasing sometime in the future. I’d love to watch it again.
All in all I don’t think the Netflix streaming deal is worth it, but if they had their entire catalog on it, I’d probably be there in a heartbeat. I canceled it and don’t have plans to re-open it unless they get a bunch more movies I want to watch.