Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Netflix Gauging Interest In an iPhone App

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the coming-to-a-small-screen-near-you dept.

Iphone 121

gollum123 writes "A new survey sent out to Netflix subscribers indicates that the iPhone might be the next device that its streaming service rolls out on in the coming months. (The NY Times credits Hacking Netflix for the tip.) According to a tip sent to Hacking Netflix, the subscription video company is now asking users how likely they would be to use an iPhone app to view movies via its online streaming service. According to the survey, an iPhone app would give users all the same functionality that they have when streaming on a PC or other device, including all the same movies and TV shows without advertisements or trailers. If the app is rolled out, the ability to watch on the Apple mobile device would be offered at no additional charge to existing Netflix subscribers. There is good news for AT&T implied in the survey questions: it appears that the app would require users to be connected to a Wi-Fi network."

cancel ×

121 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

iPad? (4, Interesting)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337918)

Screw the iPhone. This would actually make me want an iPad (and was actually the killer app I was expecting to be previewed when the iPad was demonstrated).

Re:iPad? (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338602)

Agreed. Strongly.

Re:iPad? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338634)

But you can already get a similar sized device, for much cheaper, that already support Netflix. Just not from Apple (i.e., netbooks). Hardly "killer app", by definition.

Personally for phones, I'd me more interested on them first supporting the major platforms such as Nokia, rather than starting with less than 5% of the market.

Netflix is big in USA. Nokia isn't. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339534)

Personally for phones, I'd me more interested on them first supporting the major platforms such as Nokia

Netflix operates in the United States, and Nokia is not a major platform in the United States. The three major carriers (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T) don't subsidize Nokia phones (or at least they don't advertise so), nor do they give a discount for bringing your own handset. Even if you live in a T-Mobile covered area, I couldn't find a Nokia product in a Best Buy store either.

Re:Netflix is big in USA. Nokia isn't. (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339836)

What [att.com] are you [t-mobile.com] talking about [verizonwireless.com] ?

Re:iPad? (2, Interesting)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338822)

I'd still need hulu in addition to netflix. Then add in orb for local files, and I think it'd be an ok media device once it was jailbroken to allow for backgrounding. Still, all in all if I was going for something like that I'd really just rather go with an android based device.

Doubt it would be approved (2, Interesting)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337928)

Wouldn't this be similar to 'offering a function alreday available' a la iTunes movie rentals? While it would stream where the iTunes won't, it still will directly compete against Apple's iTune movie rentals.

Re:Doubt it would be approved (1)

longacre (1090157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338120)

Yes to some extent, but the Netflix streaming library is extremely limited compared to iTunes and has virtually no new release movies, though that's not to say that couldn't change so you might be right.

Re:Doubt it would be approved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31339022)

XBOX not only supports, but actively promotes Netflix as a selling point even though they have their own Zune video rental/purchase library. But this is Apple we're talking about...

Re:Doubt it would be approved (1)

tooyoung (853621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339598)

Apple would trade iTunes movie rentals for iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad sales in a heartbeat. iTunes is certainly popular, but how many users rent the videos? Why not let a separate company worry about the movie rental business, while you sell hardware to their customers?

Re:Doubt it would be approved (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339976)

With what was mentioned that Apple has a much larger and up to date selection then Netflix (I don't use either one so can't speak for sure), I don't see why they would want to trade their first party solution for a lower grade third party solution.

Re:Doubt it would be approved (1)

tooyoung (853621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340472)

Apple made it clear from the beginning that the iTunes store wasn't about turning a profit in sales of music, it was about selling iPods. iTunes has gone on to sell an enormous amount of music and video, but the rental service doesn't exactly have jaw dropping numbers. You are correct, Apple's new release selection is much better than Netfix (as far as downloads goes), even given that the availability of iTunes rentals is usually a month behind the wider release date for a title. However, in the United States, Netfix has a huge audience, eclipsing those who rent movies from iTunes. Netfix also has a much deeper catalog of older releases available for download.

What could this mean for Apple? In the short term, users rent new releases from iTunes, and stream older material from Netflix. This probably doesn't hurt Apple's rental business too much, but most importantly drives hardware sales.

Given there is a Pandora app... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339620)

Wouldn't this be similar to 'offering a function alreday available' a la iTunes movie rentals?

iTunes movie rentals are on-device downloaded content. Netflix would be streaming, just like the Pandora app streams music just fine. Since they allow one I don't see why they would ban the other.

It would probably eliminate offline caching though, which would be a shame for plane travel. We'll see (if they do it).

Re:Given there is a Pandora app... (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340064)

Wouldn't this be similar to 'offering a function alreday available' a la iTunes movie rentals?

iTunes movie rentals are on-device downloaded content. Netflix would be streaming, just like the Pandora app streams music just fine. Since they allow one I don't see why they would ban the other.

It would probably eliminate offline caching though, which would be a shame for plane travel. We'll see (if they do it).

Thing is, Pandora is a radio-style app ( http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pandora-radio/id284035177?mt=8 [apple.com] ). You can't just select which songs you want, you can only pick a 'station' that suits your tastes. With such randomness and inability to replay a chosen song its more likely to make a sale like traditional radio then anything. Plus it's free so doesn't take away any possible profits. Netflix on the other hand does let people chose which movies exactly and wouldn't be free thus would take money away from Apple.

Re:Given there is a Pandora app... (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340294)

I'll counter your argument with Rhapsody. You can queue whatever tracks Rhapsody has to offer and stream it on demand. You can store any number of playlists you like. It's a better deal than iTunes purchases if all of your listening is from web-enabled devices (newer A/V receivers, your PC or Mac, your iPhone) and you don't care about audiophile-quality media, in which case you're probably not the target consumer of iTunes anyhow.

Re:Doubt it would be approved (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340126)

Wouldn't this be similar to 'offering a function alreday available' a la iTunes movie rentals? While it would stream where the iTunes won't, it still will directly compete against Apple's iTune movie rentals.

Depends...

On how much Netflix slips Apple under the table.

Re:Doubt it would be approved (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340308)

Other people offer Apple-approved streaming video programs for the iPhone, including one by CBS which I believe lets you watch (among other things) the original Star Trek series.

Not just streaming movies but an AiMind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31337984)

The ultimate move to the iPhone mobile platform will be the AiMind [scn.org] software that flits about the 'Net.

Why not an app that is platform neutral? (2, Insightful)

cavehobbit (652751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337988)

Why all the love for a single platform? Is it so hard to write an app that will run on multiple platforms? Rim, WinMobile,, Symbian, Android/Linux.... Why all the hate for other platforms? Most outsell the iPhone

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (2, Insightful)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338074)

I can tell you from experience that they all have vastly different SDKs and writing for a mobile platform requires some thought to efficiency so writing an interface class isn't always an option.

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31338078)

Is it so hard to write an app that will run on multiple platforms?

In a nutshell, yes.

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (3, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338414)

1. Good luck finding an API or IDE that is compatible with all those platforms at once
2. Good luck finding similar functionality across all OS'es let alone all devices
3. Good luck finding the same performance across all devices

Each platform needs to be developed for separately because there's no 'gcc' or 'gtk' or 'qt' that makes anything uniform across all platforms.

Besides, almost none of the devices out in the market besides some Nokia, Apple and Android devices even have the power and the chips capable to download and play back videos AT ALL. None of the other devices (WinMo, Symbian, ...) even have standard browsers with support for Flash OR HTML5 so web developing is also out of the picture.

And the iPhone has the biggest marketshare in 1. "smartphones that you can develop for without corporate support ($$$)" or 2. "smartphones with a viable marketplace" (of course success of 2 is because of 1). Also the Maemo, Android and iPhone's are the only phones where the device is not locked down by default by the provider.

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (1)

cavehobbit (652751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338654)

Too bad. I was hoping there might be an equivalent to C or even perl or Java that could be used. While I develop on mainframes and *nix, I know absolutely nothing about mobile platforms. Obviously.

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (1, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338890)

Oh there is - Java runs on just about all phones. The Iphones can't support it though, which is why custom apps have to be especially written for them instead.

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (2, Informative)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339220)

Oh there is - Java runs on just about all phones. The Iphones can't support it though, which is why custom apps have to be especially written for them instead.

Have you actually used Java to develop for multiple phones? The "Write Once Run Anywhere" mantra of Java is definitely not true for mobile platforms. Netflix can't just write a streaming media app in Java and it will run with every J2ME platform -- or even every phone from the same vendor.

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (0)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338780)

And the iPhone has the biggest marketshare in 1. "smartphones that you can develop for without corporate support ($$$)" or 2. "smartphones with a viable marketplace" (of course success of 2 is because of 1).

Your source? Nokia beat them hands down in the mobile market - as do many other companies. Even adding the Ipod Touch doesn't change things significantly here.

As for cross-platform - well everyone else supports this technology for cross-platform apps that's been around for 15 years. It's not perfect, but it works for many things, and it means that things for phones aren't like the bad old days of the 80s where every platform was incompatible.

None of the other devices (WinMo, Symbian, ...) even have standard browsers with support for Flash

Eh what? My 5800 running Symbian runs a standard browser, and supports Flash just fine. It's Apple you're thinking of, that doesn't even support Flash yet.

Also the Maemo, Android and iPhone's are the only phones where the device is not locked down by default by the provider.

In what way? The Iphones are locked down more than most phones. How is my 5800 locked down? (Or indeed, my old Motorola V980, come to that?) I can run whatever I like, do what I like unlike a certain device that needs to be jailbroken all the time.

In what country? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339550)

Nokia beat them hands down in the mobile market

In what country is Nokia beating Apple?

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (2, Informative)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338798)

Java will run on all platforms except (non-jail broken) iPhones, although even this can be gotten around via some tools (xmlvm, metismo, etc). BTW, java could technically run on the iPhone but Apple won't allow it (for a boatload of BS reasons, when in reality it boils down to greed and customer control). Just another reason to skip the iPhone.

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31339070)

htc touch pro, diamond, tilt 2, hd, hero, hd2.... all of those should be able to play back movies just fine.

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31340680)

Thats what Flash is for!

Oh wait....
Never mind!

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340440)

Well for one thing, Verizon had a habit of forcing RIM to remove WiFi from their Blackberry models for a while there (Speaking as a Curve 8330 owner). The iPhone is just a natural place for them to expand next. Maybe they will start to branch out into other cell phone platforms down the road, but for now it makes sense to go where the buzz is.

Re:Why not an app that is platform neutral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31341088)

Why all the love for a single platform? Is it so hard to write an app that will run on multiple platforms? Rim, WinMobile,, Symbian, Android/Linux.... Why all the hate for other platforms? Most outsell the iPhone

Get real. There is no RIM tablet. Android is fragmented already with many problems facing developers. There are over seventy five million Apple Touch OS devices already out there to slip a NetFlix app on. There return on investment seems to be pretty good to me.

Gauge it out! (1, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338008)

Hah, that will show them!
I hope they have first gaged the interest, so they know how much of it there is to gauge!

Re:Gauge it out! (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338098)

umm, delete?

Re:Gauge it out! (1, Interesting)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338108)

I hope they have first gaged the interest

AT&T has already gagged my interest after dropping all the calls I made from home or work. BTW I live 3 miles NE of Apple's headquarters and worked 2 miles SW of it. And I have been to Apple's headquarters; there is no AT&T reception at all.

Re:Gauge it out! (2, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339432)

Either you're mistaking 3G coverage for total coverage, you're lying, or your phone is massively broken. As in the antenna must be missing entirely. I'm only aware of one dead spot in that general area, and that's a weak spot for a few hundred feet causing a problematic tower changeover on De Anza Blvd just south of Fremont. Even sunk down below the ground on Central, 280, etc. I get completely solid coverage. There are a couple of glitchy spots, mind you (880 just north of 85, 101 somewhere around the airport, and Lawrence expressway at the 101 offramp), but those are just spots where the tower handoff can cause the occasional call to drop while driving. When stationary, you should never have any real problems with coverage in your area.

Further, I think that there's actually an AT&T cellular tower on TOP of one the Apple campus buildings. Unless there's something seriously wrong with your phone, you shouldn't be able to get anything less than perfect signal strength near there. In fact, you should just about be able to crack the thing open, cut and tear the antenna's trace entirely off the circuit board starting right where it goes into the GSM chip, and still have enough signal to place a call successfully in Apple's parking lot.... I've gotten 3-4 bars inside concrete elevator shafts and other solid concrete structures in that area.

Seriously, if you're having connection problems within five miles of Apple, throw your phone in the trash and get a new one. There's something very, very seriously wrong. AT&T's coverage around here is quite solid and has been for many years.

Re:Gauge it out! (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339626)

Dude, it wasn't just my phone.

I was working at a company that was very intensely into iPhones and development of iPhone apps, and everyone there had an iPhone and loooved it. But even the fanniest fanboys had to race outside whenever their iPhone rang. There was a spot in the courtyard where AT&T wouldn't drop your call and there was always a crowd of dorks clumped there yakking on their iPhones. This was in fucking Cupertino, one mile south of the 280/85 interchange, 1.4 miles SW of Apple. My wife and I had razr phones and we both got shit coverage there and also here, 3 miles east of Apple.

Re:Gauge it out! (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340480)

To be pedantic, if you're a mile south of that interchange, I'm pretty sure you're well outside Cupertino and well into the unincorporated community of Monta Vista. It might be addressed in Cupertino, but I'm pretty sure it's not within the city limits. IIRC, the Cupertino city limits basically run parallel to 85 about a block south....

Yes, I do see rather nasty dead spots in both of the places that you described. What this tells me is that AT&T needs to crank up the gain on their cell sites. There's simply no excuse for not having any signal a mere 2 miles from a tower in flat terrain.... Try contacting AT&T from a land line phone in that area and complaining about it. Given the terrain, one of their network engineers should be able to solve it with a few keystrokes if you can actually reach an engineer....

There's a really detailed coverage map of AT&T's good and bad spots from CNet [cnet.com] . In general, if you can see at least a 30% signal outdoors, you should be able to fairly reliably hold calls even inside most concrete/metal buildings. Much below that and you have problems.

Re:Gauge it out! (1)

asylumx (881307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338734)

Are you thinking of gouge by chance? 'Gauge' is a valid spelling (as is 'Gage', but that just doesn't look right).

Something I am actually interested in (0)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338018)

I was actually searching online the other day for news on this. Whether or not such an app would be approved as the above poster stated is a different matter. I'm not sure how practical it would be either, watching a full length movie would pretty much drain the battery without an external power source. Also, video over 3g would be questionable, waiting for a movie to buffer every 30 seconds would kill the enjoyment.

Re:Something I am actually interested in (1)

Comen (321331) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338162)

Not sure about battery life, but I used to watch TV and movies on a Windows Mobile phone years ago with the mobile slingbox app at the time.
This is no different, it would test your conenction first to send the correct bit rate, over 3G this should not be a issue.

Re:Something I am actually interested in (1)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338266)

From my experience using my iphone, doing anything internet related over an appreciable length of time eats up the battery life, 3g or wifi (wifi kills it pretty fast). Pandora is basically just audio and it uses up a good amount of my battery.

Re:Something I am actually interested in (3, Informative)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338232)

I have to say as an owner of a 3GS battery life watching mp4's is amazing. I've used it on its own watching video in the car and hooked up via media cable (RCA) to my TV and both seem to play 10% battery life / hr viewing. I've watched 2 movies each about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs long and still had 50%+ left. As far as streaming goes I get about 400-600KBs average from Fido/Rogers and it's not very likely you'll be streaming anything over 420i so it shouldn't be that bad with 3G. If you're looking for a higher res video then I'm not sure how it will handle but the mp4 hardware decoding really helps out on this device(can't say the same for other iPhone models though).

Re:Something I am actually interested in (3, Informative)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338276)

video over 3g would be questionable

Dude, both TFA and the summary point out that it is only for WiFi.

Re:Something I am actually interested in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31338826)

waiting for a movie to buffer every 30 seconds would kill the enjoyment.

And why shouldn't it be the same experience as every other time I've tried to "watch instantly" something from Netflix?

Wi-Fi somewhat defeats the point. (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338028)

If you're at home, you've got a bigger screen. If you're at work, or a McDonalds/Starbucks/whatever, you probably won't be watching movies. I can see some applications for this, but not being able to use it outside a hotspot certainly hobbles it.

On the other hand, I'm sure a lot of AT&T customers won't complain, as US cellular bandwidth is already spread thin.

Someone else in the household (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338356)

If you're at home, you've got a bigger screen.

No, someone else in the household has a bigger screen. You, on the other hand, have to use the iPod Touch while waiting for someone else to finish.

Re:Someone else in the household (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339164)

No. You've got a bigger screen on your netbook, your laptop, your desktop or another TV.

Re:Someone else in the household (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339226)

You've got a bigger screen on your netbook, your laptop, your desktop

As I said, the other PCs in the house are being used by other family members. And a netbook's screen isn't any bigger than an iPad's.

or another TV.

A TV still needs a video signal source. The idea is that you plug your iPod Touch into the TV's video input.

Re:Wi-Fi somewhat defeats the point. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338392)

On the other hand, I'm sure a lot of AT&T customers won't complain, as US cellular bandwidth is already spread thin.

Yes we will, for the reason you mentioned earlier! We want to have our cake and eat it too!

Hotel? Airport? iPad? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339522)

If you're at home, you've got a bigger screen.

But possibly not a means to play Netflix upon it. You can direct a video feed out from an iPhone (or iPod Touch).

If you're at work, or a McDonalds/Starbucks/whatever, you probably won't be watching movies.

What about traveling though? Lots of airports have WiFi, that usually costs too much but now there's a compelling reason to pay.

Or even better, what about when you are at a hotel without a laptop, many people do not want the bulk of a laptop when they travel.

Never mind, that an iPhone app means it will also work on an iPad which is a more that acceptable viewing size for most people.

Re:Wi-Fi somewhat defeats the point. (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340120)

Any person that got the Slingbox app, will want the Netflix app. And as far as I know, that a lot of people that want mobile media that they can control. Just because you can't find a use, doesn't mean others don't. I'm one of those people that want a Netflix app so that I can watch movies while not a home, or near a BIG screen TV.

Re:Wi-Fi somewhat defeats the point. (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340454)

Hell I'd love this so I could watch in bed while my wife is sleeping.

Am I the only one? (3, Insightful)

straponego (521991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338058)

I know that some people really do, apparently, want to watch full length movies on tiny, tiny, tiny devices. I know that eventually these devices will have decent video out or projection capabilities. I get that I'm not the only market, and I'm totally fine with that.

But what I don't understand is... the media is really putting out the impression that everybody wants to consume TV/movies/books on miniscule screens like the iPhone. Even on an airplane I think that'd get tedious quickly. And I've seen nothing to indicate that the iPhone is competent to deliver video on that scale, even over wifi (if you're on a plane that's serving wireless movies, how busy is that wifi?). Oh well, at least Netflix has the sense to gauge how big the market is.

Can the iPhone battery even make it through 75 minutes of video + wifi?

Maybe this is all really for the iPad. That would make more sense.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338548)

But what I don't understand is... the media is really putting out the impression that everybody wants to consume TV/movies/books on miniscule screens like the iPhone.

I think it's more that all of a sudden you can put movies on phones, both in terms of hardware and the customer base to justify it, so there's a massive increase in investment there without a matching sudden increase in demand to watch movies on very small screens.

Can the iPhone battery even make it through 75 minutes of video + wifi?

It definitely does not. Apple might say otherwise, I have no idea what the official statement of battery life is, but my 3GS less than 6 months old cannot do that on a full battery charge.

Re:Am I the only one? (2, Informative)

jisatsusha (755173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339098)

Really? I've had no problem with watching BBC iPlayer on my 3GS for a couple of hours at least, and I've had it since June.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

jkoke (1112287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340738)

I think there must be vast differences in battery lives among the same model of phone. I also have a 3GS and have no problem watching a 2 hour movie, which uses about 50-60% of a full charge. I keep my screen pretty dim, though, so that might affect it. I hear friends complaining about the battery life, but mine seems pretty strong, so I think there must be some wide variation.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340878)

It definitely does not. Apple might say otherwise, I have no idea what the official statement of battery life is, but my 3GS less than 6 months old cannot do that on a full battery charge.

You should take yours into the nearest Apple Store. I did, was recommended to re-install the OS, and applications (lost my saved games, but meh), and it greatly improved my 3GS battery... apparently having a 2G->3GS upgraded restore image from 2007 was not being supported well.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

shivamib (1034310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338590)

My thoughts exactly.

I used to have a Creative Zen Vision which had a pretty decent video quality and the only thing I ever watched was some Heroes episodes on a bus trip. And that was before high-definition.

Maybe some people don't care about quality, but I like my movies on a 1080p kickass flat screen and a trusty HTPC.

What we really need is more bandwidth.

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31338708)

I know that some people really do, apparently, want to watch full length movies on tiny, tiny, tiny devices. I know that eventually these devices will have decent video out or projection capabilities. I get that I'm not the only market, and I'm totally fine with that.

But what I don't understand is... the media is really putting out the impression that everybody wants to consume TV/movies/books on miniscule screens like the iPhone. Even on an airplane I think that'd get tedious quickly. And I've seen nothing to indicate that the iPhone is competent to deliver video on that scale, even over wifi (if you're on a plane that's serving wireless movies, how busy is that wifi?). Oh well, at least Netflix has the sense to gauge how big the market is.

Can the iPhone battery even make it through 75 minutes of video + wifi?

Maybe this is all really for the iPad. That would make more sense.

I was thinking the same,definately tailored for ipad.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

Dalambertian (963810) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338940)

And I've seen nothing to indicate that the iPhone is competent to deliver video on that scale, even over wifi

You could spend a couple hours just catching up on movie trailers via Flixster, and there's plenty of long-format content on youtube. Then there's all the video podcasts that can be watched streaming... wait a minute, do you even own an iPhone/iPod touch?

Maybe this is all really for the iPad. That would make more sense.

This would be great for the iPad, which we should note is supposed to be backward compatible with iPhone apps.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

slinches (1540051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339036)

I already have a device (Nokia N900) that has an 800x480 display with video output. I can say from experience that it is possible to watch on the small screen as long as you have a stable place to set it (holding it at arms length for 1.5+hrs would get tiring).

The real advantage is that I can carry about 15 or so movies with me on trips and all I need is a TV w/ RCA inputs to watch them at a reasonable size. The only thing keeping me from having a completely portable movie collection right now is storage space. Streaming a large collection of movies and TV like Netflix does would fill the gap until something the size of a phone can hold a few TB.

Parent is not a troll (4, Informative)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339228)

I've converted a variety of media to be played on small screens with the thinking that it would be great for when I have travel-downtime. For me at least, it does get tedious. I just don't enjoy such a small screen. Someone else mentioned an iPad, and for me, that would probably be the tipping point (I'd think about getting one), but a cellphone screen doesn't cut it. Especially since I tend to prefer reading during downtime than watching TV.

On the airplane wi-fi front, I was on a US Air flight recently, and they had wi-fi onboard. Since it was new, they were running a promotional deal where you get one free flight's worth of wi-fi if you give them your email addy (little do they know I'm an email admin... and have virtually unlimited email addresses!). I was floored at how fast it was, considering that I was, you know, hurtling through the air at 30,000 ft. I transferred files to and from my fileserver, I had an SSH session open, and the latency didn't seem any worse than my connection at home. Impressed... but I probably still wouldn't pay for it (just as I don't pay the extra $60 for 4 more inches of legroom; the $6 Jack Daniels can easily compensate for that). Now, granted, this was all subjective-- I didn't run any speed tests-- but I was expected something like modem-speed, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339240)

Oh. Nothing distracts you from an 18 hour flight quite as easily as a movie on an undersized screen.

Of course the plane probably has it's own media server and remarkably better options than your phone.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339556)

I took a bunch of movies with me on my iPhone when I went to Japan last year. It was OK, but not ideal. My flight didn't have seat-back screens in coach, so unless you wanted to watch the crappy movies they picked for you, a phone or laptop was the only choice.

Actually, the worst part was the viewing angle. I didn't have a stand for the iPhone, and holding at a comfortable angle for 2 hours was not easy. I finally bunched up my thin airline blanket on the seatback tray and used that as a stand, so at least I could rest my head back on my seat and still see the screen without looking down.

Honestly, if I have wi-fi access on a plane I'd rather entertain myself reading the news or other websites rather than watching a movie, I think.

The iPhone is actually pretty good on battery life when just running video, but I can kill the thing in 3 hours by browsing the internet for that length of time.

Better than a laptop in some ways, usable (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339608)

I've been on a number of international flights, and watched 6-7 hours of video on the iPhone before.

The screen size is a bit small. But if you are in Cattle Class, I prefer it to laptops because there is just no room for normal laptops (that is an area where a netbook would be better). Also, I personally find it annoying when people sitting next to me fire up a big glowing screen, so I think it's a little nicer to keep the distraction for other passengers to a minimum (I also almost never recline my seat, but that may be too extreme for some).

As mentioned in another post though, an iPhone client opens up an iPad client. You don't think it is coincidence they are just asking if people want this now, after they have said for a while they had no mobile device plans? Now obviously that's not going to work too well on a flight (unless they support caching? Seems unlikely) but it does mean you could travel with just an iPad instead of a laptop and have as much video as you wanted on tap in the hotel.

Re:Am I the only one? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31340324)

David Lynch said it best...
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3201497/david_lynch_iphone_commercial/

Is NetFlix big enough to avoid the fickle banning? (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338060)

So is NetFlix big enough to avoid having the app pulled when someone realizes you can see non-PG13 films?

Re:Is NetFlix big enough to avoid the fickle banni (1)

longacre (1090157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338082)

iTunes sells non-PG13 films.

Re:Is NetFlix big enough to avoid the fickle banni (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338434)

So is NetFlix big enough to avoid having the app pulled when someone realizes you can see non-PG13 films?

They are big enough to a bribe to Apple, yes. Don't know if they feel a need to or if the two will approach each other like that.

how about improve the mobile site first? (2, Informative)

phideaux3 (1758070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338138)

It'd be useful if the home site detected the browser and redirected to the mobile site. Many probably don't even know about mobile.netflix.com because they don't get redirected. Would be great if sub-queues could be accessed when mobile, but they wanted to kill those anyway... :(

Taking it to the masses (0)

thescooterman (1538813) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338144)

Netflix is really one of the only companies on the net to stop worrying about the technology and build kick-ass applications to provide a great service to their users. Although the implications of this on the network / device stack could be staggering[ly bad for networks], I think it's a truely powerful, world-changing 'app' that potential to take the internet from what it is today to further displacing traditional media outlets and actually 'synergizing paradigms'. ( Yes, I do feel dirty for my blatant utilization of the web bs generator: http://www.dack.com/web/bullshit.html [dack.com] )

No Silverlight! (3, Interesting)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338246)

I should hope that an iPhone app would mean that the streaming would not take place over silverlight. If that's true, there's a much better chance that an app that emulates the protocol can be written for things like Linux (Including Maemo) and Android. If they could just bring back streaming over Flash (or add streaming over HTML 5), then it would be much more trivial to grant support for all these other platforms.

Ah well, I dream with fingers crossed.

Re:No Silverlight! (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338540)

I think that's safe to assume. Apple won't let Flash on the device and I really can't see them allowing Silverlight.

Re:No Silverlight! (2, Interesting)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339280)

I think that's safe to assume. Apple won't let Flash on the device and I really can't see them allowing Silverlight.

They don't have to. Silverlight can stream a regular old H.264 video and use HTML 5 when targetting the iPhone:

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/11/28/microsoft-brings-silverlight-video-to-the-iphone-without-a-plug/ [downloadsquad.com]

Re:No Silverlight! (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339184)

There's lots of ways to watch Netflix without Silverlight, and none of them are on a PC. Since an iPhone is also not a PC, I must assume that they'll follow their previous trend of not using Silverlight on embedded and hardware devices.

Re:No Silverlight! (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340554)

i suppose i dont know how netflix sends to PS3 and XBox. All I know is I cant make it work on Wii or Linux without virtualization or forwarding video from a Windows box. if im just missing a great workaround, id love to hear about it.

Re:No Silverlight! (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340596)

Netflix is heavily pimping the Roku [roku.com] set-top media player, which apparently runs Linux under the hood. It doesn't look like anyone's made much progress in reverse engineering the NetFlix application, but it's proof that there is already a Netflix player for Linux which has no Silverlight dependency.

Re:No Silverlight! (1)

BillGod (639198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340780)

I say F the iphone app! I wanna be able to use my linux box to watch netflix. I had to setup a dual boot machine for the sole purpose of netflix. PLEASE netflix users join in the fight to get netflix to support linux. http://www.petitiononline.com/Linflix/ [petitiononline.com]

I'd rather have AppleTV (1)

mcdermd (901583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338324)

Give me streaming support for Netflix on my AppleTV similar to what Xbox 360 currently enjoys and I'd be using it many times more than I would even be considering the iPhone app for the same.

Re:I'd rather have AppleTV (1)

Knetzar (698216) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339410)

The AppleTV is a closed device. You cannot buy apps for it, therefore Netflix would have to work with Apple to support steaming, and Apple makes money by people renting movies on AppleTV, so I doubt they'll help.

Re:I'd rather have AppleTV (1)

jkoke (1112287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340820)

Well, ATV streams YouTube videos and displays Flickr albums, so it's not unheard of for them to partner with a third-party for content. I wouldn't rule it out.

Sorry, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31338508)

....no. I dislike Netflix for trying to help force me to buy movies I may or may not like. Making me wait 28 days before a new release can be sent to your door. No thanks.

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

iccaros (811041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338932)

The movie industry set those rules.. I am sure if Netflix was allowed they woulds send them out as soon as they are released. There is no benefit to NetFlix controlling this.

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339092)

Netflix gets lower prices. They agreed to the changes otherwise they would have had to buy from retail sources.

Depends on provider (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338554)

On AT&T? Not interested.

On someone else's network? Yeah, maybe. How about an Android app?

Re:Depends on provider (1)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339476)

On someone else's network? Yeah, maybe.

Considering it'll be a wi-fi only app, it'll only be on someone else's network.

It wont last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31338766)

Sure Netflix will have an app, that is until Crapple decides to block their app and only allow crapple itunes movies for a pay per fee. Crapple is just as evil as M$ and Google.

Myth TV! (2)

jtosburn (63943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338886)

I'd so much rather be able to watch Netflix stuff via MythTV that it's not even funny. My iphone is for only worth using for 15 minutes or less at a time. After that, the small screen wears on me, and I realize that that may just be me. I guess an iPad would solve that problem, but really, I'd rather watch movies across the room on the tv, rather than on my lap, unable to move my arm, with my spouse looking over my shoulder.

Hey Netflix! Let us watch stuff on linux!

Re:Myth TV! (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338992)

I'd rather watch movies across the room on the tv, rather than on my lap, unable to move my arm, with my spouse looking over my shoulder .

We see what you did there.

Re:Myth TV! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339212)

"cuddling up with the media player" does have severe limitations.

It kind of makes sense if you happen to be at sea, or in the air, or on the road in the middle of nowhere.

At home, not so much.

Although another streaming option will help make up for the anemic storage space on Apple devices. Of course the network may cut out at any time.

Hey, Morons (-1, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338982)

How about you go 5 seconds without having mindless drivel streamed into your fucking brain?

It's 5 pm on the west coast (the best coast).
Get off the internets, get out of the office, go home, and then get right back on the fucking internets.

Re:Hey, Morons (3, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339342)

How about you go 5 seconds without having mindless drivel streamed into your fucking brain?

I would if you'd post anonymously!

Re:Hey, Morons (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340932)

How about you go 5 seconds without having mindless drivel streamed into your fucking brain?

Actually I'm still waiting for the Germans to install a chip for faster streaming of that drivel....

How about Linux support? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339108)

There are more linux desktop support than iphone owners, yet we still get no netflix client.

Or hell they could roll out HD on Mac or Windows.

Re:How about Linux support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31339984)

The netflix client works fine on linux. It is the DRM that is a problem, and that will never be fixed.

Linux + Petition (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339704)

I wish they would focus on *ALL* the desktops FIRST, then worry about phones. What about a Linux compatible Netflix player? I know quite a few people who have waited a very long time and are irritated that absolutely nothing has been done.

Meanwhile, sign this petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/Linflix/ [petitiononline.com]

Sure, it might not amount to anything, but you have no right to complain if you haven't at least tried (and this only takes 60 seconds or something).

Re:Linux + Petition (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340338)

I'm sure 3,921 customers will convince netflix to do it. I'd sign the petition except I think that I don't think that petition will help much. What will help is contacting customer service with your account username and tell them you want to see them roll out Linux support. Heck, if they only offer the old flash player to linux users everything will work great!

Re:Linux + Petition (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31340448)

You want Linux Netflix but won't sign it because you don't think it will help???? NOT signing the petition will CERTAINLY not help. Sure, call if you like, but signing the petition is a good idea and takes a lot less time... they are not mutually exclusive (and yes, I called them also).

Re:Linux + Petition (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31341016)

When was the last time a petitiononline.com petition accomplished anything?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>