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Why There's Still No Netflix App For Android

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the wouldn't-exactly-say-I-was-missing-it dept.

Cellphones 291

An anonymous reader writes "Why is there a Netflix app for iOS devices and Windows Phone 7, yet no Netflix support for Android? Well, Netflix has been working on an Android app but has run into a few technical hurdles because Android lacks a universal DRM solution which means that the company has to work with different handset manufacturers separately in order to ensure that the installed DRM protocol meets the requirements laid out by the movie studios."

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I Can Dream, Can't I? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225562)

Maybe the preponderance of Android devices where you really can't enforce DRM will drive companies like Netflix to start bargaining for the right to stream without DRM. Not that it'll probably happen, but it's a nice dream...

Re:I Can Dream, Can't I? (4, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225652)

Maybe the preponderance of Android devices where you really can't enforce DRM will drive companies like Netflix to start bargaining for the right to stream without DRM. Not that it'll probably happen, but it's a nice dream...

Dream on just like everyone from napster to limewire did. It took apple's $1 song to make it easier to pay than pirate music. Everyone won. Moreover apple installed speedbump DRM (I.e. just a pain in the but to remove and not worth your time, but removable if you wanted. even apple's own tools could remove (e.g. imovie). ) then they pushed for drm free music.

Complain, but they moved the ball forward more in 1 year than all the attempts before.

On the otherhand the handsets present a new playing filed where it looks like lockdown platforms are going to be the norm for a variety of reasons.

Re:I Can Dream, Can't I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225916)

> lockdown platforms are going to be the norm for a variety of reasons.

If by "variety of reasons" you mean, "that people are idiots *and* stupid", then sure, it's a variety.

People don't have to buy that shit. But they're buying it by the millions.

Well... kinda... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225998)

Complain, but they moved the ball forward more in 1 year than all the attempts before.

Only because they're big enough that the change matters. Services like LegalSounds have been selling songs (from large labels, too) without DRM for $1 for the better part of a decade. Of course, they never gained the publicity of Apple but for us who knew about them, Apple didn't really provide anything new. As for the prices, I think that Wallmart has done more work driving down the price of buying music in general...

I'm not trying to say that what Apple did wasn't good. Just saying that adding "...with a computer" to what Wallmart was doing wasn't that massive step, especially when smaller companies around the world had already began doing it.

Re:Well... kinda... (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226032)

Um, Apple's library of music was far, FAR bigger than that of LegalSounds. There's a huge difference between some cherry-picked tracks and a vast music library.

Re:I Can Dream, Can't I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226570)

Dream on just like everyone from napster to limewire did. It took apple's $1 song to make it easier to pay than pirate music. Everyone won. Moreover apple installed speedbump DRM...

The DRM being used for audio may not be as invasive as it once was, but has anyone noticed what's in the license agreements (like that which appears during the latest iTunes update)? I can't remember the last time I actually tried to read the agreement, but I sure don't remember it talking about allowing gathering a bunch of other info from our systems to (among other things) "...verify compliance with the terms of this License." Many ripping, conversion, disc-burning and anti-virus apps keep logs of all the files/discs they've processed.

"4. Consent to Use of Data. You agree that Apple and its subsidiaries may collect and use technical and related information, including but not limited to technical information about your computer, system and application software, and peripherals, that is gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, product support and other services to you (if any) related to the Apple Software and to verify compliance with the terms of this License.Apple may use this information, as long as it is in a form that does not personally identify you, to improve our products or to provide services or technologies to you."

Re:I Can Dream, Can't I? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226154)

The only way that Netflix streaming came to the Mac was for them to resort to Microsoft technology for DRM purposes. So Netflix will come to Android as soon as Microsoft ports Silverlight – and its DRM system (so don't start talking about Moonlight) – to Google's OS. (cue laughter)

Re:I Can Dream, Can't I? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226540)

There's a lot of people who use a Mac to get awayfrom Microsoft. Asking us to install SilverLight on our Mac for Netflix is totally insane.

Fortunately, Netflix also supports other Apple devices, the Wii and the PS3.

Re:I Can Dream, Can't I? (1)

Bahamut_Omega (811064) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226642)

Is it me; or do we need to start bringing in the Yakuza to wipe out the Mafiaa?

Too Easy (5, Insightful)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225576)

Seems like there could be some solution...staring me right in the face...I dunno....maybe no DRM....but nahhh. That's just crazy...

Re:Too Easy (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225664)

I genuinely wonder what the execs have against that solution, in this case. They aren't morons, they know there are fifty different ways to get a movie up onto the torrent sites, and that grabbing a low quality stream from a phone handset wouldn't be the top of the list, so it seems a little odd that they'd be this bothered about it.

Put aside the "Lolz the MPAA are evil bastards" mindset (which, I must admit, I do often agree with) for a minute and try to work out the business logic behind this. The only thing I can think of is that they don't believe that allowing Netflix on Android will motivate enough new subscribers to be worth setting a "no DRM" or "lax DRM" precedent in one of their contracts. That's still working on the logic that DRM stops copying, though, which really doesn't appear to be the case.

Re:Too Easy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225712)

Good point. Right now the torrent sites are filled with x264 rips of blurays, but if this netflix app came out on android with a flaw in the DRM, the torrent sites would clearly start offering these low resolution versions instead.

Re:Too Easy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226344)

Good point. Right now the torrent sites are filled with x264 rips of blurays, but if this netflix app came out on android with a flaw in the DRM, the torrent sites would clearly start offering these low resolution versions instead.

For that matter...I know of several people who own/rent/borrow the movie...rip the DVD and they have a copy of whatever they want to entertain themselves on their phones. Problem solved...no torrent downloaded...no problem with any Netflix application and nothing appears online.

Re:Too Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226136)

Actually I think the part you're missing is that they are morons, at least technical morons. Like anyone who has dealt with big business run by MBAs with no technical knowledge of the fundamentals of the business they are running these guys likely have a very simplistic understanding of DRM on the order of "DRM stops piracy". Add in lawyers who are notorious for the same lack of understanding and the simplistic understanding gets codified into legally binding contracts. As such corporate policy/contracts rarely address the nuances of any technical issue and instead often end up being detrimental to all involved including the company that wrote them.

Re:Too Easy (1)

tsj5j (1159013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226432)

I don't think MPAA even understands technology or the internet, or you won't see them suing individual filesharers (way to boost your karma!) and trying to take down stuff like Limewire (by the time you're done, 10 alternatives appear!).

They are genuinely worried about their business model; and for good reason - those execs are used to millions of dollars per year salaries and generally don't want to lose those salaries.
Right now, they're just resisting any form of non-DRM technology for the simple reason that they don't understand it that well, really.

Re:Too Easy (4, Interesting)

wrook (134116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226516)

Obviously I can't know exactly what they are thinking, but here's my guess. To us the business case is obvious: if you provide a service which is convenient and cheap enough, most people will opt for convenience and pay for the product. I mean you *could* have a garden and grow your own food, and you could prepare that food yourself. It isn't *that* much work and the result is very rewarding. But most people would rather get in their car and drive to Mac Donald's. Why? Because it is convenient. People are willing to pay for that convenience as long as the cost is reasonable.

But the media execs, even if they realize this, want the freedom to charge whatever they want for things. What is a movie *worth*? Well, since you don't need it at all it doesn't have any intrinsic value. It's only value comes from creating a desire to want to see it and limiting the availability to see it. The value of the movie becomes what the customer is willing to pay, not what it's intrinsic worth is.

The media industry has also realized that high prices serve their interest even if they don't directly make high profits as a result. People will want to see movies more if there are huge amounts of special effects, high priced actors, etc, etc. If the average movie costs $1 million to make, you will have a lot of competition from other companies. But if it costs $100 million, there aren't many groups with the capital to break in and compete with you. So if you can raise prices and spend all your money on production, advertising, etc, etc you still end up ahead. This is especially true if you are performing all those services and skim a profit at each step (i.e., the movie makes no profit but every service performed makes a profit and since you own those services you make a profit).

So in other words, they need to keep supply low to keep prices high to maintain their monopoly position in the industry. I believe this is their real interest in DRM. The "convenience" price point is too low to accomplish this.

I think it really is self delusion (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226538)

Hollywood is one of the worst, but many game publishers, and others really do think the DRM war can be won. They think if they can just lock things down well enough, then it'll be over, people won't be able to pirate and sales will go through the roof.

This was real evident with Blu-ray. They went to some very extreme lengths to protect the discs. This wasn't a "Well it'll stop casual people at home," thing they really though they'd stop the pros. They flat out said BD+ would be unbroken for at least 10 years. Ya well we see how well that all worked out. They really had talked themselves in to it that if they just made the DRM good enough, they'd stop it.

It is a delusion that is encouraged by another delusion in that pirated copies are seen as lost sales. Many companies really do believe this. They do because it is such an attractive idea. I mean if your game sold 5 million copies but was download 20 million times, think how much more money you could have made! Gets them all excited with the thought that by investing resources in DRM you could literally increase your profits a few hundred percent.

Now of course that isn't true, even if there were perfect DRM you'd find only a fraction of those pirated copies would translate in to actual sales. People will try something for $0 that they won't for more. Even if perfect DRM could be a reality it wouldn't increase sales like they hope. However the idea is so attractive that many delude themselves in to thinking it is real.

Of course the DRM providers, and there are many, sell this too. They tell you how much more money you'll make with their DRM than without.

Ultimately it all culminates in an attitude that the objective is not to maximize sales and thus maximize profits, it is to minimize piracy, even if it reduces sales. Counter productive, but we know humans are good at that kind of thing.

Re:Too Easy (2, Insightful)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226666)

That's because the only "side of the story" they ever hear is from DRM salespeople, and because they only WANT to hear that side of the story. Media industry execs are still cut from the same cloth as the Disney execs who rejected a one-time-use VHS rental cassette because it didn't prevent group viewings-- if they aren't getting the same number of sales as there are eyeballs on the planet, sales are lost, ergo someone is stealing, full stop. They can argue that they're protecting artists and filmmakers until they're blue in the face, and we know they're lying when in reality they're thinking a backup copy of purchased physical media is illegal and that ripping off Peter Jackson for the LotR trilogy is SOP.

Even when it comes to sales and losses due to DRM or online file sharing, they're probably cooking the books anyway, because for some reason they don't want to admit that they are wrong in any respect.

Re:Too Easy (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225704)

"... and nothing of value was lost"

Over here our libraries provide e-books. But you can't read them on the Kindle because it doesn't support whatever DRM they use.
But I doubt the copyright holders agree with being able to borrow books at a library in the first place so how much difference would it make if you could read/keep the book forever or not? Regardless of time you're free to read it through. How much value does the information held after you've already consumed it? And the copy is digital ..

Re:Too Easy (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225850)

That depends how much the library is willing to pay. The local library here provides audio books in MP3 format. You have to download using a proprietary app, but once it's on your computer it's the honor system that you'll delete them when you're supposed to.

Re:Too Easy (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225952)

Can you tell us more about this? What library, what app, what service? Thanks.

Re:Too Easy (2, Informative)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226448)

The library of the city, Örebro, Sweden, but most likely all the libraries in all other cities in Sweden to (maybe not school libraries and such.)

http://www.elib.se/bibliotek/ [www.elib.se]

Our: http://www.elib.se/library/default.asp?lib=105 [www.elib.se]

Readers: http://www.elib.se/library/get_install.asp?lib=105 [www.elib.se]

Questions: http://www.elib.se/library/faq.asp?lib=105 [www.elib.se]

Formats: Adobe encrypted EPUB and PFD or Mobipocket.

Re:Too Easy (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226472)

187 IT & technology books:
http://www.elib.se/library/search.asp?secondrun=YES&BCAT=314&lib=105&text=IT+%26+teknik&typ50=50&typ54=54&typ56=56&typ71=71&typ75=75&lang= [www.elib.se]

All the library pages are slow as shit, work like shit, are layouted like shit, are coded like shit, and just in general suck.. shit.

I can't understand how they can suck so bad. Most likely same design as they had 10-15 years ago. Their own design or someone elses? Impossible to update?

Re:Too Easy (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225754)

Yeah, because no one will create a stream ripper for non-DRM Netflix movies. That's just crazy...

Re:Too Easy (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225778)

If it's on Netflix, there's already a DVD/TV rip on the torrent sites. Why would they bother?

Re:Too Easy (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225838)

Because DRMed streams are never ripped [zdnet.com] ...

Re:Too Easy (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225798)

Too bad that isn't netflix's call. The movie studios are the ones to blame, and I'm pretty sure they don't give a rusty rats ass if you can watch any movie on any media besides BluRay.

Though I have to wonder if Netflix has the political clout to tell the movie studios to piss off. I doubt it, they are completely dependent on said studios and making a hardline stance like "fuck you, we womt do business unless you remove the DRM" would be an easy to spot bluff. The movie studios have nothing to lose (in their mind) and everything to gain telling Netflix to take a hike.

Re:Too Easy (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225828)

Which would lead to piracy, which would lead to severely reduced profits, which would lead to no incentive to put movies on Netflix in the first place. But hey, at least it fit the moral code of anti-DRM advocates.

Re:Too Easy (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225892)

Give me one good reason to believe that:
(a) there would be any more copyright infringement due to Netflix stream rips than there already is from DVD and TV rips of the same content.
(b) the DRM will remain unbroken, in contrast to almost every other widespread DRM scheme ever implemented.

If you think DRM would actually have any impact in this particular case I'd be genuinely interested to hear why.

Re:Too Easy (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225974)

which would lead to severely reduced profits

What profits would you be referring to? You do realize that, according to the movie studios, the overwhelming majority of movies lose money, and have lost money consistently for the past few decades, right?

Honestly, if downloading were killing movie studios, we would have stopped having new movies years ago. The studios are not hurting, they are just greedy and demand more money than they made previously, using downloading as an excuse for squeezing more money out of consumers.

Re:Too Easy (3, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226542)

Don't confuse Hollywood accounting for a "loss" with actually losing money.

Re:Too Easy (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226158)

What evidence do you have for that? What things can you stream from Netflix that you can't already (easily) get hold of pirated copies of? I use a service like Netflix here in the UK - I could easily pirate everything I've ever rented from them on DVD or streamed with their Flash thing. The DRM in both cases is irrelevant - it doesn't stop pirates, it just stops me from using the streaming thing on all devices that I might want to use.

I don't pirate for two reasons. First, and most important, the legal streaming stuff is actually more convenient - it will start playing a few seconds after I press play. Second, I actually don't mind giving the studios some positive reinforcement (i.e. money) when they make stuff I like. There's little enough stuff that I want to watch being made, I don't want them to make less of it.

Re:Too Easy (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225996)

No kidding - particularly as it pertains to mobile handsets.

Mobiles have a disproportionate amount of bandwidth and processing power available to them, compared to available storage.

A streamed movie weighs in at around 500Mb-2Gb of space, depending on the bitrate sampled. Are you really going to spend the money on extra storage just to store these movies to SD cards when and watching them again is trivial via Netflix, and almost everyone has access to such things? The only outside reason you might want to have them downloaded is if you intend to watch them 'offline' or your network performance is spotty/dropping out. You're not going to keep them on flash cards indefinitely - and there are certainly easier ways to pirate films, if that's your aim.

Re:Too Easy (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226076)

Ah, but how hard would it be to make Netflix think your desktop browser is an Android phone?

Re:Too Easy (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226218)

Now replace "how about no DRM on movies" with "Universal Healthcare, as used in all other developed nations" when talking about sane solutions for an indication of how an entrenched mindset, and strong corporate interests with disinformation campaigns and deep pockets can make the obvious choice seem like the wrong thing to do. ;)

Re:Too Easy (1)

tronbradia (961235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226596)

Seems like there could be some solution...staring me right in the face...I dunno....maybe no DRM....but nahhh. That's just crazy...

Your brilliant solution would also involve not having any proprietary movies or TV shows available to stream, because the copywrite owners would refuse to allow it.

But hey, Netflix is great even without proprietary content, right?

Hollywood's DRM requirements exposed (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225598)

"to ensure that the installed DRM protocol meets the requirements laid out by the movie studios."

This just in from a super-secret document floating around the torrentsphere:

The movie studio's requirement is that the phone detects when you are aiming a camera at it and shuts off the video.

Funny, no mention of shutting off the sound if an audio-recording device is nearby. Must've been an oversight on Hollywood's part. It wouldn't be the first.

PlayReady DRM (5, Informative)

Mulder3 (867389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225620)

Netflix uses MS PlayReady DRM... Microsoft provides an implementation of a PlayReady client in ANSI C... Android has a NDK to write native apps.... So, what's the problem here?

Re:PlayReady DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225690)

Stubborn idiots.

Re:PlayReady DRM (2, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225694)

Having PlayWhatever is not enough. There is a req for it to talk to the device low level crypto. That is pretty much the standard req for stuff like that.

I would not be surprised if it is not properly standardised at that level and every manufacturer has gone his own way.

The other problem here may be the "trusted path" problem. While it is possible to have a trusted path all the way to the TPM (or whatever crypto element the phone has) the requirements for making sure it is unbroken are likely to be considerably more stringent if the phone can be reflashed with a third party build. This is one place where security through obscurity (as in closed phone OS) makes things much easier.

Re:PlayReady DRM (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225730)

Don't know anything about Android but PlayReady is software. The DRM that the studios want extends to hardware, e.g. ports not visible to app unless they say so, per title limitations on what sorts of information gets passed through usb, devices designed in such a way as to prevent titles from being saved to SD card, etc. Can't do that unless the hardware is consistent across devices or each device has its own version of the Netflix app.

Re:PlayReady DRM (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225864)

But Netflix is a mostly US only company and the carriers can barely handle the traffic they're presently providing. I'm not sure that they could handle the extra traffic for Netflix. Or at least not in a way which is satisfactory. I know that just going over WiFi my connection often times can't handle it.

Re:PlayReady DRM (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226646)

Why should the studios be concerned with the problems of either Netflix or the phone carriers? As a matter of fact, if the viewing experience is negative, all the better for them. It pushes more views on cable, theatres, DVD rentals, etc.

Re:PlayReady DRM (3, Informative)

MichaelKristopeit163 (1939476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225742)

MS PlayReady DRM requires standardized hardware and platform layer support that android doesn't provide.

the movie studios see a big difference between DRM that can be beat by jumping some leads with a soldering iron and DRM that can beat with a software update.

it seems netflix are not willing to release an "android app" until EVERY "android" phone can use the app. having to explain to users that they don't have the "right" android would make both netflix and the android alliance look bad. to me, forcing a hardware encryption chip for media signals that can easily be routed around is pointless... but this is what the studios are demanding... they make the movies, they can sell them to whoever they want.

Re:PlayReady DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226212)

On the PC, it doesn't matter is one is using an Atom netbook or an AMD desktop, WinXP or Win7, Firefox or IE--instant playing works because it's software-based DRM. And streaming works on ARM arch also, but only for iphone/ipad.

Re:PlayReady DRM (1)

MichaelKristopeit163 (1939476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226452)

"works" is relative to requirements... not having the DRM works just as well.

the hardware requirements and interface CAN be fulfilled by every "android" phone... the issue is there is not standardized hardware in every "android" phone which would make the fulfillment of the hardware interface much easier.

Re:PlayReady DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225748)

From the blog it sounds like the hardware manufacturers have to do something at the device level for the DRM to work. Plus the licensing fees MS charges for PlayReady DRM seem to be quite significant - http://www.microsoft.com/playready/licensing/device_technology.mspx .

So the issue seems to be for Netflix to get Android device manufacturers to build whatever is required at device level and for Android SDK to provide standard DRM implementation that works across all devices. They don't end up paying boat load of money to Microsoft that way and don't have to deal with device manufacturers individually.

Re:PlayReady DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225766)

Allowing that "never" is a real long time, Netflix customer support advised me that they NEVER will support Linux. So, there ya go...

Re:PlayReady DRM (0, Flamebait)

fbartho (840012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225844)

Android CPUs are pretty slow. I bet that + the rest of the platform's immaturity is what's hanging them up. Sure *technically* you can write your code in c/c++ but you end up having to personally import every damn library from the STL up.

Re:PlayReady DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226104)

Android CPUs are pretty slow. I bet that + the rest of the platform's immaturity is what's hanging them up.

uhh, someone's nerd card needs to be revoked. All modern android phones have very fast CPUs. Even the first generation android devices had 528mhz MSM7200 chipsets which is more than sufficient for this DRM business. The WM7 phones all use the same QSD8250 or similar snapdragon spec'd chipset as what is in the Nexus One, Desire, Evo 4g, Droid Incredible and similar Android phones (which I might add are faster than the iphone3s and iphone4s in many aspects. Heck, the Galaxy S phones use the same CPU core that is in the ipad and iphone4.

So no, Android CPUs are not slow, you have no idea what you are talking about, they are the same and in some cases faster than what are available in iphones and WM7 devices. As for the immaturity of the platform, seriously? yeah, cause the WM7 platform is way more mature having been out for a whole month now.

+just a side point, who is going to pirate streaming movies on their phone? We have computers for that purpose if we so choose to do so...

Re:PlayReady DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226416)

slow my ass. each of the phones going back to the G1 had h264 acceleration, which makes video rendering silky smooth. I say go with hulu plus and tell netflix to suck it as Hulu is at least willing to work with hardware manufacturers, rather than expecting everybody to have their devices locked down like a federal prison. If hulu makes tons of money off of android, then netflix will change their tune real quick

Slightly Offtopic -- Opinion on VOD home systems (1)

ittybad (896498) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225638)

I like Netflix -- combined with my Wii, it is great. Also on my Wii, I have a USB loader that allows me to play my back-upped games without having to insert the CD each time. Is there a similar thing that can be done with, say, a blue-ray player, an external hard-drive, and my movie collection? I would imagine a situation where I put my DVD into the player, it recognizes that this movie has not been saved to the hard drive, and copies it (prolly with an ISO to preserve menus and such) and then lets me play any of my movies on demand. Does anyone have success with a similar type of system? Is it all "do it yourself" or is there a product that can be purchased somewhere? Thanks for any help.

Re:Slightly Offtopic -- Opinion on VOD home system (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225796)

_Slightly_ off-topic?

Re:Slightly Offtopic -- Opinion on VOD home system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225822)

there are addon's for xmbc that dose this for you,

Re:Slightly Offtopic -- Opinion on VOD home system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226278)

sure there is. I, uh, 'back-up' my movies all the time.

Ubuntu instead! (4, Interesting)

linuxwonder (1681928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225650)

Forget Android...what about Ubuntu? Just once I would like to access my Netflix accnt. without having to start my VM for XP!

Re:Ubuntu instead! (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225800)

Forget Android...what about Ubuntu? Just once I would like to access my Netflix accnt. without having to start my VM for XP!

or ANY Linux distro for that matter....

How many movies do you watch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226534)

and is there some huge reason a delay of a day or two matters when you watch them? Can't you "access your netflix account" via the US postal service, then have the DVD in hand, which leads to being able to use it on your ubuntu machine, plus some gray area "time shifting" of the content? Why would you want to use up so much of your data plan on your wireless when you can get it direct to your desktop linux box the easy way, at *the same cost*? Ten bucks is ten bucks a month, VLC works just great on ubuntu, and it gets delivered rather painlessly, in a much easier to deal with format, right to your door. Plus, you don't have to VM borgware. Why deal with cooties and hassle when you don't have to?

Re:Ubuntu instead! (0, Flamebait)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225906)

Windows XP in a VM is really your only option? You don't have a PS3, a Wii, an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or the new Apple TV?

Re:Ubuntu instead! (3, Informative)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226014)

Um, no? Believe it or not, there are quite a few households where there are neither game platforms nor trendy Apple gadgets (Adults typically live here.)

Re:Ubuntu instead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226082)

What? I couldn't hear what you are saying. Once you get off your high horse, maybe we can hear you way down here...

Re:Ubuntu instead! (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226264)

Oh, I'm sorry, we couldn't hear you all the way over here in grown up world.

What an extraordinary childish statement, betraying your clear bias against people who play games for entertainment (or, shock horror, use their games consoles to access services like Netflix) or choose to use computer and peripherals/devices from a particular hardware vendor.

Anyone who uses Cisco hardware has silly hair! Nah nah!

Re:Ubuntu instead! (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226034)

Why should that surprise you? I do not have any of those things in my home either...then again, I am not a Netflix customer...

Re:Ubuntu instead! (3, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226244)

You speak like those devices are a given. It's a royal pain in the butt to get most Apple devices to sync with Ubuntu - so much so that anyone who uses Ubuntu probably is going to look for alternative options - like an Android phone for example.

That right there knocks the last 4 items off of your list. Now consider the possibility that he's not a gamer (I know - shock, horror), and then a PS3 or Wii becomes equally unlikely.

People aren't guaranteed to have all the hip devices.

Re:Ubuntu instead! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226502)

My real question is: why does he have a Netflix account in the first place? He knew the supported platforms but now he's complaining that his own work-around is annoying?

Get a roku box (1)

voss (52565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226408)

A HD roku box with n wireless is $99 which is about the same as the cost of a Windows 7 OEM dvd.

On demand payments? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226668)

Forget Android... what about on demand payments instead of subscriptions? I don't watch many movies and TV shows on discs and streaming. I love Redbox [redbox.com] for its 99 cents and no need to subscribe.

Do we want DRM on the platform? (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225662)

My question is, do we want DRM on the platform? Slippery slope here -- First it will be to protect movies. Then it will spread to apps, and then to critical parts of the Android OS, which makes it easier for cellular carriers to force device makers to lock their phones down.

We have enough issues with lockdown, especially the fact that there are -zero- [1] Android phones shipping in the US that have the ability to support custom ROMs.

I'll pass on the DRM. Netflix can stream and cache or roll their own solution in the apk so it doesn't affect the whole phone.

[1]: Of course, you can get a N1 or something else via import, but no US cellular carrier sells an open phone, and the only phones Google sells are ones that are antediluvian in nature when it comes to Android versions.

Re:Do we want DRM on the platform? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225890)

No.

Re:Do we want DRM on the platform? (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226086)

I personally take it one step further. Even to a whole new platform.
I use DRM for birth control.

Re:Do we want DRM on the platform? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226150)

It's not your choice. And there's already DRM on Android phones, according to the article, just no universal standard. So you're too late.

Re:Do we want DRM on the platform? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226222)

We have enough issues with lockdown, especially the fact that there are -zero- [1] Android phones shipping in the US that have the ability to support custom ROMs

Umm, dude -- they all have that ability. Whether it's been developed or not is another matter.

Re:Do we want DRM on the platform? (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226368)

This is same question I have about Flash on the iPhone. Do we really want a hack solution on an otherwise well devised. The reason to allow such a resource hog is so we can get access to content. The downside is that if Flash is allowed them developers will have incentive to write cappy Apps.

It is interesting that Flash was touted on Android because it would solve problems like this. The remakable thing is, apparently, flash does not solve problems. Even on the PC, netflix uses Silverlight.

So the answer is that DRM is needed because it solves a problem that many people want solved. Without it the market is limited to those that do not see it is a problem. In the case of Android, phones sales may never suffer due to not having Netflix. OTOH some are producing android tablets, and those may be hurt because of lack of netflix.

anyone know a Linux-compat netflix-like service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225686)

I have netflix now but am thinking to drop it because the streaming service relies on silverlight and does not work with Linux desktops, which is what my HTPC is.

Does anyone know of a similar service that works with Linux? Not Hulu - I mean the same business model as netflix where I can get streaming video without commercials over the net in addition to a mail DVD service.

Much appreciated if you do. I'd like to vote with my dollars against Netflix here, even though I'm happy with their service in other ways.

Same tale, over and over again. (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225692)

Since when does DRM work to prevent piracy? The phones will get rooted/jailbroken/hacked anyways.

Maybe they just want that to cover their asses when someone actually starts ripping netflix movies, so they can't be pointed at because they used DRM?
Or maybe they just want to look secure to their partners because they "use DRM"?

Who knows, but fact is that is just a smokescreen and the bubble will pop sooner or later, and they are making a lot of noise about nothing. They look like idiots in our eyes, but they would need to look like idiots to everyone, including themselves. I hope they do sooner than later.

Re:Same tale, over and over again. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225910)

It's really tough to get content providers online if you're not using DRM. Just look at how much work gog.com has gone to in order to procure games. And those are games that are years to decades old and are easily available in pirated form already.

Movies are almost certainly worse considering how much more cartel controlled they are than games.

Android security holes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34225720)

Seriously, Google produces a-holes?

and why do we need drm? (4, Insightful)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225768)

All is hear is the studios screaming at me that they don't want my money every time I open my wallet.

Re:and why do we need drm? (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226142)

There may be an argument when it comes to purchases. If I buy something, it's mine and the existence of a DRM is questionable (although we know it's there to avoid re-distribution.)

When it comes to renting the content, though, things are very different. Digital media must be protected to prevent trivial things like browser add-ons from just downloading a stream you paid for directly, via monthly fee, or by agreeing to endure ads.

I see no reason to complain about a streaming service relying on DRM to keep their data secure. It's almost as extreme as complaining because bank websites encrypt their data transfers.

Re:and why do we need drm? (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226236)

All is hear is the studios screaming at me that they don't want my money every time I open my wallet.

Oh, they want your money. They just want it again, and again, and again.

Re:and why do we need drm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226466)

Of course - they don't just want your money, they want your money on subscription.

Re:and why do we need drm? (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226692)

All I hear is motivation for the developer community to make ripping DVDs/BDs to mobile formats easier and faster. Who needs Netflix when you can view your own backup copy for free?

There's still slingbox and comcast. (1)

fkx (453233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225830)

There's still slingbox and comcast.

I guess that will have to do until netflix gets it.

Forget Android (3, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225914)

I just want a decent selection from Netflix Canada.

Why watch movies on your phone? (0, Offtopic)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225960)

Oh, now I remember, most of you have normal type jobs or go to school and want entertainment for every second you are not in said activity. Me, I can't be bothered to watch a movie touch screen phone during my AK/HI 6 hour long commuter flights.

Netflix does run on *some* Android devices (5, Interesting)

happymellon (927696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34225986)

Netflix runs on the Google TV... http://blog.netflix.com/2010/10/netflix-on-google-tv.html [netflix.com]
Google TV runs on Android... http://code.google.com/tv/web/faq.html [google.com]
Thus Netflix runs on Android. I don't really know much about the whole pkg infrastructure, is the Android VM still close enough to Java for the write once run anywhere?

Re:Netflix does run on *some* Android devices (3, Informative)

happymellon (927696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226160)

Ok, I hadn't really looked in to this before. It seems like the Netflix app is an x86 compiled apk so it will not run on ARM. But if they ever get that compatibility layer for Ubuntu running, it would give you Netflix on Linux ;)

XDA already ripped the app from the Google TV. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=812601&page=6 [xda-developers.com]

Re:Netflix does run on *some* Android devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226294)

is the Android VM still close enough to Java for the write once run anywhere?

While that has been Java's tagline, it has never been true in any case. It's one of the reasons why people think Java is stupid. There are scripting languages that are much more portable than Java and C/C++ definitely is if you use cross-platform API's.

Re:Netflix does run on *some* Android devices (1)

happymellon (927696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226356)

Then you sir write crappy code. Please don't blame a language for not being portable, if you insist on using proprietary extensions.

Please define "never true" with regards to Squirrel:
http://squirrel-sql.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Netflix does run on *some* Android devices (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226724)

Having been involved in developing one of the early GoogleTV apps, I can say that Netflix does indeed work. So it is possible and it's possible with DRM.

However...

For higher end 720p-1080p content, ok....sure, I get it. Make it marginally harder to steal while your "new release" DVDs and BluRay content is in stores for whatever makes sense as a honeymoon period. But for your typical mobile content which is normally at much lower audio/video resolution, spare me.

Be happy that you got your micropayment from whatever android kiosk the owner used, even if it means that someone can "steal" that low rez crap later. Chances are if they really wanted to steal the content, they'd just download a ripped DVD/BluRay disk from the net, so it seems a bit silly to make it harder for folks to pay for the convenience of not bothering with all that.

Best,

Why DRM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226080)

Hasn't HDMI already been cracked, so the content can already be extracted from DRMed players?
Yeah, I have an Android device with HDMI, but I don't intend to copy what I shouldn't. I just don' t like to waste CPU time and I really hate people making fragile apps.

Keyword (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226092)

From the article:

Although we don’t have a common platform security mechanism and DRM, we are able to work with individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their devices. Unfortunately, this is a much slower approach and leads to a fragmented experience on Android, in which some handsets will have access to Netflix and others won’t.

Let the Android Fragmentation wars resume! I do ponder, though, if Netflix approached Google on this topic before feeling "forced" to deal with individual handset manufacturers.

GoogleTV has Netflix. GoogleTV is Android (1)

Hohlraum (135212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226100)

albeit a modified version of 2.1 They are full of shit and just making excuses.

Re:GoogleTV has Netflix. GoogleTV is Android (2, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226284)

This is talked about in TFA, although not directly, that they can work with individual manufacturers to bring it to Android, but this is a slow approach and leads to some devices having access and others not. Clearly GoogleTV is one of the former, while other android devices are part of the latter group.

Re:GoogleTV has Netflix. GoogleTV is Android (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226606)

Native app with x86 assembly maybe?

Because Netflix picked Silverlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34226122)

If Netflix choose Flash to deliver their streaming video they would have had a solution for just about every platform and special solutions for a very few (IOS, consoles etc)... Oh well, guess is sucks to pick the wrong solution.

Errm.. different question should be.. (1)

novar21 (1694492) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226258)

Why would I watch a movie on such a small screen? Esp. one that I paid money for? I have a nice large HD screen at home. Much nicer to see that size than something that small. I just might be getting old an my eye sight starting to fail, but is it really fun watching a movie on something that small? I like entertainment an all, but on a nice big screen with a bowl of popcorn.. female by your side.. seems to me to be far more entertaining. Just my two cents. Your mileage may vary.

Re:Errm.. different question should be.. (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226592)

Long(ish) journeys seem to be the most sensible reason. I probably wouldn't pay money specifically for something to watch while I'm stuck on the train for a few hours, but if it's part of a subscription service that I'm already paying for then it seems like a rather pleasant added benefit to be able to access it from anywhere (albeit on a small screen). As a somewhat niche secondary benefit, there are also smartphones with TV/monitor outputs (I believe the iPhone supports it, for example) - if I wanted to take a movie (which I don't have a physical copy of) around to a friend's house tonight, hooking up a phone to their TV seems like a reasonable way of doing so.

Blockbuster (1)

Fez (468752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226404)

So what is Blockbuster doing to appease the studio execs?

There is a Blockbuster app to stream movies on my Droid X, but I won't use it. They want to charge per movie instead of including access as part of my Blockbuster-by-mail subscription.

Seems Netflix is caving in more and more to the studios lately, between the delays in some new releases and this mess. I find it hard to believe this is a technical problem, someone is probably paying them to not do it.

That's not a bug, it's a feature. (0, Troll)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34226426)

You shouldn't be using netflix anyway.

Until the world changes, and we get rid of the MAFIAA, and people realise that we need to change the way we pay the authors, that copyright is broken, and that we need a new system ... until that day comes, there's only one simple solution that'll let you live happy, and will let the establishment know that they are doing it wrong by the numbers:

Free Software, Pirated content.

So, get your Android device, and start working on a Cuevana extension.

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