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Netflix Subscriber Base Eclipses Comcast's

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the streaming-to-the-future dept.

The Internet 333

NicknamesAreStupid writes "Netflix just announced its earnings and claims to have more subscribers than Comcast. 'Netflix's global subscriber base grew almost 70% over the past year, to 23.6 million users. ... More than 7% of Americans now subscribe to Netflix.' Does that go to show how great Netflix really is or, well, you know?"

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Let's just get this out of the way.. (0, Troll)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938358)

Reed Hastings is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Netflix. He also sits on the Microsoft Board of Directors. This may - or may not - have anything to do with why you can't get an Android Netflix viewer client. But those below who would complain should be aware of this.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35938370)

you're a fucking troll

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (4, Insightful)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938552)

Why is it available on iPhone then?

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938708)

Because Apple is Apple. Apple does not take on Microsoft territory, they do their own stuff and dont care about the other ecosystems. Yes, they are big, but they are a niche and are happy with their (quite big) niche. Android, on the other hand, is what microsoft used to be, a platform open for business from both hardware and software partners and everybody else who want to mess with it. Microsoft failed to be microsoft in mobile and came up trying to be Apple with Ms WinPhone7. Under the hood, the philosophy of Ms is similar to AT&T, a crumbling monopoly trying to regain their past strongholds to be itself again. Microsoft do not own the Operating System market anymore, nor does it own the office document viewing market (it still own the authoring part of this market).

that's why Ms exec hate Android deeply and dont care about Apple as long as Apple dont try to rob their stronghold. After all, Apple has so much success creating new ones that it doesn't need to push for the old ones.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938728)

This may surprise you, but there's also Office for the Mac. And there was once Internet Explorer, too.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938558)

Reed Hastings is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Netflix. He also sits on the Microsoft Board of Directors. This may - or may not - have anything to do with why you can't get an Android Netflix viewer client. But those below who would complain should be aware of this.

Ahh, that explains why I can't get an iPhone or iPad viewer... oh wait....

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (2, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938650)

Microsoft fears Android (Linux) far more than permaniche apple products.

Apple will never unleash mass market versions of their products, Linux has and will. That's Microsoft's territory and it scares the fuck out of them to be replaced as the default OS.

It's already happening though, the Desktop market is their last stand... they've lost everywhere else.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938718)

Well the iPod was/is pretty mass market...

Hmm, not sure. (3, Interesting)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938712)

To be fair there is a Win Phone 7 version and iOS (which has lots of MS apps thus far). I wouldn't scream fuck MS, but at the same time providing a Win7 Phone client before Android does suggest something. Perhaps the GP is biased, but reality doesn't seem too far off.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938602)

He also sits on the Microsoft Board of Directors. This may - or may not - have anything to do with why you can't get an Android Netflix viewer client.

Microsoft isn't any less evil now then it ever was, the only difference is that everybody else in tech has out evildoer'ed them. I'll take a ruthless, 'cut off the air supply' any day over 'do no evil' adverts.

If you make $72k per year at 2000 hrs (5-day week) your time is worth 1 cent per second. Every time you glance at a youtube popup ad that's a penny. Every time you sit though a hulu 45-second add break that's half a dollar of useful work that's been robbed from you. Adverts (ie 99.9% of Big Google's revenue) is just a way to trick you into working for peanuts. Kind of like an MMO adverts make it 'fun' to work for the man. At $8 a month netflix is a steal compared to advert television, and not having to support an advert-funded OS like Andriod is just bonus.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938906)

OMG!!! You're right! I'll never sleep again!! I'm bleeding money with every sleeping moment!!

Get a grip on your reality HUMAN. You're a biological machine that needs certain balances to remain healthy and this includes distractions and the time it takes to have them.

I block advertising in every way including simply not watching TV.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938720)

Get out the blackboard so we can all follow along, Glenn.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (4, Informative)

curunir (98273) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938762)

They've explained why... [netflix.com] :

The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android. The same security issues that have led to piracy concerns on the Android platform have made it difficult for us to secure a common Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on these devices. Setting aside the debate around the value of content protection and DRM, they are requirements we must fulfill in order to obtain content from major studios for our subscribers to enjoy.

So, yeah...it has nothing to do with it.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938930)

Yeah, I too would tend to blame the short-sighted content rights holders for this. It took how long before digital music opened up? We should expect at least as long for video if not more. DVDs are still encrypted as are BluRay. They don't see the harm in encrypted media... not even a little bit. And video isn't used the same way as music -- people do other things while listening to music. Video usually requires [or expects] full attention.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (2, Insightful)

keithpreston (865880) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938774)

These is no Netflix client because DRM is hard to impossible on Fragmented Open Source Android. Apple and Microsoft have protected video paths. They either have to relicense content to stream DRM free, or come up with a solution on a phone by phone basis to meet the DRM requirements of the content agreements.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35939320)

Can someone please explain to me why this can't be done in the same way that flash does drm? I mean, I am unaware of any way to rip Hulu streams (which rely only on flash). Is it the lack of some flash-like drm libraries globally available on Android?

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35939322)

These is no Netflix client because DRM is hard to impossible on Fragmented Open Source Android.

You're talking out of your ass again, stop it. Your entire post is nothing but a pile of Troll bullshit, it's not even remotely accurate and if you had ANY knowledge of programming you'd realize how stupid you just made yourself look.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938818)

I have a netflix client on my android phone. It doesn't work for viewing as it's a pre-release version but you can alter your list. That being said there IS a Netflix client for Android.. it's just not released yet, as other's have said.. due to the DRM issue.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35939012)

http://www.droid-life.com/2011/02/14/netflix-on-android-confirmed-for-snapdragon-phones-first/

Will be coming to Snapdragon phones. People are right when they say it is due to Android lacking a protected video chain for DRM, you basically need to get in there at the OEM/chipset manufacturer level and make it work.

Re:Let's just get this out of the way.. (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#35939090)

Riiight, you want to know the REAL reason why Linux doesn't have (and never will have) a Netflix client? Two reasons: #1 No kernel level DRM is allowed, ala Janus which is supported by both MSFT and Apple and which IIRC Netflix uses, and #2 because you have Linus "We don't need no steenkin plans!" [kerneltrap.org] Torvalds going Goatse on the kernel whenever he gets a bug up his ass.

So that means you either hand out your code, which in the case of Netflix would have a "Razr1911 fuck teh man LOL!" edition less than a week later, or they "pull an Nvidia" and pay a whole team of developers round the clock to deal with everytime Torvalds breaks every damed thing with one of his wild hairs.

Free as in freedom has a price my friend, and as long as you have the one two punch of no kernel DRM and Linus "Plans? What are they?" Torvalds you can give it up on ever getting Netflix. But cheer up, maybe Torvalds will retire and then you get someone to actually run it like a multimillion dollar project (can you imagine going to YOUR boss and saying "we don't need no plans!" on a multimillion dollar project? Can you say fired?) and then instead of having to keep a development team you'll actually have "write once, use for years" like Apple and MSFT (and Solaris, and BSD, and OS fricking 2) have had for over a decade.

Oh and BTW, before anyone brings up the LinuxTM "StableKernelABINonsense" you might want to actually look up the post against a stable ABI and you will see that is was/is completely POLITICAL in nature. The author went so far as to actually call anyone who doesn't have all their code over to the tender mercy of the kernel devs "leeches" and hoped their devices were Goatse'd quickly. Meanwhile Linux has yet another "killer app" that it can't use while its competitors CAN. How many honestly think you are gonna get any of those people to switch to Linux now?

SILVERLIGHT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35939230)

That's why they use junk like silverlight

Next up (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938380)

Netflix ISP

superior value (4, Insightful)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938384)

obviously, netflix is the far superior value to what most cable companies offer.

There's a big difference, though (5, Insightful)

nysus (162232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938388)

Netflix isn't sucking about $2K/year out of me like Comcast.

Re:There's a big difference, though (4, Insightful)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938432)

True, but Netflix is going to eventually force Comcast to lower their prices significantly.

As Netflix offers more TV programming, there may come a tipping point where you don't need Cable TV at all, you could just get all your programming from Netflix. THEN all you need is the broadband service + Netflix. Even though the broadband service might come from Comcast, you don't have to pay the exorbitant rates for the TV channels!

Re:There's a big difference, though (5, Interesting)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938504)

My tipping point was last year.

Re:There's a big difference, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938808)

My tipping point was 2007.

Re:There's a big difference, though (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#35939056)

my tipping point was 2 years ago.

Re:There's a big difference, though (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938536)

True, but Netflix is going to eventually force Comcast to lower their prices significantly.

Wrong content providers will start charging Netflix the same amount that they charge Comcast and the cost of Netflix will sky rocket.

Re:There's a big difference, though (1)

jkmartin (816458) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938642)

Eh not really. Netflix content of TV shows is at least 1 season behind what you get from cable/satellite/antenna/Hulu. It's more a situation of a game being released at $60 and a year later being $19.99. If you haven't seen or played it before it still has 100% of its entertainment value left, it's just not poppin fresh (or whatever the kids say today).

At least with me, watching TV shows from Netflix has increased the amount of broadcast TV I watch. I never bothered with "30 Rock" before giving it a try on Netflix and now watch the new episodes on TV.

Re:There's a big difference, though (5, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938614)

True, but Netflix is going to eventually force Comcast to lower their prices significantly.

No, that is not true at all. Netflix reaching critical mass is what prompted Comcast to introduce the bandwidth cap. The way Comcast will compete is not by continuing to improve their network, or improving product or cutting prices, but by lowering bandwidth caps further. Comcast is old media which is dabbling in interweb technology. Comcast is not an ISP - at least not in mindset.

Re:There's a big difference, though (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938756)

If they lower their caps one iota further I will leave.

Re:There's a big difference, though (1)

krull (48492) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938668)

Gotta disagree with this. Netflix prices have only been going up, and it seems to be due to the cost of streaming content. I've never found the streaming selection useful and the video quality is generally just not up to par. I subscribe for access to Blu-ray and DVDs and wish they would offer a disk only plan without the streaming costs. I've actually just put my plan on hold and am thinking about canceling due to the price levels...

Re:There's a big difference, though (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938764)

As Netflix offers more TV programming, there may come a tipping point where you don't need Cable TV at all, you could just get all your programming from Netflix. THEN all you need is the broadband service + Netflix. Even though the broadband service might come from Comcast, you don't have to pay the exorbitant rates for the TV channels!

Yeah, they'll just raise internet prices or institute usage caps and overage charges until the cost is about the same whether you have Comcast Cable Television or use Netflix + with a level of Comcast HSI with enough speed and usage allowance to comfortably operate it.

Re:There's a big difference, though (2)

moredrivel (943823) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938792)

Between Netflix & Hulu Plus, I've got all the TV and movies I can stand to watch. I dropped my cable plan down to local broadcast only and if I don't find a reason to watch any of those channels soon I'll drop the whole shebang.

Re:There's a big difference, though (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 2 years ago | (#35939074)

Even if you can't find a reason to stop watching those channels, give an antenna a shot, you may still be able to get all the locals for free, and spend even less per month.

Re:There's a big difference, though (2)

bjwest (14070) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938816)

And this scares the shit out of the major ISP/cable providers. This is also the reason for the big push for metered broadband. Comcast (or any other cable provider for that matter) will not drop their prices on cable without being able to make it up in their broadband income. And you bet your ass they're in the process of buying the representatives to make it happen.

Re:There's a big difference, though (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938874)

it was about 3 yrs ago I cut the cord to the sat tv system.

I get some OTA tv (with mythtv and hdhomerun); but mostly its netflix for me.

much cheaper, better quality, no commercials and I can watch in any format after a simple 'conversion'.

zero need for pay tv on a cable anymore. I love the fact that I have not had a cable-tv account for over a decade and no sat-tv account for a good 3 years now. plus, any commercials that come thru get zapped at myth-level and anything good gets saved on my HD in cleartext, for as long as I want.

them's MY TERMS and I get to say what goes.

can't see myself going back to cable or sat. that was so last century.

Re:There's a big difference, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35939096)

until netflix gets live programming of sports or current series episodes then they will not eclipse any cable or cable like provider

Re:There's a big difference, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35939138)

True, but Netflix is going to eventually force Comcast to lower their prices significantly.

I think you mean that Netflix will eventually realize that they can raise their price significantly because of Comcast.

Think like a corporation!

Re:There's a big difference, though (2)

stretch0611 (603238) | more than 2 years ago | (#35939192)

True, but Netflix is going to eventually force Comcast to lower their prices significantly.

Not true... More than likely, broadcasters and networks will continue to increase the carry fee that they charge Comcast to carry their channel(s). This will force Comcast to continue to increase fees for cable. While Comcast can decrease their profit margin, I think most people realize that Comcast will only do this as a desperate last resort.

While I am one of the minority of people to cut the cable connection, It will be a very long time before most people do the same. Some people will wrongly assume that it is too difficult to use Netflix or other resources, but many more people are just too reluctant to change -- they will just stay with the status quo.

Even if Comcast is forced to lower cable prices in order to retain customers, they will just increase internet fees. If they don't extract their money one way, they will adjust their pricing to take even more money from you a different way.

Redbox is doing well too (3, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938436)

It's a different format, but I'm liking the Redbox thing. It's handy and inexpensive, and importantly - commitment free. If you're going to do a rental and it's in your area, give it a try. The website will tell you what movies are available in your area, and which box to get it from. You can return the movie to any box. DVD's are $1, Blu-Ray is $1.50 (per day). If you don't bring the movie back they just ding your card a reasonable retail price and you're done. I hear they're considering video games as well. It's credit card only though.

/obviously no, I don't work for Redbox.

And yeah, Netflix is kicking butt. They're coming to some large numbers though and the studios are on to them now. They're going to see increasing friction. It remains to be seen if they can see it through. I hope they do well. I also hope they release an Android client.

Re:Redbox is doing well too (2)

Crimson Wing (980223) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938532)

Games have been in RedBox locations in some areas for a few months now. $2.00/night.

And yeah, Netflix and Redbox are both awesome. Between them and GameFly, the three of 'em pretty much ate Blockbuster alive.

Re:Redbox is doing well too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938804)

Not to mention Redboxes are everywhere. Before I moved there were 20+ with in a 1.5 miles radius of my house. About 30 of them now. They are a great deal. Unfortunately most new movies are horrible. Pick up the slack hollywood, most of your movies aren't even worth a dollar to me!

Re:There's a big difference, though (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35938438)

Just... wow. I cancelled my basic cable because the $15/mo was more expensive than Netflix's $8.99 deal.

O

Re:There's a big difference, though (1)

nysus (162232) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938724)

I'm paying Comcast for phone, internet, and TV.

Re:There's a big difference, though (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938500)

Netflix also isn't providing the pipe upon which they're delivered. Nevertheless - as one paying the same 2k/year to another cable company, I feel your pain.

Re:There's a big difference, though (3, Insightful)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938626)

No one provides the pipe end to end. Comcast provides the last mile to the end users and makes money providing Internet access to home users.

Perhaps Comcast should pay for Netflix's pipes? Just as ridiculous as the other way around.

Or, how about this - each entity pays for their own pipes. Comcast is an ISP and should provide its customers transit to whatever content they want to. End of story.

Re:There's a big difference, though (5, Interesting)

hellwig (1325869) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938882)

Here Here.

As I like to point out, for $8/mo not only can Netflix afford to pay the content providers for their content, it can also pay it's own internet bills. Yet supposedly for $45+/mo, local ISPs can't seem to provide enough internet access to home users. Every byte home users pay to download Netflix paid to upload. And if Netflix gets some sort of "bulk deal" on bandwidth (yeah, I don't know how that would work either), you'd think actual ISPs like AT&T and Comcast could get a better deal, yet all the ISPs do is complain about bandwidth and put download limits in place.

overcount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35938410)

Does that include suspended subscriptions like mine?

7% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35938424)

7% of the entire United States is damn piss poor.

Re:7% (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35938448)

I'll take 8 bucks a month (just to subscribe) from 7% of the US, thanks.

Re:7% (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938572)

Indeed 7% is amazing. Just based on how many markets there are in the US with their own media and commercials it is impressive. I doubt AT&T or Verizon are much over double that and they are damn near required for most people these days.

Re:7% (2)

gyroidben (1223170) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938802)

That 7% statistic appears to be taken from dividing the number of subscriptions by the population. In fact it should be divided by the number of households. The real number is likely higher.

Maybe someday (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938440)

all this streaming video will force Comcast to raise their monthly limit. 250gb per month might be a lot for some, but not for a house full of video watchers...

Re:Maybe someday (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938518)

I find these kinds of comments hyperbolic for most users. You know, the 99% of user's. Yes, I understand we hate to have an artificial limit on data streams, but how often do you bump up against it?

With HD video it is certainly a possiblity, but not SD. My family streams, on average, 8 hours from Netflix per day between a TV w/Roku and three computers. Combine that with several dozen podcast subscriptions updated at least weekly, averaging 1/2GB at a time, online streaming video, plus uploading to our personal websites, and everything else possible by a modern American family online, and the most we have ever used is 145GB in a month. And that was when I went on a music binge and downloaded as many free albums as I could find in an afternoon, pulling down 12GB in 3 hours.

I'm not saying it isn't possible, but unless you are streaming nearly constantly, most peo.

Re:Maybe someday (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938850)

I would have to agree with this. We've ditched our cable TV and watch our content almost entirely over streaming. With normal use on standard resolution video we burn through about 120-130GB/month of data usage.

Re:Maybe someday (3, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938584)

Why would they raise it? If anything they'd lower it, and not just to protect their profits.

Unicasting content is insanely wasteful. Even with CDNs with good placement (Akamai, etc) that's 1 unicast stream per TV. If you follow this to its logical conclusion and Netflix or some other IPTV provider usurps cable/satellite for subscription channels, what happens the next time Monday Night Football is on ESPN? They're going to stream it to unicast it to 11 million households [zap2it.com] , many of whom are going to want to do DVR things like skipping and pausing?

Multicasting is going to be around for a long, long time still. So long as it does, the cable/fiber/satellite networks are still the gatekeepers; they're not going to embrace IP multicasting when they have a perfectly good system that does the same thing.

Re:Maybe someday (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938702)

Multicasting is going to be around for a long, long time still. So long as it does, the cable/fiber/satellite networks are still the gatekeepers; they're not going to embrace IP multicasting when they have a perfectly good system that does the same thing.

No, they won't.
But Netflix might.

Re:Maybe someday (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938750)

Or AT&T's new 150gb/mo. cap for DSL customers (and AT&T's UVerse matching Comcast's 256gb/mo. cap). Both want to kill innovation and stop you from getting your media elsewhere.

How utterly stupid of them. All the while Google is launching 1gb service in KSK in 2012 to any ISP that dares to use their pipes.

SOMEONE is inviting lower bandwidth caps... (2)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938478)

Watch as Comcast and other ISPs claim how much HD film watchers are "degrading the quality of their networks".

Re:SOMEONE is inviting lower bandwidth caps... (1)

kenshin33 (1694322) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938526)

we have this circus in Canada !!!!

Don't think Comcast and etc. will let this go. (5, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938488)

The problem today is that at least in the US most broadband providers are TV providers also. The telecos who don't have a TV network have even gotten on board with "bundles" including DirecTV and Dish. They are smarter than consumers give them credit for though. You might think your poor service is proof of their incompetence- your wrong... sooo wrong. They will do anything to maintain a baseline of service that is merely tolerable because raising the bar costs them money and frankly where the hell will you go? To the other massive evil teleco/cable, overpriced wireless (3G/4G) or satellite? Dial-up perhaps? Of course not, they've got you buy the nuts. So expect Comcast's already pathetic 250 gig limit (even for 100$ monthly subscribers BTW) to go down (in GB per month), AT&T and Verizon are sure to follow (shocking!!). In the end, if they have their way, you will be able to watch Netflix, but it will cost in bandwidth fees nearly as much as it would cost to rent- with their respective pay-per-view fees. With today's government oversight and teleco mentality could it end any other way?

Re:Don't think Comcast and etc. will let this go. (0)

kenshin33 (1694322) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938548)

u candian by any chance??:)

Re:Don't think Comcast and etc. will let this go. (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938660)

American, but living close to Canada in the frigid Midwest. I think my complaints may apply to my northern friends as well though!

Re:Don't think Comcast and etc. will let this go. (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938760)

The only thing we have in Canada that isn't worse than in the States, network-wise, is the total absence of effective copyright enforcement. For now, at least. Our infrastructure is much weaker, our cell companies gouge even more aggressively, and small ISPs are constantly under threat of execution by Bell Canada and the cable companies, who are determined to get out of the obligation to resell, or at least find a way to monetize their resellers' customers directly. Fortunately, the trash that was elected when Bush was popular is on its way out—since we can call elections at just about any time—and it's looking that the next government is probably going to be legitimately left-wing and staunchly pro-consumer. So that might help.

Re:Don't think Comcast and etc. will let this go. (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938814)

Well one can only hope. Sadly the death of small ISPs has pretty much ended down here, and big teleco was the winner. Back in the dial-up days there were dozens perhaps hundred of providers here (and there I imagine). But DSL and cable have curtailed this with DSL still allowing a few 3rd parties who pay more for less and often market from a religious angle and thus don't fit my home. Today I live in a near duopoly between Qwest and Comcast, both of which offer poor service for top dollar. I'm not a smart enough man to claim to know the solution to all this, but I know that competition is needed. If the government must stand in than I suppose that is the case, but becoming a third world internet nation seems obscene.

Re:Don't think Comcast and etc. will let this go. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#35939072)

One proposal to that dilemma which I have read is to make it illegal to both sell internet access directly to residential consumers and own backbone or content. It's a fairly obvious monopoly magnet, and I think that the model in the aforementioned proposal would work really, really well—but the only force that could make it happen is the complete collapse of the American government, and probably the abolition of money. The businesses are indestructibly fortified with the fruits of their anarchocapitalist attitude toward law (common carrier status, destroying municipal wifi, etc) and would have absolutely no trouble blocking any attempts to use the system to fix the problem. It's too corrupt. You can't save it.

Re:Don't think Comcast and etc. will let this go. (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#35939044)

...since we can call elections at just about any time...

Which is just brilliant! I wish the US would upgrade its democracy to include some of the features of the many, many much more democratic nations around the world these days. If only the same people who think the Bible is the word of God (idolatry at its worst -- take a book written by men and act like it's infallible or has other god-like attributes) didn't also think the US Constitution is likewise sacred holy writ... and they didn't form half the electorate.

Re:Don't think Comcast and etc. will let this go. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#35939104)

Then jump ship. Emigrate, emigrate, and emigrate until they're all that's left. Then they can have their worthless rustic holy land, and the rest of the world can have a future. Civilization is moving on now. It lacks clarity of thought—as a culture, we've rejected the humanities so severely that we no longer respect one another and will say or do anything to win—but it's still moving on. You're only harming yourself and your descendents by giving the violinist [wikipedia.org] an audience.

Why would AT&T follow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938638)

Comcast's bandwidth cap is ridiculously higher than AT&T's. Comcast would have to sink a hell of a lot lower for AT&T to be in a position to follow them anywhere.

'sides, Comcast is a bloody canonized saint compared to my last ISP - a regional cable provider, who took a line from Vader and repeatedly altered the terms of my service agreement, and insisted I should pray they didn't alter them further.

Re:Don't think Comcast and etc. will let this go. (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 2 years ago | (#35939024)

Although I'm a mostly happy Comcast customer at home, my company is also a large customer of a local WISP, giving them 40x what Comcast makes on my home connection.

I only use Comcast for Internet so that I can get to Hulu/Netflix. If/when Comcast becomes a problem, I'll switch to the WISP which is growing like gangbusters and offers speeds comparable to my Comcast.

Re:Don't think Comcast and etc. will let this go. (1)

stretch0611 (603238) | more than 2 years ago | (#35939238)

I agree with you, but one of your facts is incorrect.

It is not available in every market, but AT&T offers digital tv (over IP) that competes with cable. It is owned by AT&T and not a branded satellite product. (AT&T offers this in parts of Georgia and I am sure they offer it elsewhere.)

In addition I know that Verizon offers a similiar IP-based tv service in parts of New Jersey.

Or, well, you know? (2)

BlueF (550601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35938498)

Netflix is a great STEP in the right direction...

I'm far from alone in saying -- until we can access content, on AND offline, from any device, and for a reasonable price -- entertainment industry is far from where it needs be!

Re:Or, well, you know? (1)

BlackBloq (702158) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938674)

Offline is a thing of the past.

Re:Or, well, you know? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#35939152)

...until we can access content, on AND offline, from any device...

Or from no device at all! A device shouldn't be necessary any more than being online should be, amirite? ;)

But seriously, having "offline" as a requirement is going to look like a seriously antiquated idea very soon. Requiring an online connection will be as limiting to a computing device as having an atmosphere is a limiting requirement to an airplane. Sure, there are places a plane can't fly, due to the fact that it require airflow over the wings -- but most people can live with a device that simply works everywhere on Earth, even if these are other parts of the universe from which it would be useless.

good to see new tech prosper (1)

rickzor (1838596) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938520)

I'm sure Netflix had a jump in subscribers over their streaming service, and 4.99/mo for unlimited on demand movies/tv shows is a lot nicer than a Comcast TV subscription fee + pay per view movies fee + advertising. With the flexibility of internet streaming eliminating advertising and pay per view crap, its nice to see the numbers supporting this.

A big win for Silverlight (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938534)

I'm not fan of \any plug-in that makes compatibility harder with non so called "mainstream" OS's, but I do use an occasional utilize Mac or PC when at a friends's home to watch a film and can't help but notice it seems like the only use for MS Silverlight on the planet. If nothing else 7%+ of American PC's with Silverlight installed is pretty big for a product that has thus far felt like a massive failure. I can't for the world of me see how Adobe, Apple, or even Real or one of the other plug-in pushers didn't secure this deal.

Not a big win for Silverlight (2)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938790)

I routinely watch Netflix streams via 5 different devices, and not one of them requires MS Silverlight. I view on an AppleTV, a Tivo HD, an iPad, an iPod Touch, and occasionally a Wii.

This is not the big win for Silverlight you think it is. This is proof that Netflix streaming is being built into more and more consumer devices. If the only way I could view their streams was via my PC, I wouldn't bother... I'd just stick with the disc mailers.

7% of America, not 7% for Silverlight (1)

akkornel (1800252) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938938)

There's an interesting question to ask Netflix: How does the Netflix subsciber base break down, in terms of devices used? It would be interesting to see...

* Just how many people don't use a web browser to watch Netflix instant streaming?
* How many people only stream by computer, and not using any other platform?
* How many people bought a PS3 for Netflix, and the games, but eschew Blu-Ray?
* How many people don't use Netflix instant streaming at all?

Re:7% of America, not 7% for Silverlight (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938976)

A very good point indeed. I for one haven't watch Netflixed on a PC/Mac for almost a month. I used my iPhone or a virtual machine in Ubuntu quite often, or sometimes my Roku box. That being said, I think my original point about Silverlight penetration still stands. Even if only half the share of Netflix is on PC (unlikely) that is a hell of a lot further than it would have ever gotten alone.

Re:A big win for Silverlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938828)

> makes compatibility harder with non so called "mainstream" OS's

Not a factor. It's compatible with Win and OSX on the desktop. Everything else is a rounding error.

> it seems like the only use for MS Silverlight on the planet

Olympics broadcasts also use it. So does the IRS for e-filing.

For rich content on the web, Silverlight is not a bad technology. It's better than Flash in a lot of ways.

Streaming Services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938554)

In reality, this is where TV is going. People have complained and wanted to be able to only pay for channels that they want instead of getting these group channel deals. But now we have not only the ability to have this ability, but have it for far cheaper then anything else out there.

Cable and satellite companies just don't seem to get this and are dooming themselves until they either draw out or completely re-invent how they work and what they provide.

Re:Streaming Services (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938634)

Oh don't worry, the same companies that control TV also control our internet, and how much of a "Netflicks surcharge" we have to pay. And what the caps are set at. I'm sure they'll do fine for themselves; it's amazing what board position can do to hold back innovation; look at MSFT.

And to think if they went direct download first (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938556)

They'd have probably been sued by the movie industry if they tried to "Rent" movies online if they didn't do a physical DVD rental first. Even if they had one copy per every movie they rented out, they'd still probably would have been sued and lost.

Global subscriber base? (1)

caius112 (1385067) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938570)

Netflix is only available in the US & Canada. How can they have a global subscriber base?

Re:Global subscriber base? (1)

Narcogen (666692) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938622)

"Global subscriber base" just means "all the subscribers you have in the world"; meaning, without restricting to any particular country or group of countries. It's the most inclusive description. If you said "all North American subscribers" it would be just as accurate, but not as complete, as the phrase alone would not tell you whether or not Netflix had subscribers outside North America, and so you would not necessarily know that the North American figure was the complete one. Describing the subscriber base as "global" lets the reader know, with a single word, that this is all of a company's subscribers, everywhere, regardless of where they do or do not do business, so it's a good figure to use to compare companies.

It doesn't say anything whatsoever about what countries Netflix is in or not in. The only companies it makes sense not to talk about "global subscribers" are companies that have subscribers only in a single country; but even then you need to give two pieces of information in the place of one: you have to give the total subscribers in that area, and then you need to define the area.

Beyond that, presumably Netflix eventually plans to expand beyond North America.

Re:Global subscriber base? (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938648)

IPv6 tunnels, hmm. Just need to get past that billing address problem, not too hard if you're dedicated.

Comcast still wins even with Netflix (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938582)

I have no cable service and watch Netflix almost exclusively (plus some over the air channels), but Comcast still gets 4 times more money from me than Netflix because they provide my high speed internet.

I wouldn't be surprised to find that Comcast earns more profit from me as a internet-only subscriber than they would if I were a cable subscriber.

No Shit Sherlock (3, Informative)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938612)

I, like many others dropped Comcast Cable like the flaming turd it was a couple years ago and went with Digital Antenna + Tivo for HD local network broadcast. I still use Comcast for my internet connection via Comcast Business, but hey.. that's a tax write-off. They give me decent enough upstream (10Mbps) that I can host servers, and higher than advertised downstream (I usually get about 24Mbps) with no bandwidth throttling.

HBO is run by shitheads who pretend that P2P lawsuits are an effective deterrent and somehow think their offering is enough to keep people bound to Comcast Cable. Well HBO: FUCK YOU AND FUCK YOUR GO SERVICE.

I pirate HBO's shows because HBO wont let me get their shows with an iTunes purchase, they wont put them on Netflix and they seem to think I'll happily bend over and let them and Comcast have their way with my anal sphincter. But I wont -- the shitfest that is Cable TV is not worth $100.00 a month. So fuck you HBO and fuck your GO service. I hope you and Comcast and Viacom die the painful and agonizing death you deserve

Re:No Shit Sherlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35939022)

I pirate HBO's shows because HBO wont let me get their shows with an iTunes purchase, they wont put them on Netflix and they seem to think I'll happily bend over and let them and Comcast have their way with my anal sphincter. But I wont -- the shitfest that is Cable TV is not worth $100.00 a month. So fuck you HBO and fuck your GO service. I hope you and Comcast and Viacom die the painful and agonizing death you deserve

You know, a more powerful way of sticking it to HBO is by not watching their shows.

A story of a simple but great customer experience (5, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938678)

A few weeks back, I finally got around to sending back the DVD that I had been holding for about the last six months, having never once been hassled, harassed, or charged extra by Netflix for holding onto it for so long. Two days later, Netflix let me know that they had sent me film X from my DVD Queue.

"Hmm," I said to myself. "Wasn't X #2 on my queue? Well, no matter, I must be confused since I was rearranging it the other day."

Before film X had even arrived, Netflix notified me that X had been my #2, but that they had tracked down a copy of film Y, which was the actual #1 on my queue, and as a result, they would go ahead and send me a copy of that as well, despite the fact that I only had the plan that allows for one DVD at a time. They sent it out at no extra charge to me, and the two arrived on back-to-back days. It was great. It may have been a simple thing, but I hadn't had a company treat me so well in quite awhile. Despite that, it was the sort of thing that seemed natural with Netflix, since everything they do is so oriented around the customer.

It was with great sadness that I temporarily suspended my account the day after sending the videos back, since I needed to spend less time viewing films in my Instant Queue and more time on my graduate research. Even in that however, Netflix was great and continues to be great. They let me suspend it for up to three months, charge me nothing during that time, allow me to manage my queues and rate movies while my account is suspended, don't harass me to come back, and give me immediate access to a button for if I do want to close my account entirely. Compare that to Facebook, which makes deactivating your account a chore, places access to the feature in an out of the way location in your settings, only offers to deactivate but not delete your account, and swindles you into reactivating it if you simply log in.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to being done with my research and back in the embracing arms of Netflix in a few months. Chalk me up as a fanboy.

As for a story of great customer service from Comcast...

Umm...

Yeah, I got nothing. My latest experience with them involved 2-5 minute Internet outages that happened a few times every hour while I was visiting with my parents for the Easter holiday. I'm glad Comcast doesn't have a stranglehold over my area yet.

Re:A story of a simple but great customer experien (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938706)

Yup! I've had the same thing happen, TWICE so far! And been discounted my monthly fees twice without my having noticed a problem.

Have I never had a problem? Of course not! I've had times when a movie would not stream right, or the audio got out of sync, but not that often, and not in a long time. And every month or so, they send an email asking how a certain movie played, or when I received a DVD. For me, Netflix usually goes like this: I get a movie on Monday (at my p.o. box), sometimes can watch it and put it in my home mailbox that same day. They'll receive it Tuesday or Wednesday, and I'll receive the next movie on Thursday or Friday. It's insane, I'm on the one-DVD-at-a-t-ime plan, and regularly watch two DVDs a week.

With service like that, I'll be their customer for a long, long time!

Netflix surpasses comcast (0)

makubesu (1910402) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938688)

and comcast picks up the bill for the bandwidth. Keep on pouring that salt in the wound.

Comcast is regional (1)

aahpandasrun (948239) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938776)

Comcast is a regional cable provider. Netflix is nationwide. A little bit of bias there. If you want something more accurate, add up subscribers from Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, and whatever else people use.

netflix shitty service (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35938798)

Has anyone else had a problem with netflix service lately? I had their service for the last year and a half and it worked great, up until about 2 or 3 weeks ago, now it won't play on anything i own without re buffering every 2 minutes. So needless to say, I've dropped their shitty service and i now use amazon and hulu plus.I haven't had a single problem yet with either of them, no re buffering EVER! Plus it's only an extra $4.00 a month for both services.

Re:netflix shitty service (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938990)

Happen to be using Comcast as your ISP?
HMMMM....

GB Cap = Back to ripping or buying Netfix DVDs (2)

GabriellaKat (748072) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938868)

Just for the reason that I do have Comcast. And I do agree they will probably lower the GB cap eventually, and when/if they do, I will just stop streaming and go back to DVDs. Either ripping or buying. You know, like the old days. Or maybe Netflix will start their own ISP, or buy Comcast.

Monopoly time? (1)

akkornel (1800252) | more than 2 years ago | (#35938910)

So, when does Comcast accuse Netflix of acting like a monopoly?

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