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Is YouTube Launching a Netflix Competitor?

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the i-see-what-you-did-there dept.

Businesses 162

RedEaredSlider writes "YouTube could become the latest to offer a movie rental service, challenging streaming sites such as Netflix. Google is lining up deals with major Hollywood studios in order to launch the service. An anonymous executive at a studio that has signed on said Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate and Universal have all licensed their movies to the service. Not everyone is on board — Paramount, Fox and Disney declined to join."

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162 comments

Good luck with that (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943378)

Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate and Universal have all licensed their movies to the service.

How many movies? In what release window? will they be in HD? Will my xbox/PS3/blu-ray player support their streaming? Will they mail physical copies of movies that aren't available for streaming to my mailbox within 24-hours? What's the monthly fee?

Until these and many more questions are answered, I wouldn't call them a Netflix competitor at all. Netflix has established themselves as the guys to beat. And even if you can match their streaming service, you're damn sure going to have a tough time beating their mail service. And their mail service is still where I get most of my movies from them (since streaming is still only available for a fraction of their library). The fact that they're still missing three major studios doesn't give me much confidence that they're going to represent any real threat to Netflix. Blockbuster, Walmart, Apple, Amazon, and Hulu have all tried (often with half-assed efforts) to beat Netflix before. So you had better bring your A-game if you hope to do any better than they did.

Of course, they will decidely have an upper hand over Netflix in offering short videos of guys getting kicked in the groin and whiney teenagers crying about their tough suburban lives on webcams. I'll leave if for others to judge if that's an advantage or disadvantage.

Re:Good luck with that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943442)

Until these and many more questions are answered, I wouldn't call them a Blockbuster competitor at all.

There FTFY...

Re:Good luck with that (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943482)

How many movies? In what release window? will they be in HD? Will my xbox/PS3/blu-ray player support their streaming? Will they mail physical copies of movies that aren't available for streaming to my mailbox within 24-hours? What's the monthly fee?

Until these and many more questions are answered, I wouldn't call them a Netflix competitor at all.

So, you think that in order for someone to compete, they must clone the incumbent? I'll bet Blockbuster, Tower Records, Hollywood Video, et al wished that were true.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943508)

Considering that being able to stream to a TV from your Xbox/PS3/Wii from Netflix is what people want, yes. Or do you really think people are going to instead to want to watch things on their 15" or 17" computer monitors?

Re:Good luck with that (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943618)

I think that any service/good that competes with anything else brings its own mix of features and limitations that may or may not map 1:1 with what is already available. Netflix did not do what Blockbuster did. We saw the result. This will probably be different from what Netflix does. Competition is good.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943698)

This will probably be different from what Netflix does.

And it will fail since what Netflix offers clearly seems to be what customers want since they also have more customers than even a larger cable company.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943806)

And it will fail since what Netflix offers clearly seems to be what customers want since they also have more customers than even a larger cable company.

That's nonsense. I don't doubt that Netflix is a compelling service, however, it is not the be all end all of movie and television delivery. You are saying that because Netflix is popular that it will always be so. Uh, hello? IBM, DEC, Sun, Chrysler, and thousands to millions of others.

Re:Good luck with that (2)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943906)

What if it's free?

Google is really good at advertising, and using data to make ads pay more.

It is quite likely that Google can use this to their advantage and be closer to a Hulu competitor, but one that pays the content producers more.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944574)

Hulu already does free streaming, and they're not any real competitor with Netflix (not even in the streaming market, much less the overall rental market).

Re:Good luck with that (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944886)

Hulu has crap content compared to Netflix. I'm sure Google realizes this and will hopefully address it with their offering.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943950)

This will probably be different from what Netflix does.

And it will fail since what Netflix offers clearly seems to be what customers want since they also have more customers than even a larger cable company.

Customers don't want only one thing, last I checked. The majority of households are not Netflix customers. I'd even suspect that the majority of computer-using households are not NF customers. There's plenty of room in the market for Google to offer either a different service that meets the needs of other customers; a complementary service; or even to try a directly competing service.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944898)

And how many of the remaining households have a connection that's fast enough to stream movies? I'm not sure what the numbers are, but I don't think it's particularly fair to include households with a connection insufficient to stream in that calculation, otherwise Netflix would likely be doing a lot better in that respect.

Re:Good luck with that (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943972)

You know that people can stream from their Linux boxes, don't you? I presume there is Windows and Mac software available that will do the same. Maybe I shouldn't mention that VLC will stream to a file. People might misuse that information . . .

stuck in the 90s (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944328)

I don't own any of those game systems, so this "people" really don't want that. I have a PC, and I have a monitor, and that's how I "watch TV." My monitor is a 42" Panasonic Viera. I don't have cable cuz I am too cheap to pay for it. And I'm damn sure not going to pay per view for every movie and tv show.

I may not be a "typical user" but you're clueless if you think I'm one of a rare few geeks out there who have figured out how to connect an HDMI cable from my pc to my shiny new "digital TV."

Re:Good luck with that (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944532)

Since that's who the article indicated they were intended to compete with, then that's who they must be compared to, of course.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944848)

You weren't just doing a simple comparison. You were implying that if this Youtube thing doesn't have $NETFLIX_FEATURE_1, $NETFLIX_FEATURE_2, and $NETFLIX_FEATURE_3, then Google is not competing with Netflix. That's just laughable.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944938)

If you were going to compete with someone, would you just ignore all their best features?

Re:Good luck with that (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943690)

->Paramount, Fox and Disney declined to join

And nothing of value was lost.

Nothing of Value? (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943924)

> ->Paramount, Fox and Disney declined to join

> And nothing of value was lost.

Star Trek?

Classic Disney Movies? Animated Robin Hood? Treasure Island? 20,000 leagues under the Sea? Marvel Entertainment?

Emily Deschanel?

Re:Good luck with that (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944008)

Yeah, no one wants to see such rinky dink films such as Star Wars, no one watched Family Guy (and similar), The Simpsons was cancelled midway through a season, Futurama only released a pilot episode, etc. etc. It's not like we're crying for the return of Firefly either. That's just Fox. Disney and Paramount have some big names too, like Star Trek for instance. Both have a pretty large collection of classic movies. A lot of their newer crap (all of these studios) sucks (e.g. Family Guy; I hate that shit), but they bring in viewers. Disney especially brings in kids.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944092)

Paramount:

  • Complete Paramount and Desilu film and television library, including all Star Trek syndicated TV and feature films.
  • Complete CBS and Viacom television library, Aaron Spelling's library, MTV, Showtime, TNT, SpikeTV...
  • Carolco catalogue: Total Recall, Terminator 2, LA Story, Oliver Stone's Stone's The Doors
  • Most of the Cannon Films library, which is sortof a laugh but has a ton of genre scifi films from the 80s that we love: Invasion, USA, Runaway Train, Cyborg etc.
  • The CW (heh!)
  • Basically anything with a Paramount logo on it after 1970. Depressingly, Paramount sold most of its back catalogue off in the 50s. It never held indefesible rights to the Alfred Hitchcock films it produced, those reverted to his estate (thank god).

Fox:

  • Any Alien film
  • Any Star Wars film (a mixed bag to be sure)
  • Any Predator film, any Die Hard film
  • 20th TV, so Fringe, Firefly, 24, Family Guy, American Dad , Simpsons, etc.

Fox is huge hunk chunk of the contemporary adult library and makes a ton of good new content. Disney:

  • Any Pixar film
  • Basically any film made in the last 30 years you can take a 10 year old to see without worrying about what's in it
  • Bascially any film made previous to the last 30 years that a 10 year old would WANT to see
  • Touchstone: Dead Poets Society, almost anything Ron Howard made in the 80s, Wes Anderson's films, Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  • Much Jerry Bruckheimer, through Touchstone of Hollywood Pictures: The Rock, Pirates of the Carribean, but older films like Con Air and The Ref to name only a few.
  • ABC Studios: Lost, Scrubbs, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy
  • Hollywood Pictures, genre films of the 90s: Arachnophobia, etc.

These three studios control maybe half the modern library real estate. Warner Bros, controls basically the entire classic film library, Sony much of the remaining TV and both control most of the remaining franchises.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

SecondaryOak (1342441) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943900)

How many movies? In what release window? will they be in HD? Will my xbox/PS3/blu-ray player support their streaming? Will they mail physical copies of movies that aren't available for streaming to my mailbox within 24-hours? What's the monthly fee?

Until these and many more questions are answered, I wouldn't call them a Netflix competitor at all.

But then again, if they offer international service, I would call them a Netflix killer, regardless of the other (important) question you have raised. Then again, availability most often depends on the studios themselves.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944636)

Considering that the studios' weird morass of international video distribution agreements has most frequently been cited as the sticking point with international streaming, this seems very unlikely.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944006)

Will they mail physical copies of movies that aren't available for streaming to my mailbox within 24-hours?

We have a Netflix subscription, the cheapest one, and we've just kept the most recent disk without returning it for a couple of months - there's nothing in our subscription queue that's worth the trip to the mailbox.

However, we watch things on Netflix Instant all the time; it's much more convenient than having to deal with physical disks (which occasionally just don't work in my wife's MacBook or the MythTV computer, but work fine on my Windows computers for some reason).

Re:Good luck with that (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944106)

How can the DVDs not work on Myth?
I have never seen one fail in my linux boxes, my home is linux and solaris only.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944144)

I have no idea. It might be that the DVD drives are failing - my wife got a penny in the DVD drive on her MacBook, and the MythTV box is using one that's been recycled through several other computers.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944166)

How can the DVDs not work on Myth?
I have never seen one fail in my linux boxes, my home is linux and solaris only.

Crappy DVD drive. I have one that I'm too lazy to replace, since I only use that machine once a month or so to watch movies from disc, and some of them do work...

Re:Good luck with that (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944664)

I do the same. But there are a LOT of movies I want to see that just aren't available for streaming (or only available for certain time periods). I like that Netflix allows me to see everything in some form, even if it's not available for streaming.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944084)

How many prime time shows? Will they be have current seasons of all major studios? Will they play through my cable box? Will they support TV Guide listings?

Until these and many other questions are answered, I wouldn't call Netflix a competitor to cable companies at all...

(/sarcasm)

Seriously, you listed Blockbuster? Did you write that comment 3 years ago or travel through a time warp? A back alley Betamax rental booth is a real threat to Blockbuster. And Walmart, Apple, and Amazon? WTF, man? These aren't even in the same league as Netflix. At least you could have said RedBox.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate and Universal have all licensed their movies to the service.

How many movies? In what release window? will they be in HD? Will my xbox/PS3/blu-ray player support their streaming? Will they mail physical copies of movies that aren't available for streaming to my mailbox within 24-hours? What's the monthly fee?

Until these and many more questions are answered, I wouldn't call them a Netflix competitor at all. Netflix has established themselves as the guys to beat. And even if you can match their streaming service, you're damn sure going to have a tough time beating their mail service. And their mail service is still where I get most of my movies from them (since streaming is still only available for a fraction of their library). The fact that they're still missing three major studios doesn't give me much confidence that they're going to represent any real threat to Netflix. Blockbuster, Walmart, Apple, Amazon, and Hulu have all tried (often with half-assed efforts) to beat Netflix before. So you had better bring your A-game if you hope to do any better than they did.

Of course, they will decidely have an upper hand over Netflix in offering short videos of guys getting kicked in the groin and whiney teenagers crying about their tough suburban lives on webcams. I'll leave if for others to judge if that's an advantage or disadvantage.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944710)

The article indicated that this was intended as a competitor with Netflix, and so that's what I compared it to. And yes, those other services aren't in the same league as Netflix. They're just examples of other services that have attempted at some point to compete with Netflix and failed.

Netflix is massively overvalued IMO (1)

llZENll (545605) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944286)

I have Netflix, love it, but it is massively overvalued IMO. Its like a dotcom with hardly any capitol. Google, Yahoo, Apple, Amazon, or any of the big players could render Netflix worthless overnight if they were able to agree to deals with any of the major studios for streaming newly released movies. Netflix streaming is awesome and I love it, but to be honest the selection is pathetic, there is hardly anything on there that is new, and nothing on there is a blockbuster title and new. The day the studios agree to terms with any streaming provider for new releases is the day Netflix is irrelevant, if Google got access to new movies then you better sell your Netflix stock.

Not really competing with Netflix (5, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943394)

Is Youtube's business model really competing with Netflix? The 24-hour $2.99 rentals look and feel a lot more like Amazon's video rental service (excluding Prime) than it does Netflix's all-you-can-eat model. Frankly, I think this model is kind of doomed from the get-go. Amazon and Apple have tried this kind of video rental service, and while I'm sure it's somewhat of a success, it has done absolutely nothing to stop Netflix from gaining market share and subscribers. Even Amazon realizes that the future of video services lie in all-you-can-eat services like Netflix rather than per-title rentals. And, frankly, I think that's what most consumers nowadays want anyway. Unless Youtube is going to actually go toward a more Netflix-like model, or find a model that's even more appealing to consumers, I can't see it as being terribly successful.

Re:Not really competing with Netflix (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943458)

Is Youtube's business model really competing with Netflix? The 24-hour $2.99 rentals look and feel a lot more like Amazon's video rental service (excluding Prime) than it does Netflix's all-you-can-eat model.

They can switch up any time, provided they have agreements in place with the copyright holders. Until they have a sizable catalog an à la carte approach is more appealing to me. There are probably numerous ways a new service could distinguish itself. For example, if I could preload the entire movie in 1080p and I could seek fore and aft then I would be pretty interested in a 72-hour rental that I could download overnight. The long period is to permit me to not watch it on the night I thought I was going to. Even though we have a Netflix subscription, I would probably pay a few bucks on occasion for this type of service.

On the other hand, it is patently true that the internet does not need yet another crappy streaming service. Youtube, however, is not just coming out of nowhere; it has an entire streaming infrastructure that can be used to deliver this kind of service on a for-pay basis. That seems like a fairly massive advantage for a "new" player in the commercial video streaming for pay market.

Re:Not really competing with Netflix (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943520)

Until they have a sizable catalog an à la carte approach is more appealing to me.

So you can spend more for less?

Re:Not really competing with Netflix (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943686)

Or less for less. If I can get a movie for less cost than it would be on, say, iTunes, but with a longer rental period (have a toddler, so it often takes me three evenings to finish watching a movie), and faster than Netflix (maybe it's only available on DVD so I'd have to wait for it) or Blockbuster (have to run out, again a hassle with the toddler), then it might be worthwhile.

Of course, balance that against the hassle of having to think about all the variables and it might not work out. What would be cool is if one device like a Roku or AppleTV would have access to YouTube, Amazon Streaming, Hulu, Netflix, iTunes and... whatever else, and would automatically choose the version of the movie that would be cheapest to watch right then.

I still don't understand why the studios don't allow the Netflix's of the world to stream anything that's available on DVD as soon as that DVD is available for rental. I have never, ever bought a DVD nor ventured out to Blockbuster because I couldn't stream it; it just means I have to wait for some movies, which is arbitrary and punitive to the customer.

Re:Not really competing with Netflix (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943716)

Or less for less.

So you only ever plan to rent 2 things in the entire month? Because that's the only way you are paying less than the Netflix streaming plan which is 7.99. Once you rent a 3rd movie you've already passed what Netflix costs.

Re:Not really competing with Netflix (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943860)

I rent fewer than 2 movies per month. I doubt it's even one per month, but I don't keep that close track.

Re:Not really competing with Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943896)

If you are anything like me, some months you might rent 3 movies, on others you might rent 0.

Re:Not really competing with Netflix (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943894)

saving a few dollars by eating day old bread or brown bananas is not a savings. paying $7 more to get new movies is not a lot to pay. And for those months when you don't watch many cause you are busy or there's nothing but crap, you get back some compared to the monthly drain.

That's the magic of $2.99. If we were talking $6.99 a movie then for me it would start to matter. but at $2.99 the amount extra I might save over netflix is not worth what I lose.

Re:Not really competing with Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35944020)

Sure, why not, I think there's a fair amount of people who watch 2 movies or less in a month.
Maybe they're not the most lucrative market, but as you say the lucrativeness is kind of upper bounded by 7.99 unless you can compete with Netflix on selection.
Which just leaves the question of whether there's enough of these occasional movie watchers to warrant another online service. At any rate the barrier of entry is going to be a lower than for the subscription market.
From which I guess the conclusion is that they do indeed have a different target market than that of Netflix, at least as of yet.

Re:Not really competing with Netflix (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944052)

I would agree - Netflix's closest competitor is Comcast, which also has the pay-as-you-go model. Netflix owns 61% of the market, Comcast 8% (and Comcast is second!). OTOH, YouTube is a close second to Netflix for volume of US internet traffic (20% to 19% to Facebook's 17% - not that Facebook is also trying to get into the market), so the infrastructure is there.

OTOH, it depends on the movies - Netflix only streams a limited catalog, and while that is plenty to keep my nieces and nephews busy when they visit (some of them are just getting old enough to watch Wallace and Gromit - they were too scary before), it still lacks a lot of A-list movies and many TV shows.

Re:Not really competing with Netflix (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944064)

oops - typo - "not that facebook" should be 'note that facebook"

the magic of 2.99 (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943720)

$2.99 can compete against netflix in two ways. First netflix does not get streaming disks as early. At best they get physical disks at the same time. if you calculate how may physical disks you can run through in a month, then this is perhaps about 2 a week or less for mere mortals. Sure you can possibly get more if you are reasonably diligent about watching and returning them quickly. But most people don't watch that many or return them that quickly. so $2.99 is a fine deal to get what you want.
the nice part is you don't have to wait. you just get what you want when you are in the mood for it. For anyone who is married or has kids you know that the determining mood is not neccessarily your own.

Second, even when netflix does have physcial media all the popular ones are marked "long wait". so the streaming service is better than netflix again.

-----

the thing I wonder about is how sustainable the bussiness model is for streaming. in 5 years will it still be difficult to set up an on-demand streaming service? could anyone replicate this? Why would the studios themselves not form their own hub to do this?

It's not the same as on-line shopping in general. Amazon moves a lot of physcial media. it bridges a lot of independent sellers. it deals with returns. it makes suggestions based on your buying habits. None of those are the case for movies.

thus I wonder if netflix and amazon movies are viable in the next decade. On the other hand there's no reason they can't out compete some upstart. The catch will be if the upstart is from the movie studios themselves. Can you say "restrain of trade"?

I find I'm watching more and more movies on Amazon because I can get the new releases and see them when I want to.

The thing I won

Re:the magic of 2.99 (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944396)

>Sure you can possibly get more if you are reasonably diligent about watching and returning them quickly.

Rip or burn isos to hdd and watch the movies when you have time. Timeshifting is legal, isn't it? ;)

Is it going to work on TV? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943422)

if not then major FAIL. Netflix streams HD to real TV's that real people watch. Youtube seems to be aimed at people watching short videos while they are bored. some of the TV implementations are OK like on LG TV's. the Playstation version of youtube is crap

Re:Is it going to work on TV? (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943522)

You realize it's dirt easy to just connect your laptop to your TV with just one cable?

The majority of the public does not realize (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943644)

You realize it's dirt easy to just connect your laptop to your TV with just one cable?

Three problems:

  1. Only if it's a laptop, not a desktop PC. A lot of people don't have the PC close enough to a TV, nor are they willing to buy a PC just for the TV cabinet.
  2. Not if it's an SDTV. Most PCs don't come with S-Video or composite outputs. There was a time when most laptops had S-Video, but most people I met didn't realize one could turn S-Video into composite with an appropriate cable, and besides, laptops have started to omit S-Video in favor of HDMI.
  3. I realize this, but I'm in no way a representative sample of the general public. Even among HDTV owners, the majority appear not to realize that a VGA+audio or HDMI cable connects a PC to a TV. See previous comments: 1 [slashdot.org] 2 [slashdot.org] 3 [slashdot.org] 4 [slashdot.org] 5 [slashdot.org] 6 [slashdot.org] 7 [slashdot.org].

Re:The majority of the public does not realize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943858)

Don't forget sound, that's another issue, find a earphone jack cable to convert the sound into RCA patch cable. etc.

Re:The majority of the public does not realize (1)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943904)

HDMI carries sound and many graphics chips have drivers that implement a virtual sound card that sends sound out through HDMI.

Re:The majority of the public does not realize (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943990)

sound->HDMI
if you are ignorant about a subject please post your post as a question !

VGA+audio cable (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944148)

tepples wrote:

a VGA+audio or HDMI cable

Anonymous Coward wrote:

Don't forget sound, that's another issue, find a earphone jack cable to convert the sound into RCA patch cable. etc.

Others have pointed out that HDMI carries audio. But in case your PC has only VGA or DVI output, a few TVs such as my Vizio have a separate audio input next to both the VGA input and one of the HDMI inputs, the latter designed for use with a DVI-D to HDMI cable. I've been in Walmart and seen a Belkin "laptop to TV cable" that bundles VGA and audio; that's what I meant by "a VGA+audio ... cable". So connecting audio and video from a PC to a TV isn't the problem as much as getting the PC into the living room in the first place.

Re:The majority of the public does not realize (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944088)

HDMI can go hundreds of feet, so desktop is fine.

SDTVs are on the way out, you can't even buy them anymore.

The general public are morons and will buy a google TV or another set top box for this.

The sports fan living inside will be glad to hear about OTA TV, bars and that he could go to live sporting events with the money he is saving.

Pulling cable through the wall; Sal Army SDTVs (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944250)

HDMI can go hundreds of feet, so desktop is fine.

Unless your landlord doesn't want you pulling HDMI cable through the wall from the PC room to the TV room. Input (such as changing channels) becomes a problem too at that point.

SDTVs are on the way out, you can't even buy them anymore.

Cheapskates like some members of my family are more likely to use an SDTV until it breaks and then replace it with an SDTV from a pawn shop or charity shop than to buy a new HDTV. "You don't need the sharper picture, Matthew; you can see your game just fine on the tube TV."

The general public are morons and will buy a google TV or another set top box for this.

More likely they'll just stick with Netflix, which their existing BD player supports.

The sports fan living inside will be glad to hear about OTA TV

Unless he's a fan of an out-of-market team, or a fan of NASCAR which is shown on cable more often than on OTA.

Re:Pulling cable through the wall; Sal Army SDTVs (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944836)

Unless your landlord doesn't want you pulling HDMI cable through the wall from the PC room to the TV room.

In any sane state he can't do a damn thing about it. So long as you fix the holes when you leave. Input is done via wireless, bluetooth works over these distances.

Cheapskates like some members of my family are more likely to use an SDTV until it breaks and then replace it with an SDTV from a pawn shop or charity shop than to buy a new HDTV. "You don't need the sharper picture, Matthew; you can see your game just fine on the tube TV."

So what.

More likely they'll just stick with Netflix, which their existing BD player supports.

Or their roku which will add support for this.

Unless he's a fan of an out-of-market team, or a fan of NASCAR which is shown on cable more often than on OTA.

You can watch the crashes on the highlights online or something. NASCAR has no other value. A NASCAR fan probably can't afford a computer/blue ray player for his trailer anyway.

Re:The majority of the public does not realize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35944500)

HDMI can go hundreds of feet, so desktop is fine.

No they cannot. A properly shielded HDMI cable that length will cost more than another streaming box. No one wants a laptop sitting next to their HDTVs supplying programming, only kids in bedrooms and basements consider it kewl.

Re:The majority of the public does not realize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35944592)

HDMI can go hundreds of feet, so desktop is fine.

Fat chance, HDMI is based on DVI, which was a twisted cable with little shielding. DVI was never intended for long runs, the ideal length is like 6 feet. HDMI signal starts degrading at around 30 meters, not "100s of feet". It can degrade even sooner with cheap cables that have poor shielding. Also, good luck finding someone to even sell you a 100 foot HDMI cable, it's not like they carry them at Best Buy (and if they did they'd be 80-100 dollars).

You also might be surprised to learn that people like wireless devices as opposed to stringing Cat5e LAN cables all over their home. Not very many people want to string a 100 foot run of HDMI, even if they weren't already opposed to the cost and could find a cable that was adequately shielded.

Re:Is it going to work on TV? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943822)

You realize it's dirt easy to just connect your laptop to your TV with just one cable?

You're overestimating the technical knowledge of at least 80% of consumers -- I'd never be able to talk Dad through hooking up a VGA cable between his TV and laptop and then get him to use the computer to watch video. And of course, a single cable only gets him video since his laptop doesn't support HDMI out, he'll have to find a 3.5mm to RCA cable to get audio. And he'll want a remote control, so that's one more item he has to buy and set up.

I sent him a Roku and he was up and running in an hour.

Youtube will need the same hardware device support as Netflix if they want to become a real Netflix competitor. I suspect they are already on their way there - my Bluray player has both Netflix *and* Youtube support. I've watched a few Youtube clips, but the quality was way subpar - though that is probably due to the source material, I'm sure movies would be better quality.

Re:Is it going to work on TV? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944196)

yes i have HDMI on my laptop but i'm not going to take my laptop to my TV just to rent a movie. it means i can't use my laptop in the meantime. what if my kid wants to watch something and i have to VPN into work?

my X-box and PS3 stream netflix. apple TV does the same as well as have a rental service built in. PS3 has Vudu built in to rent. x-box has zune. Internet enabled TV's have Vudu and cinemanow and amazon. internet enabled blu ray players as well. and my cable box has a limited selection of rentals

unless google makes it this easy no one is going to use a laptop. these days a laptop is only good for holding some media, playing some games if you need to and work. 95% of the time it's off at home and i use my HTC phone or iPad 2 for computing. by the time i boot it up, log in, wait for the domain time out because i'm home, wait for start up apps to load, it's almost 10 minutes. took me 2 minutes to use my ipad to reboot a server last night. takes 20 seconds to turn on my PS3.

Then hook up your kid's homework laptop (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944372)

it means i can't use my laptop in the meantime. what if my kid wants to watch something and i have to VPN into work?

Then hook up your kid's homework laptop.

my X-box and PS3 stream netflix.

Do you just happily skip over any film that others have recommended to you that is available somewhere else but not on Netflix?

wait for the domain time out because i'm home

This is not typical. Most home laptops aren't on an Active Directory domain; instead, they're joined to a workgroup because Windows Home Premium doesn't support joining an Active Directory domain.

these days a laptop is only good for holding some media, playing some games if you need to and work. 95% of the time it's off at home

Most of the time, my laptop is on sleep, not off.

wait for start up apps to load, it's almost 10 minutes

This startup time is also not typical even for Windows, as I understand it. What sort of applications do you have running at login?

Re:Is it going to work on TV? (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944236)

It's enough of a pain in the ass that I ended up buying an Atom-based nettop machine to leave permanently attached, with a remote. Most people aren't going to do that. Plus, the firmware based netflix clients are very smooth and nice to use in my experience. I use the one in my blu-ray player all the time. It's just easier than the pc thing, and I like my pc thing.

Are you serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35944656)

You know it's even easier to just fire up Netflix from your TV, Blu-Ray player or game console?

My remote doesn't work with my laptop, it does with my PS3 (via HDMI Control, I can use the TV remote to control the PS3 which of course works with Netflix).

Just because you can do something, it doesn't mean that it's a good way of doing things.

YouTube XL (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943550)

HDTVs have HDMI and VGA inputs, and PCs have VGA and lately HDMI outputs. Therefore, anything that works on a PC works on an HDTV. The rest is just a matter of making sure the UI has a 10-foot mode, which isn't that different from mobile UI. See YouTube XL.

Netflix streams HD to real TV's that real people watch.

It appears you're referring to the claim that most PC owners haven't bothered to run an HDMI cable between the PC and the TV. Even in that case, don't Apple TV and Google TV get YouTube?

the Playstation version of youtube is crap

Did you expect more from Sony?

Re:YouTube XL (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944066)

I don't expect the stereotypical Grandma to plug her PC into the TV. There are even people my age (21) and younger who can't be bothered to hook up a DVD player to a TV. Yes, it's dead simple, but tell them that. To them it's recalibrating the field matrix converter to correct for quantum leptonium fields to enable maximum warp drive efficiency.

Re:Is it going to work on TV? (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943798)

>> Netflix streams HD to real TV's that real people watch.

Of course. Clearly, Google/Youtube will have to rely on fake TV's (sic) and fake people.

Ephemera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943878)

5 years ago TVs didn't come with built-in Netflix clients. There's no reason that in 5 years TVs can't come with clients for other services, especially since Google will likely push to make Android more suitable for TVs anyway, whether they run a video streaming business or not.

Re:Is it going to work on TV? (1)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943986)

I already watch YouTube on my Internet-connected Samsung HDTV. Several blu-ray players have this option, too. So your concern over a major FAIL is unfounded. It's not the easiest user interface, but it does the job. When my 4 year old asks me how forklifts are made, it's nice to be able to press a few buttons and have a video ready to go. I could pull out the laptop and do the same thing, I guess, but sometimes TV just seems like preferred screen. Especially since he is likely to be playing elsewhere in the living room, and will not want to sit right by a small laptop screen for 10 or 15 minutes.

Re:Is it going to work on TV? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943998)

Netflix does that with agreements that it has reached with various set-top box providers. I'm sure that Google could negotiate similar deals.

Alternatively, they do kinda sorta have a set-top box offering that I'm sure would support this:

http://www.google.com/tv/ [google.com]

Re:Is it going to work on TV? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944234)

ahh yes, the $300 box with the vanishing features. cool idea to stream TV until the networks blocked it after seeing google news in action

Re:Is it going to work on TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35944674)

the Playstation version of youtube is crap

Ha the playstation version is the best version. 1080p + 5.1 sound - you gotta be kidding me.

Paramount, Fox (1)

SgtKeeling (717065) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943444)

...Paramount, Fox and Disney declined to join.

They're missing Star Trek & Star Wars from the get-go.

Re:Disney (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943578)

I hate to say it, but Disney is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Remember the recent HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray debacle? Disney went with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD went the way of the Dodo bird.

Re:Disney (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943884)

That only happened because until they did it was running neck-and-neck, with several major studios working both sides of the street, and there were only a few of the bigs left to decide. Whichever one of them had chosen, the others would have followed.

As for Netflix, its selection is vastly overrated. They do have Star Trek on disc and instant. But they've probably got 5% penetration to the universe of movies, and 20-30% in terms of recent titles.

Which means they have lots of growing room, but also lots of room for competitors. And since delivering content online is pretty easy if you buy a big enough server, the content owners can just run their own show. No need for an aggregator at all. If there's a client on the user's hardware that can browse and access and play it.

Oh look. Netflix is based on Microsoft Silverlight, which anyone can purchase a server license for.

Re:Disney (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944036)

Which isn't proof of much. I could pick any other distributor that went with Blu-Ray too as an example. Doesn't mean that they were the cause of why one standard succeeded and the other failed. My personal theory is just that Blu-Ray sounds cooler and more futuristic.

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943450)

Youtube has been doing this for a while. This is nothing new.

population in competition to stay alive vs chosens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943564)

there's never been a more fixed race. there are wild card plays in process. see you at the play-dates etc

Buffering ......... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943654)

Great, we'll get to see those 90 minute films fleshed out to 3 hours or more thanks to the Youtube director's cut.

Great, Market Fragmentation (4, Interesting)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943682)

I can see it now.

Netflix will have an exclusive agreement with one group of studios.

Google will have an exclusive agreement with another group of studios.

Amazon will have an exclusive agreement with yet another group.

The result will be that you'll have to buy all three services to see all the movies you want... I can't wait.

Re:Great, Market Fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943802)

And it'll still be cheaper than buying one Blu-ray per month.

Re:Great, Market Fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943842)

Apples to Oranges comparison. None of the online services come close to the quality of a Bluray Disc.

Re:Great, Market Fragmentation (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944054)

Apples to Oranges comparison. None of the online services come close to the quality of a Bluray Disc.

No, they don't. HOWEVER, all of them have a quality that is basically as good as I'd ever care to watch. They all have decent 720p available at a minimum, and truthfully I have no issue with 720p. As a matter of fact, Aside from a side by side comparison (and even then I'd have to look closely), I can't even tell the difference between 720p and 1080p.

Re:Great, Market Fragmentation (1)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943850)

Exactly. Until now, Google was one of the few companies that had not climbed into bed with media. Look what that did to Sony. First it will be, "Subscribe now for premium quality search results!". Next, we'll get, "We work hard to protect you from unsafe unfiltered search results!" Pretty soon it will be, "We need a tax on the Internet and several unfair laws to subsidize our dying business model. The Internet is just too important to fail!"

Re:Great, Market Fragmentation (2)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943854)

...and it still won't exist in Europe.

If that form of media appeared over here, it would be interesting to see if it would hold up to anti-competitive scrutiny. I'm already quite convinced the movie companies operate as a cartel if you look close enough at their consumer pricing, yet no one has picked them up for it (I don't think).

Re:Great, Market Fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35943856)

The result will be that you'll have to buy all three services to see all the movies you want

Sounds like a major win for Amazon, Google, and Netflix.

Re:Great, Market Fragmentation (1)

dwandy (907337) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944790)

...and PirateBay will still have an agreement with none of them, yet somehow will be the best option for getting content. huh.

Re:Great, Market Fragmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35944926)

I like how Apple's already trained you to think "competition and choice == fragmentation, fragmentation baaaaad, monopoly gooood!" How's that Kool-Aid taste?

Who would want to watch this (0)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943828)

Why would you want to spend money every month to watch Rick Astley videos?
Or be able to watch only parts 1,3,4,6 and 9 of a 12 part video?
And most of the movies have a message covering the top third of the frams telling you where to see the clip without the message.
And all the other wonderful youtube effects.

Disney is not a joiner (2)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943932)

Disney not joining is meaningless and unsurprising.
Disney is nearly Luddite when it comes to distribution technologies - they refuse EVERYTHING at first, and are only dragged in later when the cash pile becomes too big to ignore.

DIVX (the original crappy planned-expiring rental disc technology, not the codec)
Didn't they even refuse to put their films on DVD at first, out of piracy fears?

Re:Disney is not a joiner (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944974)

Didn't they even refuse to put their films on DVD at first, out of piracy fears?

No.

Didn't think I'd champion Silverlight... (5, Interesting)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 2 years ago | (#35943964)

But YouTube's "buffering" and Flash problems are worse for me than Netflix has *ever* been in streaming content. I can watch a movie in HD and if my connection starts to suck, the movie starts streaming at a lower quality in order to keep playing. Flash can't do that, and YouTube can't do that.

So no, I think that until we are all on HTML5 (no time soon) or until Google decides to use Silverlight to do the streaming, Netflix has no competition in this space.

Re:Didn't think I'd champion Silverlight... (1)

Scott64 (1181495) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944180)

YouTube's buffering issues are exactly that; YouTube's issues.

Netflix has their own buffering issues (not near as annoying, though). I like the service, but find it annoying when I can see that there is some of the video buffered, but if I try to jump into that buffered section, everything haults and starts loading all over again from that point.

Also, HTML5 isn't going to turn a run-of-the-mill web server into a comprehensive media server that will allow you to seek to any point in the video and start loading from there. That hope was squashed a long time ago (most notably by YouTube). The magic behind that is all server-side.

Re:Didn't think I'd champion Silverlight... (1)

CyDharttha (939997) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944262)

Hulu's service detects bandwidth and will auto-adjust the video quality while a video is playing. I've seen it go from 720p to 288p, then to 480p, as the poor connection I was on fluctuated. It was a seamless experience. The absence of Silverlight is the exact reason I opened this story. Unfortunately, I don't have the option to use Silverlight on my devices. I'd be a Netflix subscriber if I could. I've seen plenty of comments above (especially the per movie rental cost) that are good reasons to not sign up for this, but not using Silverlight is definitely not one of them, in my opinion.

Maybe a Netflix Motivator (if not competitor). (1)

bareman (60518) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944226)

I'd gladly pay someone to stream the titles that Netflix still has on disc only. It's 2011 and when I decide I want to watch something I should be able to watch it NOW. When Netflix offered a lower rate to go streaming only I dumped the disc faster than you can say "Why would anyone wait for the postal service?".

I hope that this lights a fire under Netflix's collective butts to get more of their library available for streaming.

And until it does, I'd be glad to send money to someone that will stream these titles to me.

Sorry, not buying more hardware (1)

yodleboy (982200) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944360)

After investing plenty of money in blu-ray players that stream netflix, a PS3 that can stream netflix and a couple of roku boxes that can stream netflix, I'm not about to spend more. Netflix's big coup, I think,is that they very quickly got it on a ton of gadgets that connect directly to your TV. It's going to be hard to compete if you have a dedicated device because the difference in content just isn't compelling enough for a lot of people to switch AND buy more gadgets.

Now you might see a channel on ROKU, or a new app for PS3, but for all my netflix blu-ray players, unlikely.

Re:Sorry, not buying more hardware (1)

city (1189205) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944608)

On most netflix blu-ray players there is already a youtube app. I never use it, but i know its on my LG blu-ray player.

Buffering (2)

josteos (455905) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944388)

Youtube can't handle streaming shitty homemade movies without ...buffering.... and ..buffering.. and ..buffering..

I can't wait to see how they handle feature-length films where quality matters.

GB Limits once again come into play (1)

GabriellaKat (748072) | more than 2 years ago | (#35944960)

I will just stop streaming and go back to DVDs. Either ripping or buying. You know, like the old days. (As I said in another post on Netflix now having 7% of US)
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