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Blockbuster Trying To Woo Disgruntled Netflix Customers

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the come-on-baby-remember-how-good-we-had-it dept.

Movies 214

jfruhlinger writes "'Netflix Customers, Say Hello to Blockbuster' is the subject line of an email making the rounds trying to convince customers to switch services in the wake of Netflix's contentious price hike. The bankrupt video store chain is now owned by DirectTV and has its own streaming service. How did Blockbuster even get these email addresses? Are its services really going to be cheaper and/or better than Netflix's in the long run? Is 'You'll hate us less than Netflix' really a viable business model?" Relatedly, reader assertation asks, "Can anyone suggest a streaming movie service that has a selection comparable to Netflix and will run on a computer using GNU/Linux?"

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Linux support (5, Insightful)

m2vq (2417438) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875782)

Can anyone suggest a streaming movie service that has a selection comparable to Netfix and will run on a computer using GNU/Linux?

No. There isn't one because Linux market share on desktop is so incredibly small that no one wants to put up with the cost of supporting those few users. Most normal people run either Windows, set-top box or some console like PS3. Even if someone were to make such service they would immediately get huge backslash for the need of DRM (demanded by copyright owners). Yes, continue to use Linux, I do too. But if you are not willing to come even a little bit forward (like, accepting DRM or closed binaries) don't cry about it when companies don't want to support it.

Re:Linux support (0)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875830)

I second the ps3. Technically it can still run linux! yes yes, I know, lame joke.

In all seriousness though, couldn't you VMware/virtualbox windows for that purpose?
In fact, don't you already? I did... until I switched back to windows when win7 came out and was actually worth a damn as an OS.

$200 per device for the Windows license (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876106)

couldn't you VMware/virtualbox windows for that purpose?

Yes, at a cost of $200 per device for the Windows license.

Re:$200 per device for the Windows license (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876246)

Windows 7 home OME is like $100 on newegg.

Re:$200 per device for the Windows license (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876400)

If by OME you mean OEM, this page [microsoft.com] explains that OEM licenses are for computers that you plan to sell to an unrelated party, not computers that you plan to use.

Re:$200 per device for the Windows license (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876540)

Yes I meant OEM. I looked and a normal copy is only like $120 on newegg if you want to get anal over licencing terms.

Re:$200 per device for the Windows license (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876748)

Thats not anal that is just following the licenses. Either pay for it or use something else.

Re:Linux support (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876126)

I have not found VMWare video/sound to be up to par in the past, but it's great for VPN to work, remote desktop, and whatnot.

Personally, I just have a machine for each purpose. Windows HTPC, Linux general workstation, Windows DAW, Linux file server...

Re:Linux support (1)

leoplan2 (2064520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875834)

Not comparable, but Amazon Instant Video should work well under GNU/Linux

Re:Linux support (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875994)

Yup, works fine on machines running flash. Supposedly Netflix is making a player for ChromeOS machines though.

Re:Linux support (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876114)

Not even remotely comparable. I have Amazon Prime, and since I get access to their instant video catalog, I decided to give it a shot. I literally cannot remember a single video that I actually wanted to watch.

The current collection is terrible. I am sure that there are some niches filled there, but they have few, if any licenses to stream online for now.

Re:Linux support (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876146)

They have all of Dr. Who up to the next to last season. They made a huge deal with one of the big networks last week and if you really can't find a single video to watch you are one picking bastard.

Re:Linux support (1)

m2vq (2417438) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876276)

That's not the point really. Entertainment is something that is hard to fulfill with the next best thing. Yeah yeah, people could probably get the same entertainment value from some other movie, game or music. But in the real world, when one wants to see thing x, he or she wants to see exactly that and not pick something else.

Re:Linux support (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36875848)

Amazon Prime Instant is 100% compatible with Linux.

Re:Linux support (1)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875894)

I have a MythTV setup in my basement (I'm still wondering when I'm going actually sit down and watch 50+ hours of A-Team and Greatest American Hero) and I totally agree with you.

Get one of these [amazon.com] , they have one for less than $50 bucks.

Use the money you saved on buying a new Windows computer and send it to the Mono project.

And both our points proven in 3...2...1...

Re:Linux support (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36875900)

No. There isn't one because Linux market share on desktop is so incredibly small that no one wants to put up with the cost of supporting those few users... (snip)...companies don't want to support it.

You mean like Hulu [hulu.com] and Amazon video [google.com] ?

Re:Linux support (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36875938)

Yeah, yeah... Guy, please, don't talk BS. Guitar Pro, id Software, OilRush, and pretty much everything that makes money off Linux (RedHat/SLES notwithstanding) is closed source. Not really that many people are ideologic in terms of userland software, even in Linux.

Re:Linux support (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875964)

Just because the market share isn't there does not force explicit denial of linux the way netflix does. Hulu, amazon etc... work just fine in linux. Netflix is actually sitting on a linux compatible player (whatever roku box uses). While it isn't purely netflix's fault (it's the content providers that have huge fears that if the player runs on an open system, someone might reverse engineer it to download them). IMO it is a flat out silly fear, not that it isn't possible to do, but odds are it is just as easy to do on a windows box, just simply not worth the work (the pirate community has most likely already ripped both the blu ray and the DVD and posted it to every filesharing medium in the month lag before it can be streamed, what motivation would they have to rip the stream after that).

Re:Linux support (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876172)

... While it isn't purely netflix's fault ...

Netflix CEO sits on Microsoft board. The reason for Linux mishap is purely political.

Amazon Prime works fine on Linux. I hope that Blockbuster will not shun our business either.

Re:Linux support (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876186)

I believe they've already announced they are working on HTML5 support.

Re:Linux support (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876298)

Can anyone suggest a streaming movie service that has a selection comparable to Netfix and will run on a computer using GNU/Linux?

No. There isn't one because Linux market share on desktop is so incredibly small that no one wants to put up with the cost of supporting those few users. Most normal people run either Windows, set-top box or some console like PS3. Even if someone were to make such service they would immediately get huge backslash for the need of DRM (demanded by copyright owners). Yes, continue to use Linux, I do too. But if you are not willing to come even a little bit forward (like, accepting DRM or closed binaries) don't cry about it when companies don't want to support it.

Funny, the fanboys modded you down for speaking honestly about the situation. Free speech as long as you say what I want to hear, I guess.

Re:Linux support (2)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876584)

..if you are not willing to come even a little bit forward (like, accepting DRM or closed binaries) don't cry about it when companies don't want to support it.

Alternative formulation: "if you are not willing to be dragged even a little bit backward (like, giving up on free open source software) don't cry about it when companies that hate and fear FOSS don't want to support you."

I like the alternate form better.

Re:Linux support (1)

FxChiP (687923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876726)

But if you are not willing to come even a little bit forward (like, accepting DRM or closed binaries) don't cry about it when companies don't want to support it.

The problem is that DRM is actually totally backwards, and closed binaries will eventually wind up breaking with lack of vendor support or in really subtle ways as the libraries they depend on change, grow, update and improve -- although if the vendor is sufficiently proactive in their development process, the latter need not be true. However, DRM simply doesn't do what it's intended to do, and instead winds up harming the consumer by imposing largely artificial restrictions on them that pirates -- you know, the ones that DRM is supposed to prevent in the first place -- just don't have. What you wind up with, then, is media that is substantially and fundamentally broken in silly and stupid ways to harm the consumer who paid good money to enjoy their content legally vs. the criminal who paid absolutely nothing to enjoy the same content as they wish in any form they want it!

Re:Linux support (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876754)

It baffles me however why DRM even matters for Netflix.

It is easier for me to watch something on Netflix than it is for me to download it illegally and watch it. Therefore, why would I download anything illegally that is available on Netflix.

Hell, I've watched things on Netflix that I own on DVD because I'm too lazy to find the disk and put it in the player.

If Netflix had no DRM, I know for a fact that it would run on Linux, as I've gotten sliverlight to run on Linux.

DRM for Netflix is completely unnecessary. Why would I want to waste disk storage for something I could stream whenever I want?

Yes I can (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875798)

But it's not legal.

Re:Yes I can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36875944)

But it's not legal.

Usenet. Nuff said.

Re:Yes I can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876180)

Usenet + SABnzbd + NZBMatrix.com to be more precise. Then CouchPotato or Sick Beard as front ends. Very nice automatic setup.

Re:Yes I can (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876194)

Not what I was thinking of. But just to make sure, is there a nice front end for streaming off of USENET? A plugin for XBMC would be awesome.

Re:Yes I can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876206)

Go on. that wasn't stipulated.

in much the same way (2)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875802)

disgruntled chrysler drivers are being chased by a zombie car salesman offering yugos and fiats.

A Chrysler is a Fiat (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876178)

Are you referring to Fiat licensing its platform to Zastava and later buying Chrysler?

DirecTV does not own Blockbuster (5, Informative)

revjtanton (1179893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875836)

Dish Network picked up Blockbuster. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/06/us-blockbuster-dishnetwork-idUSTRE7351VA20110406 [reuters.com] Also note the "Subsidiary of Dish Network" part here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockbuster_Inc [wikipedia.org] .

Re:DirecTV does not own Blockbuster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36875908)

Dish, directTV, doesn't matter, no one cares.

-BB Employee

Re:DirecTV does not own Blockbuster (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876556)

It was also in the FIRST SENTENCE of the article the submitter referenced. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the submitters don't read the articles before submitting any more than the editors do before posting.

Re:DirecTV does not own Blockbuster (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876786)

read

is this some new technology? please explain it to us, maybe the concept will fitting in the whole "stuff that matters" thingy /. is so proud of :)

DVDs yes, streaming no, poor timing... (4, Informative)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875870)

As an alternative, in some ways even better than Netflix, Blockbusters is a viable choice for DVDs by mail, particularly if you have a store that is (still) close to you (despite the massive store closures). But as a streaming service, no... BB streaming is still only a competitor to PayPerView, which is pretty much what BB's streaming service is... BB DOES NOT do streaming subscriptions, which is what Netflix is and really has no competition. With Netflix you give up new releases for a subscription that gives you unlimited viewing of admittedly older content that also doesn't match DVDs in breadth, but the price is right-ish. With BB, you get new releases for streaming at the high (to consumers, not to studios) prices. BB *will* have to change to compete... but its really all in the hands of the studios...

Re:DVDs yes, streaming no, poor timing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876684)

Netflix has a wider selection of DVDs than blockbuster. My original reason for joining Netflix was because it had stuff I wanted to see which nobody else had.

Re:DVDs yes, streaming no, poor timing... (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876768)

Well we don't really do streaming. We've had the Blockbuster DVD-by-mail service for 3 years or more, and it meets our needs very well. They tried to raise the monthly price on us once a year or so ago, so we cancelled and started looking at the NetFlix options, but before we did anything, Blockbuster emailed us with an offer at an even lower monthly price that we were paying before, sans the return-it-to-the-local-rental-store option. We never did that anyway, so we re-upped with Blockbuster for that deal.

Yea, I get that everybody else loves NetFlix and loves to bash Blockbuster. I was never much of a fan of their stores, and almost never used their streaming / on-line purchase services, but the service we have is fine, and works great for us, and is less than the comparable service from NetFlix, not to mention the wait-30-days-for-new-releases issue that we never dealt with. So BB does have happy customers, in spite of the vast amount of noise claiming otherwise.

They probably got the emails... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875872)

...from the roles of their customers who suddenly stopped coming in as Netflix' client base skyrocketed. I haven't gotten the email, but I know Blockbuster has it, and wouldn't be surprised if they figured out that my rental dollars were going to Netflix, not some little corner video shop. Especially considering most of those corner shops are out of business because of the likes of Blockbuster....

I'm not disgruntled (3, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875880)

I'm too happy paying $16 for Netflix/Roku, as opposed to $50 for cable.

Re:I'm not disgruntled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876152)

I'm too happy paying $16 for Netflix/Roku, as opposed to $50 for cable.

No shit. I don't understand these disgruntled idiots. Go back to paying an arm and a leg on ever-increasing cable bills. (Charter Comm. has been continually increasing rates once or twice a year here, for example.)

Re:I'm not disgruntled (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876382)

I can get 3D 1080p content over DirecTV. Over Netflix streaming, it's 720i, and maybe it runs all the way through without buffering.

If I wanted pirate-video quality, I would have bought the movie for $0.99 in Chinatown.

Re:I'm not disgruntled (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876620)

I swore off $0.99 Chinatown movies because they kept trying to upsell me hookers or mogwai with my DVD's.

Re:I'm not disgruntled (2)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876388)

Same here, between Netflix, OTA and the very basic $10.00 cable, I have more than enough to watch. then again, I'm one of those people in the long tail who actually likes watching old TV series and off-beat DVD's

No ESPN (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876216)

And most heads of household that I've spoken to are too happy paying $50 for ESPN, something Netflix can't match.

Re:I'm not disgruntled (1)

ThatCanadianGuy (1238738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876270)

Having no cable is one thing, but what of the people who also like to get news, sports and other Live feeds? Netflix can't offer you that. I'd be bitching too. But then again, I'm one of those who like my cable service and all the many live coverage events it offers me. (and I hate streaming movies. Quality sucks monkey balls) So in any case... its $50 (or whatever you're paying) plus the extra $16 for a streaming service that keeps jacking the price with no new releases.

Re:I'm not disgruntled (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876574)

My DSL company has a deal with ESPN and I get ESPN3 online, which is much of the stuff that is on ESPN and ESPN2 on cable/satellite. It has had a good selection of hockey and soccer at least for me. It's live and has replays whenever you want as well. Also news is online as well at the TV web sites, maybe an hour later or so the clips are up. But really what's the point of TV news and it's sensationalism when you can just read news online sooner? What other live events do you miss? CSPAN stuff is online (like USA federal government goings ons), NASATV as well, even boith local cable access channels stream online and have archived clips online here. Maybe it's worse in Canada, sorry. I do also have an antenna on my roof.

Re:I'm not disgruntled (1)

s4ndm4n (1361751) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876364)

I'm happy all around. Switched to streaming for $7.99. Heck we forget about the dvds we have around for months anyway. We have basic cable through our apartment complex anyway and so we're set. The stupid movie channels suck anyway and I find there are no comparable services anywhere. What is is with everyone, not wanting to pay for companies that actually do give them great stuff!?

Re:I'm not disgruntled (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876370)

6 months ago, if you had a Netflix DVD account, you were paying $0 to stream through your Roku, plus $8 for the DVD. Then you were paying $11 for them both. Now you're paying $17 for the same thing.

There's no happy there. Just the gouging anyone could have predicted once Netflix had put both Hollywood Video and Blockbuster out of business.

Re:I'm not disgruntled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876734)

6 months ago, if you had a Netflix DVD account, you were paying $0 to stream through your Roku, plus $8 for the DVD. Then you were paying $11 for them both. Now you're paying $17 for the same thing.

There's no happy there. Just the gouging anyone could have predicted once Netflix had put both Hollywood Video and Blockbuster out of business.

You're right, of course.

Except that now my streaming goes to my PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox (if I owned one), my droid phone, my 3ds, as well as any set top boxes I might have. Their selection is huge in comparison to where it was, and there's access to hundreds of hours of T.V. that I want to watch. I'm not saying doubling the price is a good thing, but with everything that I've been given at 17$ a month, I'm not bitter.

BTW, the 17$ service includes blu-ray discs, something else that wasn't part of the original 8$ cost.

Blockbuster is even more expensive than Netflix? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36875904)

From the article the Blockbuster price is:

$9.99 a month for one disc at a time

The price for netflix is $7.99 for one disk a time.

Why would customers who are upset about a price increase leave Netflix for a service that charges even more?

Re:Blockbuster is even more expensive than Netflix (1)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876300)

BB's allows renting of new, new releases via mail, not wait for 30 days. Also in my experience, BB really doesn't throttle and you can, if you time correctly, get true new releases and a cycle in less than a week (complete mail cycle from receipt to send to next receipt, sometimes even in 4 days. What I hear of Netflix is that although it is good for depth, better than Blockbusters, it is often impossible to get the "new stuff" (new within the past couple months), and they throttle seriously, and of course no new releases (same timing as PayPerView). BB of course also does in store exchanges, which I like a lot... the real main reason I do BB...

Re:Blockbuster is even more expensive than Netflix (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876738)

I dropped Netflix mail DVDs after waiting 4 months for a "newish" DVD. The price was OK, but if you can't get anything remotely new, it is not worth it. I recently dropped Netflix streaming as well. Stuff in my queue kept disappearing. A TV series disappeared in the middle of watching a season. The price was OK, but when even the very limited content disappears so quickly and randomly, it is not worth it. That makes it more like watching broadcast without a DVR: catch it while you can because who knows if it will be there tomorrow.

Re:Blockbuster is even more expensive than Netflix (1)

Xenx (2211586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876414)

It might have something to do with the fact that a 1 dvd at a time (+streaming) subscription costs $15.98/mo for Netflix. If they don't care about the streaming, Blockbuster's subscription is cheaper.

Re:Blockbuster is even more expensive than Netflix (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876752)

They doesn't make sense. If they don't care about streaming, then they would just cancel it and get the DVD-only option from Netflix. All the subscribers got emails telling them about this new option, so it's not like anyone would be unaware of it.

The people that only care about streaming or DVDs aren't upset about the recent price changes (or shouldn't be) - their prices decreased compared to when the services had to be combined. It is the people who care about both that are upset, and Blockbuster isn't any cheaper for them. Their DVD plan is more expensive than Netflix. Their streaming is pay-per-view which quickly adds up to be more than Netflix and is almost always more expensive than Amazon's pay-per-view.

If people switch it is because they think Blockbuster has better service of some sort (probably selection), or just because they are pissed, not because it is cheaper.

Re:Blockbuster is even more expensive than Netflix (1)

xeromist (443780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876446)

Netflix charges an extra $3/mo for Blu-Ray while BB does not. Combine that with the ability to swap in store with BB (one about a mile away from me) and BB is cheaper with an extra feature.

Re:Blockbuster is even more expensive than Netflix (1)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876460)

If you have an Blockbuster store nearby each mailed rental you turn in at the store is a free rental. You also get two coupons per month for in store rentals. At least that's how it used to work

viable business model (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875906)

Are its services really going to be cheaper and/or better than Netflix's in the long run? Is 'You'll hate us less than Netflix' really a viable business model?"

in a way this describes the model of Google+ compared to Facebook. so yes, this can be a successful basis

Re:viable business model (1)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876474)

big DIFF to Facebook/Google: the CONTENT holders... it is very unlikely that there will be a cheaper service to Netflix. On the contrary, it is nearly certain that ALL such streaming movie services will be MORE expensive than Netflix is now, INCLUDING Netflix itself. This is simply because, as Netflix and the like get MORe successful, then the other ways in which people watch movies will decrease. The studios want at least CONSTANT if not increasing revenue. Hence price increases for Netflix and the like. If a studio makes a movie for $100mil... it expects a good chunk of the return to come from DVDs and other "secondary" sources (PayPerView, Netflix, TV, cable, etc). As DVDs go DOWN, other sources go down, prices must go up to compensate (so goes the thought process at the studios...)

Huh? (1)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875914)

Relatedly, reader assertation asks, "Can anyone suggest a streaming movie service that has a selection comparable to Netfix and will run on a computer using GNU/Linux?"

Is this a serious question? Does the person asking think that any service with a video library as large as Netflix might somehow have escaped notice? Might not have been in the news like Netflix, Blockbuster, iTunes, Pandora, and other large streaming services? Might not have been extensively discussed on Slashdot already?

Really?

Re:Huh? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875952)

Considering he clearly does not know about Amazon Prime video I guess so. Works fine on linux, and just added several thousand more videos. If they keep that up I will be canceling netflix eventually.

Re:Huh? (2)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876230)

By "just added several thousand more videos", they actually mean "added about 2,000 episodes from fewer than 20 television shows, most of which Netflix also has".

Amazon Prime is nice, but it's basically a subset of Netflix.

Re:Huh? (1)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876320)

my understanding is that Amazon is still FAR FAR FAR behind Netflix in title depth, in fact not even close to competing... I'll look again, but...

Re:Huh? (1)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876408)

so I checked again... nope Amazon Prime doesn't even rate... its movie selection is like 5% that of Netflix... forget it... Amazon Prime is only a teaser bone thrown in to sweeten the whole "Prime" offering (shipping, etc).

Re:Huh? (1)

psyclone (187154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876326)

Most of the "desirable" content on Amazon streaming is still pay-per-show. Prime lets you stream only the "lowest" end of the catalog for free. On the Amazon Prime about page, they link to steaming movies [amazon.com] and TV shows [amazon.com] . On those first pages, only Monty Python [amazon.com] is available for free. Netflix's streaming-only plan is only $17 dollars more per year than Amazon Prime, but Netflix's catalog dwarfs Amazon's.

That said, it would be great if Amazon could offer itself as a viable competitor to Netflix. Like other's have mentioned, it seems more in the Studio's hands than anyone else's...

Re:Huh? (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876410)

hulu shows what happens when the studios get their way, it is not performing well and is for sale. They have no idea what they are doing.

Re:Huh? (1)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876010)

That last sentence is what's known as a "Slashdot Cred Enhancer". It's +1 credibility point for proclaiming that you run Linux as your only OS, and +2 credibility points for actually calling it GNU/Linux.

Re:Huh? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876412)

My toilet flusher runs GNU/Linux. I run whatever came in the computer. Because I'm not limited like the computer is.

Hey, Google's doing it too... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875956)

"you'll hate us less than Facebook" is the Google+ slogan, right?

It's this year's marketing paradigm. You know, like how animals and pre-humans selling insurance became so popular last decade.

Re:Hey, Google's doing it too... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876002)

More recent marketing confusion...

"Slashdot - you'll hate us 50% less than Reddit, or your money back!"

but WHY? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36875982)

I've never taken a business or economics class in my life, so maybe this is a dumb question, but why isn't DirectTV just spinning off the streaming portion of Blockbuster and letting the dead weight die, or at least changing the name? Are there really people who think "Ooh, blockbuster, now there's a name I know and DON'T associate with bad selection, higher than reasonable prices, and terrible service! Sign me up!"

(Full disclosure: Long ago, I worked at a Blockbuster. We did have a bad selection, the prices were higher than the mom-and-pop stores they were shutting down, and I did my part to ensure they had terrible service. I'm sure there were stores where the workers -didn't- hate their manager and -weren't- trying to sink the store out there somewhere, but I never saw them.)

Re:but WHY? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876042)

Are there really people who think "Ooh, blockbuster, now there's a name I know and DON'T associate with bad selection, higher than reasonable prices, and terrible service! Sign me up!"

Because for many many people, they equate the name Blockbuster with the convenient video store where they've rented movies for years. Not everyone is a moviephile that things Blockbuster's mainstream movie selection is lacking.

Re:but WHY? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876058)

There's a couple brain cells floating around thinking Blockbuster is still the ONLY way to watch at home. A hangover from the era after Blockbuster destroyed all other video rental operations, but before netflix and cabletv ondemand destroyed Blockbuster. Until those memories fade, the brand will still have some minimal viability.

"Blockbuster? Thats the only way to watch at home, isn't it?"

Re:but WHY? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876292)

why isn't DirectTV just spinning off the streaming portion of Blockbuster and letting the dead weight die, or at least changing the name?

DirecTV still can't beat the cable companies when it comes to home Internet access, a requirement for VOD over IP.

I am Canadian. I have no options. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36875988)

I am a Canadian. I have no options.

Re:I am Canadian. I have no options. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876070)

I am a Canadian. I have no options.

Marijuana is decriminalized up there, right?

WTF are you doing watching movies? You should be listening to Pink Floyd or something.

Re:I am Canadian. I have no options. (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876134)

'Marijuana is decriminalized up there, right?'

No :(

Brandten is like you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876012)

CULVER CITY, CAâ"Nathan Brandten, the last remaining male heir to a rich genetic lineage stretching dozens of generations into the dim and distant past, watched a movie alone on his laptop late Friday evening, sources reported.

Brandten, 32, the final product of a dwindling bloodline that his proud forebears fought relentlessly to advance even before the dawn of history, decided to spend his free time after work watching the 1989 Tom Hanks comedy film The 'Burbs.

"I think I'll just stay in tonight," said Brandten, whose scared and frostbitten ancestors traversed the icy Bering Strait into a bewildering and perilous new world so that his precious genetic material might one day flourish. "Thank God for Netflix streaming."

"I remember Hanks being pretty funny in this," continued the man whose storied surname will very likely end with him. "You got to love his early stuff."

According to the descendant of Bronze Age Nordic boatmen who sailed fearlessly across the North Sea in a tireless quest for self- preservation, he was initially torn between watching The 'Burbs and the 1995 showbiz farce Get Shorty.

However, after remembering that he had actually watched Get Shorty fairly recently, the man who has thus far failed to extend the survival of his ancestryâ"a heritage that miraculously spans unbroken across 200,000 years of human strife and perseveranceâ"decided to watch The 'Burbs instead.

"The mixture of slapstick and gothic horror parody actually holds up surprisingly well," said the only child and sole remaining link to the Germanic serfs whose blood still courses through his veins. "You can tell [actor Bruce] Dern probably had a ball making this, too."

While claiming that watching a film in solitude without any female to fulfill his male biological imperative was a "pretty nice night," Brandten was momentarily deterred when his Internet connection slowed down significantly for a period of almost 10 minutes.

"This thing is buffering at a crawl tonight," said Brandten, whose 19th-century namesake Nathaniel Lee Brandten once led his kin across barren wilderness in a tragic half-decade trek from Boston to the Pacific Northwest. "I'm not even watching it in full-screen mode. Why is it so slow?"

"And you'd think a movie like this would be available in HD, too," added the great-great-grandson of wounded World War I flying ace Wilbur Brandten, who vowed to make it home from the war alive no matter what the cost so he could pass on the Brandten family name. "Not sure what that's all about."

The direct result of several million years of evolution in which tree-dwelling primates moved to the land and began walking upright in order to take advantage of available resources told reporters he had not seen the film since his childhood, when he watched it frequently, and added that he "really enjoyed" the scene where Tom Hanks ate the sardines.

The last relative of countless mammalian and non-mammalian animals forced to kill other members of their own species just to ensure their genetic survival also cited the scene where Rick Ducommun's character accidentally gets electrocuted as his "favorite."

After finishing the movie, Brandten, who has been single since 2007, rummaged through his refrigerator for an aluminum tray of leftover Mexican takeout food, consumed a half-eaten enchilada in near darkness, and made his way to bed.

"Man, I am exhausted," said the collection of specialized eukaryotic and symbiotic prokaryotic cells that have evolved over eons, giving rise to a complex, sentient organism capable of surviving and reproducing in even the harshest of environments. "Glad I took it easy tonight."

From The Onion [theonion.com]

In-store exchange: taken away and given back? (1)

Morris Thorpe (762715) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876018)

FTFA
>>Both plans come with a 30-day free trial and include "unlimited in-store exchanges of by-mail rentals."

So the in-store exchange is back?
Bastards! I used to be a fairly happy Blockbuster customer until they cancelled in-store exchange. I moved to Netflix and, evidently, I was not alone. At the time, Blockbuster said stores were losing money because of this.
So why did they bring the plan back? Seems to me they tried to see just how much they could get out of their customers and miscalculated. Badly.

Of course, it's not the first time Blockbuster has made a dumb mistake. Remember the "No Late Fees" fiasco?

Re:In-store exchange: taken away and given back? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876200)

I too left when they ended the free in-store exchanges.

Even if they do bring it back, where is a Blockbuster store still open?

Not while respecting copyright (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876036)

Relatedly, reader assertation asks, "Can anyone suggest a streaming movie service that has a selection comparable to Netfix and will run on a computer using GNU/Linux?"

Linux lacks a standard DRM solution. Thus, no company that is licensing content from movie studios is able to ship their product on non-closed (like Tivo or individual Android handsets) Linux platforms. Moonlight might be able to solve this, but it would involve Microsoft being willing to give Linux their DRM solution, which so far they are loathed to do.

Re:Not while respecting copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876144)

The how is Amazon Instant Prime doing it?

Re:Not while respecting copyright (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876464)

Does it use special software? Or just let you take it using something you compiled yourself?

Re:Not while respecting copyright (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876256)

Hulu and Amazon Instant Video pretty much prove you wrong.

Re:Not while respecting copyright (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876340)

Linux lacks a standard DRM solution.

Then what's this [kernel.org] ? That sure looks like DRM.

But seriously: Netflix could just cook up its own digital restrictions management solution. Why hasn't it? Is it the fact that anybody can modify an X server to tee the raw pixels into a transcoding process?

Re:Not while respecting copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876444)

Why hasn't it?

Netflix CEO sits on board at Microsoft, that's why.

Re:Not while respecting copyright (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876452)

Why does that matter?
They mail you blu-rays and DVDs and those are much easier to copy. The Blu-ray would also be higher quality.

Re:Not while respecting copyright (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876732)

That stands for "Direct Rendering Manager", not "Digital Rights Management". Nice try though.

What about your local library ... (5, Informative)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876100)

I'm mentioning this because a lot of people forget that many public libraries have excellent video collections. It won't always be the latest and sometimes you'll have to wait for a popular movie, but most libraries also seem to share the same philosophy that GNU/Linux users share: the are advocates of freedom.

Re:What about your local library ... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876332)

Ours has a pretty good selection, but chances are everything you want is already checked out. Sure you can try to reserve titles I guess, but not worth the hassle for me. YMMV, of course.

Re:What about your local library ... (2)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876756)

The selection is pretty good, but I've never been able to get the streaming working.

Let's see.... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876188)

I'm a Netflix user. Let's see what I think.

  • Netflix - Company that's been great to me, and still has rather reasonable prices. That $9 plan seemed to good to be true, I'm not surprised it didn't last long.
  • Blockbuster - Famous for being rented out, poor service, high prices, and going bankrupt because Netflix was so much better all their customers ran away.
  • DirectTV - Provided nice satellite service to me, but not known for great customer service. I left them because they ditched their great DirecTiVo boxes for their own in-house garbage to save $1/month/subscriber. Hint: I would have gladly paid $2 to get a real TiVo.

So I like Netflix, still hate BB, and I'm still mad at DirecTV. I think I'll stick with Netflix. Besides, if I really want it now, there's always RedBox.

Re:Let's see.... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876476)

Netflix could have got away with maybe a 20-30% price hike. 60% is going to hurt them more than they anticipated.

I would switch back if they offered subscription (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36876314)

I dropped Blockbuster and subscribed to Netflix last month, and in many ways, I'm regretting it. Netflix is good for streaming some TV shows (as long as you are OK with watching last year's episodes) and a few movies, but it is waaaaay behind in streaming worth-while New Film Releases, and their user interface is horrible. When you go to New Releases, it shows you anything new to THEM, not new to the market. Unless someone can tell me where it exists on NetFlix's site, one cannot just look for "movies released in the last week or last month or last year". It just shows everything that NetFlix added to its list. Makes it incredibly frustrating having to go to someone else's site to find movies that were released, then go back and search Netflix to find out that they don't even have it. And if you want the new releases, you can only get them in the mail, in which case, how is that better than Blockbuster? Some people probably like just browsing through B-movies, speghetti westerns, and 50s-80s flicks, but I watch a lot of movies and seeing the latest straight-to-DVD Val Kilmer movie isn't my idea of a Friday night. Blockbuster missed the boat when it came to streaming and NOT having a subscription streaming service left them sinking in their dingy. I have no interest paying per-movie. If Blockbuster offered subscription streaming, I'd probably dump Netflix, because they don't have the selection or the interface.

Re:I would switch back if they offered subscriptio (1)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876558)

IF BB offered subscription streaming...
Netflix has poor new release selection...

You've answered your own question here... the REASON that BB doesn't offer subscription streaming is that it would have to GIVE UP good new release offerings. And the reason for that is that the STUDIOS will not allow cut rate, unlimited streaming of new releases at a cheap price. If BB offered subscription streaming WITH new releases, the cost would be easily $100/mo or MORE.

This is the choice... pretty much controlled by the studios, not BB or Netflix. Now maybe BB could do something clever, like old stuff for $10/mo and 4 new ones a month for an add'n $10/mo. Otherwise, this is why DVDs are still relevant, as they are the ONLY way that studios have let consumers view new stuff at the $1-2/view or $10/mo "unlimited" (actually 4-6/mo given mail delays). And Redbox fought a HUGE battle to keep the $1/day pricing (the studios sued), the compromise being, no truly new stuff, must wait 30 days.

The answer to your question, that which blocks what you want to happen, is at the studios and their revenue stream business models...

Viable Business Model? (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876386)

Since when is a marketing tactic the same as a business model?

No. That is not a viable business model. It is, however a viable marketing ploy if the cost of sending the message is less than the benefit received having sent it, which is likely given the low cost of email marketing (leaving room, of course for knowing how much that email list cost).

Re:Viable Business Model? (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876490)

Since when is a marketing tactic the same as a business model?

When you see the ad.

I, for one, welcome... (2)

Legal.Troll (2002574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876458)

... any player out there that is capable of punching these jerkhats right in the junk. Much as cable companies suck, I'm shocked by how poor Netflix's billing practices are and even more shocked that they're legal.

For reference, the only way to cancel your account, without paying for extra membership time that you're not able to use, is to cancel your account ON THE REBILL DATE but BEFORE THEY REBILL.

Yeah, you heard right. If you cancel your subscription, they immediately stop providing the streaming service, but still charge you for the whole month. You can't simply tell them to refrain from rebilling you when next billing cycle comes. If you wait until the billing cycle ends, you're taking the risk that they'll bill you for a whole extra month that you don't want.

There is no customer service for billing issues. You cannot even talk to anybody that has the authority to issue you any form of refund. This company is like Sprint, only without the same level of honesty and good manners.

why doesn't BB have streaming subs? THE STUDIOS (1)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876632)

"IF BB offered subscription streaming...
Netflix has poor new release selection..."

You've answered your own question here... the REASON that BB doesn't offer subscription streaming is that it would have to GIVE UP good new release offerings. And the reason for that is that the STUDIOS will not allow cut rate, unlimited streaming of new releases at a cheap price. If BB offered subscription streaming WITH new releases, the cost would be easily $100/mo or MORE.

This is the choice... pretty much controlled by the studios, not BB or Netflix. Now maybe BB could do something clever, like old stuff for $10/mo and 4 new ones a month for an add'n $10/mo. Otherwise, this is why DVDs are still relevant, as they are the ONLY way that studios have let consumers view new stuff at the $1-2/view or $10/mo "unlimited" (actually 4-6/mo given mail delays). And Redbox fought a HUGE battle to keep the $1/day pricing (the studios sued), the compromise being, no truly new stuff, must wait 30 days.

The answer to your question, that which blocks what you want to happen, is at the studios and their revenue stream business models...

But do they accept Bitcoin (5, Funny)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36876650)

I would use Blockbuster if they accepted payment in Bitcoin.
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