Last night Netflix sent out an email (full text below) explaining that it will be getting rid of profiles. For those unfamiliar, the profile feature allows one account to have multiple profiles. For example, you could pay $13.99 to get 2 DVDs at a time sent to your addresss but have one DVD come from your queue of chosen movies while the other DVD comes from another queue of movies.
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Last week plenty of rumors were floating around about a potential Microsoft / Netflix partnership. The announcement was supposedly going to happen during the keynote address (by Xbox Live exec John Schappert) at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco last Wednesday. The concept: make it so Netflix’s 7,000 available “Watch Instantly” movies would be viewed easily on your TV via the Xbox 360.
Notwithstanding the price slashing Toshiba has been doing (HD DVD player with 7 movies for $129 compared to Blu-ray players starting in the $300′s), Netflix choosing to drop HD DVD by year’s end in favor of Blu-ray exclusivity is quite the blow to the HD DVD crowd. Thanks a lot, Netflix. Give me an online streaming experience in HD by year’s end, and you’re forgiven. See below for full text of the email going out to any Netflix HD DVD users:
I’m not usually one to go for the top 10 list method of discussing limitations of a product. But then again, products don’t usually have 10 weaknesses I care enough about to compile a list. Apple TV, on the other hand, falls into this category. And it’s not even a first generation product!
But to be fair, I should point out that this is a product I sincerely want to work. After all, I already use iTunes to manage my music, and the iPod is my music player of choice. Too bad, then, that Apple TV simply isn’t ready for prime time. Here are the top 10 reasons you should wait:
So today is Apple’s yearly coming out party where good ol’ Steve Jobs takes the stage and releases big surprises (even if most are leaked days earlier). There’s a new ultra-thin notebook, new features for the iPhone (SMS messaging to multiple friends), new apps for the iPod Touch (Mail, Maps, Stocks, Notes, and Weather), iTunes movie rentals, and the second generation Apple TV.
Despite the fact that plenty of people already seem to be professing a new found love for the MacBook Air, my interest is more towards Apple’s desire to be in the center of my living room. So let’s take a look at the newly released Apple TV set-top box and iTunes rental package:
Starting Monday, January 14, 2008, Netflix subscribers will have unlimited access to movie viewing online. The company plans to do away with its quota/hours system it had in place before (viewing hours per month were based upon how much you paid for you mail-in DVD plan). The only group of Netflix subscribers to be left out of this unlimited plan: you who pay the minimum of $4.99 to rent just two DVDs per month.
Not sure if this is related to the news of Warner Bros. going Blu-ray exclusive, but Amazon has this Toshiba HD DVD player with seven movies for only $129 (the same one I thought I got a deal on a month ago for $174).
Blu-ray players, of course, are still well above $300. Amazon also has a bunch of HD DVD movies for $15. Interestingly, the site has a Blu-ray movie sale going on at the same time. But the difference between the two sales is a telling story:
The big news today is that Netflix and LG plan to market an LG-branded device (like a cable box) that will allow you to watch movies on your TV via Netflix streaming. Details are sketchy, but the product is to be available in the second half of this year.
And multiple sources are claiming that this magical device will play both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, the two big next generation high definition rival formats that are incompatible with each other. LG already offers a Blu-ray / HD DVD combo player for $799, but some are hoping this new Netflix device will be priced much lower.