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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the shut-up-and-take-my-money dept.

Media 323

mendax sends this excerpt from a New York Times op-ed: "like Napster in the late 1990s, [torrent-streaming app Popcorn Time] offered a glimpse of what seemed like the future, a model for how painless it should be to stream movies and TV shows online. The app also highlighted something we've all felt when settling in for a night with today’s popular streaming services, whether Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, or Google or Microsoft’s media stores: They just aren't good enough. ... In the music business, Napster’s vision eventually became a reality. Today, with services like Spotify and Rdio, you can pay a monthly fee to listen to whatever you want, whenever you want. But in the movie and TV business, such a glorious future isn't in the offing anytime soon.

According to industry experts, some of whom declined to be quoted on the record because of the sensitivities of the nexus of media deals involved, we aren’t anywhere close to getting a service that allows customers to pay a single monthly fee for access to a wide range of top-notch movies and TV shows.Instead of a single comprehensive service, the future of digital TV and movies is destined to be fragmented across several services, at least for the next few years. We’ll all face a complex decision tree when choosing what to watch, and we’ll have to settle for something less than ideal."

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Um. WRONG. (-1, Troll)

Narcocide (102829) | about 7 months ago | (#46589671)

Netflix is 100% satisfying. WTF back country bullshit throttled cable internet service are you using?

Re:Um. WRONG. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589711)

How many shares of Netflix do you own exactly?

Re:Um. WRONG. (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 months ago | (#46589723)

Netflix is 100% satisfying.

Sure, if you are satisfied by most of the top 200 movies on IMDB not being available there...

Most academy award winners? Not present.
Most Oscar winners? Not present.
Most Sundance Film Festival Winners? Not present. ...

Two words (-1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 7 months ago | (#46589863)

Apple TV

Three words (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 7 months ago | (#46589887)

Apple TV

What about it?

Re:Three words (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#46590255)

Apple TV

What about it?

It satisfies my streaming needs. 2 dozen channels, everything from breaking bad to game of thrones.

Two words: Not Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589893)

So somewhat irrelevant to the subthread, wouldn't you say?

Re:Two words (1)

TWX (665546) | about 7 months ago | (#46590205)

Why would I pay for an Apple TV device when I can load XBMC on an old computer and have the same kind of thing for free, or when I can turn on my Blu-Ray player and connect to a lot of other free streams?

Re:Um. WRONG. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 7 months ago | (#46589905)

The never-attainable struggle for perfection and certainty is the source of much of human suffering.

Netflix has plenty of shows - you can have a lot of fun watching them. It's a good value. Other shows can be had from other sources.

There are also mountains to climb, people to see, and hungry to feed.

Re:Um. WRONG. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46590045)

It's taken me some years, but I'm finally bored of Netflix. I just can't find anything else worth watching. My lady is more willing to plumb the depths than I am, but she finishes only about one movie in four, and the rate of watching TV shows is even poorer, though when she watches one episode she tends to watch the entire series. Whereas the list of TV shows I'll watch is basically restricted to cartoons, science fiction, and ow my balls (AKA MXC.) I've watched the cartoons I want to watch and the Anime is streamed in English-only so fuck that, I've long since watched all the sci-fi, they don't show ow my balls, Top Gear can be torrented or sometimes watched on Streetfire if they don't fuck it up.

I guess I'll have to see some people or feed some hungry. Got a bum knee.

Re:Um. WRONG. (2)

tipo159 (1151047) | about 7 months ago | (#46590099)

It's taken me some years, but I'm finally bored of Netflix.

I did the 30-day free trial of Netflix in Dec-Jan. I got bored with the choices available before the end of the free trial.

Re:Um. WRONG. (2)

sycodon (149926) | about 7 months ago | (#46590113)

How about those "new release" that are on the new release list for months and months?

Re:Um. WRONG. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590107)

many anime can be switched to japanese and with english subtitles if you want

Re:Um. WRONG. (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 7 months ago | (#46590253)

I guess I'll have to see some people or feed some hungry. Got a bum knee.

Shitty TV is great background for doing physical therapy. (5 shoulder exercises and 3 knee exercises) x 3 sets x 20 reps each x both sides = one episode of Helix.

Re:Um. WRONG. (4, Funny)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46590085)

Dammit, I knew I'd been doing it wrong! Here I'd been climbing the hungry and feeding the mountains. That explains the restraining order.

Re:Um. WRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590271)

There are also mountains to climb, people to see, and hungry to feed.

And women to fuck!

Re:Um. WRONG. (3, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#46590007)

Interesting, because, to me, most movies that win lots of those awards are either overdone romance dramas or center left political propaganda schlock. Talk about formulaic and dull. They make those teen vampire serial shows passed off as 'science' fiction seem tolerable....for a moment...at a distance. Hell, these people think 'gravity' is good science fiction, so their opinions count for exactly nothing to me.

Re:Um. WRONG. (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 7 months ago | (#46590015)

Sure, if you are satisfied by most of the top 200 movies on IMDB not being available there...

Welcome to living in Canada with the benefit of "Cancon" [wikipedia.org] dictating your movie viewing habits. I should add, it's just like living in any other country that isn't the US...isn't it so nice? Well anyway, netflix is perfectly fine and for someone who cut the cord and wants to watch something and doesn't really give a rats ass about "trendy award winner" it continues to be just fine. Then again, I can't get things like hulu, or amazon, or itunes(the viewing stuff) up here because of "viewership" rules anyway.

Re:Um. WRONG. (2)

sycodon (149926) | about 7 months ago | (#46590105)

A few good ones surrounded by tons of grade B movies with descriptions that start with "Not to be confused with the recent mega hit..."

Re:Um. WRONG. (5, Informative)

luckymutt (996573) | about 7 months ago | (#46590179)

Most academy award winners? Not present.
Most Oscar winners? Not present.

Those are the same thing.

Re:Um. WRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590279)

This is why I love the Sony video rental store on the PS3 (YMMV). If I'm looking for a recent movie, I'm much more likely to find it there for rent at about the same as the old Blockbuster price.

Re:Um. WRONG. (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 7 months ago | (#46590281)

>Most academy award winners? Not present.
>Most Oscar winners? Not present.
>Most Sundance Film Festival Winners? Not present. ...

And not a fuck was given. There's more than enough to watch. If a movie maker doesn't want me to see their previous movie, that's their own business. I'm not going out of my way to help them distribute their product to me.

Re: Um. WRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589733)

He is not talking about video quality. At least read the summary. It is true, depending your tastes you usually don't find something specific you want to watch, you have to make do with what's available.

Re: Um. WRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589877)

I really hate the phrase, but that takes "first world problems" to a new level.

Re: Um. WRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589911)

I really hate the phrase, but that takes "first world problems" to a new level.

Living in the first world is pretty much defined by not having third and second world problems and #firstworldproblems is a defeatist's wet dream turned to reality.

Re:Um. WRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589781)

Netflix is 100% satisfying. WTF back country bullshit throttled cable internet service are you using?

It depends on which country you live in. Netflix do not offer the same in all countries and the lack of content is a serious problem in some countries. It's like the US has cable TV while others are stuck with a regular antenna. I don't use Netflix currently because I have already seen everything I want to see there. I have yet to see anybody from the US making that claim.

I have no evidence to blame netflix for not delivering what they should. From what I have seen, the stream is decent and all problems I have seen/heard of so far turned out to be local wifi issues.

Re: Um. WRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589907)

Here. I live in the US and can easily classroom this. I ditched Netflix a month ago after 4 months of subscription because there was hardly any interesting content that I hadn't seen.

Re:Um. WRONG. (4, Interesting)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 7 months ago | (#46589847)

I live in NZ.

We WISH we had netflix. And our only pay-tv option Sky is not on-demand, stupidly expensive per month (even without the movie channels) AND complete shit. Netflix is a dream in comparison and it is 10-20x the price per month!

But do not worry folks, uto(rrent)pia is already upon us.

Here is my message to the movie/TV industry:

Until you get you act together and provide a decent, convenient service comparable to what the US has I will be getting them for free. And I wont feel at all guilty regardless of what any corporate shill says in the media or here on these forums - if you want to be anti-competitive then I simply will not play the game AT ALL.

Re:Um. WRONG. (2)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 7 months ago | (#46589851)

Sky is 10-20x the amount, not netflix!

Re:Um. WRONG. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589891)

And even if you had netflix, you'd still pirate movies and tv shows. You'd just use a different excuse.

Re:Um. WRONG. (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 7 months ago | (#46590069)

If we could buy anything available somewhere in the world for a reasonable price, we wouldn't pirate anything. The artificial restrictions and rent seeking drive discontent. At least Disney figured it out. Releasing Disney movies on VHS once every 10-15 years in special limited editions stopped when every release now is ripped and preserved for posterity.

I rent lots of movies, and "steal" only what isn't available locally at any price.

Re:Um. WRONG. (1)

nobuddy (952985) | about 7 months ago | (#46589903)

https://mediahint.com/ [mediahint.com]

you are welcome.

Re:Um. WRONG. (2)

exomondo (1725132) | about 7 months ago | (#46590093)

I live in NZ.

We WISH we had netflix.

Use a US DNS service (not a proxy), I live in Australia and that's how I get Hulu even though it technically isn't available here.

Re:Um. WRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590229)

This does not work.

What you really need is a US Proxying service that proxies specific URLs.

You can get Netflix with a DNS Proxy service; that uses DNS to selectively proxy certain URLs to defeat the Geoblocking, but NOT proxy the content connections for Netflix. The content is the large amount of data, and doesn't have any direct geoblock associated with it, but getting "access" to the content, requires proxying.

Because you use DNS to perform the redirection, your end users think all they are doing is changing DNS and not being proxied.

Re: Um. WRONG. (2)

corychristison (951993) | about 7 months ago | (#46590249)

A hybrid DNS/Proxy service can really come in handy. Theoretically you could set it up to route around through different regions for services like Netflix.

*cough* unblock dash *cough* dot com *cough*

Seems that Canadian Winter cold is getting the best of me.

Re: Um. WRONG. (1)

teeloo (766817) | about 7 months ago | (#46590201)

I use a VPN service specially targeted at Netflix users and I can switch between any of the Netflix regions. In addition, this works in almost all the countries I have been to including Hong Kong, UK, Spain... The content available so far is diverse enough to keep me interested.

Re:Um. WRONG. (5, Interesting)

kylemonger (686302) | about 7 months ago | (#46589849)

Netflix doesn't even get rewind right, something my lowly 11 year old TiVo got right on day one. "WTF did he just say?" Hit the instant replay button and jump back 8 seconds. With Netflix it's as if someone there has to get up and change reels any time you want to skip backward.

Re:Um. WRONG. (3, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about 7 months ago | (#46589945)

I don't think Netflix is anywhere near 100% satisfying but it comes pretty close. It's basically a replacement for 30 or so channels on cable that are dominated by re-runs.

However, I think the idea that this has to be some sort of one stop option is bogus and stupid. There's no good reason that multiple services can't do the job. We already have multiple channels in the old model.

Netflix + Amazon(PPV) together is a pretty complete solution.

Re:Um. WRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589989)

Netflix is 100% satisfying.

If your tastes are mediocre as yours obviously are, then you are easily satisfied.

But not all of us are philistines like you, and you most certainly do not speak
for the rest of us when you claim Netflix is satisfying.

Re:Um. WRONG. (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 7 months ago | (#46590131)

Netflix is 100% satisfying. WTF back country bullshit throttled cable internet service are you using?

To view cable for me is at least $30 a month, Netflix is $8. I get the local and FOX (The Simpsons) over the air at no cost,

"They just aren’t good enough." there is a bit of truth there. But I'm ok with what's on Netflix just not at a 100% level.

Re:Um. WRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590165)

Netflix is 100% satisfying

Are you a paid shill? I live in Seattle, and I don't know anyone that has enough bandwidth to stream Netflix. HBO to Go, ESPN3, etc. all have the same problem. If we can't do it here in the center of the tech work, there's no damn way Netflix will work in most places in this country. My 640 Kbps with CenturyLink is not nearly fast enough for a good streaming experience.

Re:Um. RIGHT... (4, Interesting)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 7 months ago | (#46590233)

Netflix is 100% satisfying. WTF back country bullshit throttled cable internet service are you using?

Netflix is utter crap if you want to watch new movies. It's the reason why I dumped Netflix a year ago. Amazon and Redbox both get new movies much faster and you can stream them. I'll grant you that Netflix does a good job at adding to their impressive old movie collection and they tend to add TV series fairly quickly. They may meet your needs, but there are many of us left wanting.

A combination of Redbox, Amazon Prime, Comcast, and NHL Game Center Live does it for me...

Re:Um. WRONG. (1)

paiute (550198) | about 7 months ago | (#46590251)

Netflix is 100% satisfying. WTF back country bullshit throttled cable internet service are you using?

Comcast

And that's why... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589683)

...we all just use bitTorrent.

Re:And that's why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589775)

Lies! I use file lockers.

The oak and the palm (3, Interesting)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 7 months ago | (#46589691)

The Oak stays strong and the palm tree bends - but with the Hurricane of fed up cord cutters, only one species will survive the storm.

I'm patient.

Re:The oak and the palm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589727)

Now there's no more oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe and saw

Re:The oak and the palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589819)

Now there's no more oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe and saw
Burma Shave

FTFY

Re:The oak and the palm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590029)

'cord cutters' - I see what you did there.

Physical Stores (1)

Lodlaiden (2767969) | about 7 months ago | (#46589693)

Harking back to a few articles ago, about the inconvenience of DVDs.
I can walk into a physical store 2 miles from my house, drop 5 bucks for a movie, and if I bring it back within 24 hrs, I get 4 bucks back.
Why can't I just pay $1 /movie to stream any video I want whenever I want?

Re:Physical Stores (2)

H3lldr0p (40304) | about 7 months ago | (#46589773)

Because it doesn't make the right people enough money for them to set that up.

Notice, this isn't about making money. Businesses can make money doing what you have asked for.

This is about making enough money. Greed.

Re:Physical Stores (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#46589809)

We have most of the parts in place. CPU, GPU, servers, movies in a digital format, payment methods.
What is missing seems to be the bandwidth via telco and ISP monopolies and cartels around the world.
If you don't pay for expensive dedicated networking ... you wait even with good physical networks.

Re:Physical Stores (3, Insightful)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 7 months ago | (#46589869)

I can walk into a physical store 2 miles from my house, drop 5 bucks for a movie, and if I bring it back within 24 hrs, I get 4 bucks back.
Why can't I just pay $1 /movie to stream any video I want whenever I want?

Well if the movie studios had their way, you wouldn't be able to rent movies cheaply on disc either. They have no interest in customer satisfaction, convenience, or affordability.

Business as usual. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589715)

Torrents+media server+raspbmc meets 100% of my needs.

I have no need for immediate streaming access, and I already have 4tb of media, at least half of which I have yet to watch, and the other half things I will likely rewatch in the future.

Re:Business as usual. (3, Insightful)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 7 months ago | (#46589829)

Why would anyone want to stream something outside of sports?

From my own experience the quality of streamed services available to me, frankly, suck. They are either low quality, embedded in some kind of stupid player, or system resource hungry. Why would I want that when I could queue something up on a torrent, get a high quality rip that is encoded in a way that my raspberry can play it happily and it sits nicely into the lovely media centre interface I'm running?

I pay my money every year to get access to the motogp streams from motogp.com Every race I have to stuff around plugging my laptop into my tv and then making sure ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE is touching the internet. That way I can get their 720 stream and usually it doesn't have too many buffering pauses in it. If my wife decides to surf the internet on her phone at the same time then bam, buffering. It sucks. But it is the only option to watch the races realtime outside of a foxtel connection which I would never use for anything else.

The next Jammie Thomas (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46589897)

Why would anyone want to stream something outside of sports?

Because they're already paying for a forced package deal that includes both sports and other programming. It's called cable.

Why would I want that when I could queue something up on a torrent

Lawful services don't run the risk of making their users the next Jammie Thomas.

Re:The next Jammie Thomas (1)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 7 months ago | (#46590039)

I think you missed what I meant about sports. Sports is the only thing, that I can think of anyway, where you really want to watch it while it's happening. I know that if I know the result of a match I don't really care about watching a replay. Also, even though I know this isn't the case, psychologically when you are watching it live you can feel like you can influence the result if you scream at the tv.

You are absolutely correct about the Jammie Thomas. But Jammie is an aberration. Laws obviously differ country to country so outside of the US (currently) there is no risk of ending up in the same position as her. Most people don't get caught, and when they do get caught there is usually an amount that can be settled for. If that amount is less than a couple of years of cable + netfixs + other rental, then you are in front. Am I wrong in thinking this is civil law in the US so no recorded conviction?

People make the same call on multiple areas of their life, from moonshine to untaxed tobacco to jaywalking.

Re:Business as usual. (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46590227)

Why would anyone want to stream something outside of sports?

Because someone plans on watching something once. There are exceptions, such as a single-digit-year-old child's favorite animated film, but as far as I can tell, the majority of adults watch the majority of movies once. And because something is not a new release and therefore not available for rental from the local Redbox machine.

Mistake in summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589717)

law abiding citizens will have to settle for something less than ideal.

FTFY

Re:Mistake in summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590053)

Exactly! I get sick of seeing "not available in your region" when I can just add "torrent" to the end of the title in a google search and it suddenly become available! These companies that employ thousands of lawyers for hundreds of millions of dollars per year can't figure out an easy and simple worldwide distribution model, how fucking retarded are they?

I buy from iTunes because for the most part it has what I want, I can download it immediately and I can put it on my NAS and play it on any of my devices. That's the same reason I use torrents for TV/Movies, I'm not adverse to paying for the content I want, I'm perfectly willing to do that (I use Netflix and Hulu which have many of the things I want) but those companies won't shut up and take my money.

Sorry Big TV/Movie Media, you make it too cumbersome (and often impossible) for me to pay you for the content I want so I will take it for free instead, your loss.

Rentals are too expensive (5, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 7 months ago | (#46589729)

It shouldn't cost more to "rent" a two year old movie to stream online that it does to BUY it in the bargain bin. Not only that, but many older movies aren't available to rent at all, only for "purchase" (which, when bought online is really a long-term rental anyway due to DRM).

Get the rental prices down. Let me pay $2-$3 to watch a movie rather than $6-$10. And for the love of Princess Celestia, when you PAY for content online, it should look good! No compression artifacts, no buffering. Let me pull down the whole thing, or maybe half of it before watching to ensure a good experience.

or just say no (5, Interesting)

dltaylor (7510) | about 7 months ago | (#46589735)

I have not, and will not, use my cable provider's "on demand" service for anything for which I have to pay ($5 - $10 per selection per 24-hour viewing window). If there were some "bundle" price, al la Netflix, I'd give them $10 for access. Of course, I don't pay the obscene fees for "premium" channels, either. I only have one cable box attached to a screen. I cannot watch all three (four?) at the same time, but I would have to pay an additional monthly fee for each one, even if it is discounted slightly for second, third, ... selection.

I may miss something, but nothing I've heard of justifies the pricing.

Unless you are willing to use Popcorn Time. (2)

Payden K. Pringle (3483599) | about 7 months ago | (#46589747)

Although illegal in many countries (but not all), it is satisfying. And free. It doesn't cover everything, but it certainly covers a lot and is expanding from what I can see. I can't help but wonder when TV shows will be added, along with a choice of where to pull the torrents from (it's locked in to YIFY [yts.re] currently though there might be an easy way to change that, I haven't the time).

Although the team that originally started it dropped the project, it was entirely open source so others could (and did [vr-zone.com] ) pick up where they left off. They didn't do so due to legal issues (because they checked multiple times to see that what they were doing was indeed legal), but because they didn't want to be in the middle of fighting the paradigm that the film (and other) industries have established.

Here's a link. [techspot.com]

Fat people problems (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589759)

Whatever.

Did I just read ... (5, Funny)

hymie! (95907) | about 7 months ago | (#46589771)

Did I just read two stories today, telling me both the problem with DVDs and the problem with streaming services?

Re:Did I just read ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589823)

Yes you did, I suspect someone is about to launch a new service and is laying the groundwork of bad-talking the existing services...

Industry Experts? NOT (2)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | about 7 months ago | (#46589779)

Netflix is already delivering.
How did this BUL$4!T get posted?

Re:Industry Experts? NOT (2)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about 7 months ago | (#46589899)

The definition of "industry expert" has been diluted to mean "anyone who has blogged about a topic more than once". It's entirely meaningless

The industry shooting themselves in the foot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589785)

Until "the industry" pulls their heads out of their asses, they're losing revenue.

fuck 'em. They're not too big to fail. Everyone in the world needs to learn to stop giving money to selfish corporations.
Let old media fade away, and then someone smarter than them can buy their back-catalogues, and their studios, and do the right thing.

Meanwhile, Popcorn Time beta 0.2.7 exists right now, and we can live without Transformers 8 while the system crumbles.

Fuck 'Em we can wait it out (3, Insightful)

fadethepolice (689344) | about 7 months ago | (#46589805)

they are not selling food. the product is inherently of no value. I say make them sing for their supper. In the end all they are are fools for our entertainment. the idea that they dictate the terms of the price of a non essential good is in the long run just silly

Re:Fuck 'Em we can wait it out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589837)

+1

Water cooler talk (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46589917)

the product is inherently of no value.

Staying current with popular entertainment may help someone advance in office politics at his workplace and qualifying for a promotion, instead of gaining a reputation as That Guy [theonion.com] and qualifying for constructive dismissal [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Water cooler talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590127)

Staying current with popular entertainment may help someone advance in office politics at his workplace and qualifying for a promotion, instead of gaining a reputation as That Guy [theonion.com] and qualifying for constructive dismissal [wikipedia.org]

If you think talking about some TV show is a way to keep your job you are an idiot,
doing an idiot's job.

Re:Water cooler talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590195)

Your job must suck.

There are other reasons too (1)

Laconique (3426803) | about 7 months ago | (#46589811)

I do watch Netflix but whenever I need to take a movie seriously (I write about films for part of my work) I do have to watch the other non Netflix versions just in case http://whatnetflixdoes.tumblr.... [tumblr.com] No affiliation with the site by the way

HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz (2)

Dan East (318230) | about 7 months ago | (#46589855)

Why do you think that HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and Starz (a latecomer, relatively speaking) have all been in existence since the popularity of cable television exploded in the 70s? Because that fragmentation (only allowing one of them rights to a given movie) allows the industry to milk as much money out of consumers as possible. How many people could pay $50 a month back in the 80s for a single channel that carries all movies? Not many. So in essence it was split up into multiple channels, so people could at least subscribe to as little or as much as they could afford.

So of course that backwards, entrenched industry is going to try their hardest to bring that concept to streaming as well.

netflix is doing it wrong (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 months ago | (#46589865)

By netflix paying comcast, they will be forced to pay others and it will grow over time.
They, and others such as Microsoft, should team up with Google's internet service and start installing it everywhere that the monopolies are delivering poor service and playing games with them.

Except ... (1)

jamesl (106902) | about 7 months ago | (#46589873)

According to industry experts ... we aren't anywhere close to getting a service that allows customers to pay a single monthly fee for access to a wide range of top-notch movies and TV shows.

Just like one service can't provide customers with a wide range of top-notch retail products. Except for Amazon.

Amazon Prime isn't so good either (2)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46589959)

I think one difference is that physical goods are purchased a la carte, unlike monthly subscription streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix. Another is the existence of much more mature legislation, case law, and business models around physical goods than around video on demand. Unlike video on demand, physical goods have an exhaustion doctrine allowing resale.

Re:Amazon Prime isn't so good either (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46590063)

I think one difference is that physical goods are purchased a la carte, unlike monthly subscription streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.

You haven't had Amazon Prime, have you? Only a small subset of the catalog is available "free" to Prime customers. Mostly you have to pay Amazon A la Carte, whether by the episode or by the series. On the plus side, you get a "lifetime" right to replay the content, once purchased. I bought one B5 episode that didn't play from my DVDs, it was a major storyline episode and I just wanted to watch it without dicking around, and that was well worth the two bucks or whatever it cost. I think it was two bucks. But ISTR that the full season prices were not that much more compelling, and if you bought a whole series that way it would end up being a considerable amount of money, and that's their primary business model based on the number of titles covered by each approach.

Re:Amazon Prime isn't so good either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590199)

Amazon Prime

The ironic thing is that nearly 1/4 of their employees in Seattle don't have Internet connections fast enough to stream. My roommate is a developer there, and she can't because we have (depending on the day) usually half a mega-bit per second DSL connection. She gets it for free, but can't use it. Seattle is still stuck in the late 90's when it comes to Internet access. As she likes to complain, she had a connection forty times faster (20 Mbps) when she lived in a small town in GA fifteen years ago. If the access here in Seattle is that bad, I imagine most of the country is unable to stream.

Money spread is the reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589947)

The music industry has been using the "top X" model for distributing funds for a long time, therefore adding new services to its income base has not been that difficult. What do I mean by this? Radios (your local AM/FM type) pay a fee to broadcast popular music. They don't pay a per-song fee as that would require extensive and expensive book keeping. Rather, portions of their fee are distributed to artists based on where an artists current song is. So if your song gets to #1 on the Billboard charts, you get a bigger slice of the fee from radios than if it is at #40.

For movies, I'm not aware of there being anything similar. Even free to air television license movies and TV shows on a per-asset basis.

For Netflix to offer a $40 all you can eat movies, whatever movie you want, for a month would require a completely new licensing and income distribution model for movies. Given how conservative the business executives in that industry are explains why this hasn't happened. At a guess, there is no capability either within the existing contracts or the people involved to transition the way money is received for movies to mimic that already used for music.

Explanation for missing back catalog titles? (1)

swb (14022) | about 7 months ago | (#46589961)

Much of the explanation involving exclusive deals, etc, makes sense (as in I grok it, not that I like it) for recent titles, but what's the explanation for missing back catalog titles, stuff more than 10 years old?

So much of it is DVD only. I can't imagine there's that much of a market for those kinds of titles on DVD to keep them DVD exclusive.

I wonder why (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46589981)

Viacom is about to go dark in 800 markets and 5 million homes because they want to nearly double their rate overnight: http://www.latimes.com/enterta... [latimes.com]

And TV wonders why it's dieing. Just like the music industry, TV and Movie studios are vastly overestimating the value of their product.

Re:I wonder why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590035)

I was involved with an OTT IPTV startup for a while and the programmers were typically asking for 10x their typical rates and minimum performance guarantees in the 10s of thousands... not hugely surprising they are squeezing NCTC *again*.

Mr. Manjoo exaggerates (2)

michaelmalak (91262) | about 7 months ago | (#46590003)

Anything less than 100% back catalog "so fails to satisfy"? I'm not even going to use that three-letter acronym. Childish.

The problem is simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590021)

Too many content executives who are both stupid and greedy.

Not enough bullets.

Newsgroups anyone? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590037)

I am sorry, but I have never heard a good argument to use something other than the Newsgroups I've been using since the early 90's.

Currently I pay $8.00 per month to Astraweb and run NZBGet on a little NAS box with front ends Couchpotato for Movies and Sickbeard for Shows. They are internal web pages running on the NAS and you can set a show and movie you would like to see, set the quality you'd like and forget till you get an email that the job is DONE!

At that point the file is LOCAL so none of that buffering BS!

THAT's the glimpse of the future!!!

I see Netflix stutter at my friends' with relative poor video quality. And who wants a limited/changing/shrinking(?) selection anyways?

Yes, some might say that NG's are 'illegal' but downloading is NOT in many county's.. So don't use bit torrents since that's uploading too, but use NG's instead. Combined with SSL access to super fast servers and retention of over 1500 days what's not to like??

Besides, it NG's have music too... I have never doubted where I want to spend my $8/month

Cheers!

Pirate Bay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590071)

It's funny Pirate Bay always has what I want and it downloads quickly and there are no annoying ADs like the disk I "pay" for.

Remove the middleman (1)

Art3x (973401) | about 7 months ago | (#46590073)

I hate to say this, as much as I sympathize more with Netflix than a major studio, but shouldn't the studios eventually stream their movies themselves? Is the tech really that hard, why are they outsourcing it to Amazon and Netflix?

Like TV channels, we should just surf the studio websites until we find what we want (using Google, perhaps). That seems the inevitable future rather than one or two clearinghouses. That's what tech does: removes the middleman (except when there's a man in the middle ;).

Re:Remove the middleman (1)

tipo159 (1151047) | about 7 months ago | (#46590155)

I hate to say this, as much as I sympathize more with Netflix than a major studio, but shouldn't the studios eventually stream their movies themselves? Is the tech really that hard, why are they outsourcing it to Amazon and Netflix?

Like TV channels, we should just surf the studio websites until we find what we want (using Google, perhaps). That seems the inevitable future rather than one or two clearinghouses. That's what tech does: removes the middleman (except when there's a man in the middle ;).

Streaming can be hard, particularly if everyone is trying to watch at the same time. Witness what happened to HBOGo the night that they made the season finale of 'True Detective' available.

From what I can tell, the major studios do not want to be in the content delivery business. I don't see an 'inevitable future' of the major studios streaming their own content. I think branded portals to the studio content, outsourced to a small number of content delivery companies, is more likely.

Re:Remove the middleman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590181)

Most studios have the luxury of both having someone else doing all the hard work AND getting well payed for it also.
Since there is no competition, why on earth should studios bother with doing it themselves?

xmbc (1)

wizkid (13692) | about 7 months ago | (#46590077)

onechannel
I don't use this. I've only heard about it somewhere.

balkanized failure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590087)

Streaming services should be able to stream any content they want for a fixed fee per stream. Content providers should not get to pick and choose who pays them royalties. This way, the competition between streamers would be purely over price and service.

Never satisfied (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590097)

I remember when you turned on the TV and watched what was there, or listened to the radio, or played a record, or read a newspaper/book/magazine.

Now people want EVERYTHING! NOW! and it has to be on TV (passive experiences only, please).

Sheesh.

Nothing Worth Watching! (2)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about 7 months ago | (#46590133)

The real problem is that there is very little on TV that's worth watching, no matter WHAT the delivery medium is. Dozens of formulaic "crime" dramas. Dozens of unfunny "situation comedies". Every show tries to copy everything else that was ever PREVIOUSLY successful, but the copy is never even half as good as the original.

NOTHING new on TV is worth watching. And I've already seen all the good reruns.

Re:Nothing Worth Watching! (1)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46590203)

Sad, isn't it? Especially since there's no lack of good writers, just a system that's not interested in them. Eventually we'll get a new system, one not dependent on a choke point that excludes everything worth watching. There's already fan-produced stuff that's mediocre, but that has to slip through the cracks of existing IP. We'll get Indie TV better than what we have now -- if only because the bar is so very low -- once a reasonable way to make a little money off of it is found and shown to work. It might even be something like kickstarter.

Re:Nothing Worth Watching! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590301)

So true. People complain that Netflix streaming has a poor selection and most of what they have is boring. True. But even if they streamed everything they have on DVD, most of the content would suck anyway. We cut the cable with our 100+ channel because it wasn't worth it. Now we live off of OTA, free Roku channels, and Netflix (mostly cartoon for the kids) at $8/month. I mostly have Netflix on when I want something in the background while coding... and even then I usually check out Jupiter Broadcasting first.

I have access to both netflix and amazon prime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590237)

Having a limited selection and paying a small monthly fee in order to avoid commercials which make me ill is very satisfying.

The noise pollution at other people's houses is almost intolerable.

What's Missing is Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46590303)

Let's be realistic here, the nexus of media deals that perpetuate the present system are never going to go away in the absence of tough competition, legal or not. Since tough competition cannot come from legal sources, due to the aforementioned cartel arrangements in the Movie, Television, the "last mile" content delivery business (cable, satellite and telecom) and regulatory failure, it must come from outside the cartel as with Napster. If Popcorn time is upgraded to offer some kind of obfuscation or anonymity feature, ala TOR, then the media cartels would be forced to compete because they couldn't shut it down, without shutting down the Internet, and individual users would be difficult or impossible to track down. Popcorn time needs to add Anonymity, if possible, to really challenge the media cartels in the US.

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