Monthly Archives: August 2009

550 – The Council of Erias • 01

550

I really dig my Netflix. After subsidizing the whole of the Blockbuster for years with my late fees I was thrilled to be able to pay a smaller amount once a month to have all the movies I wanted brought directly to my door. (Blockbuster’s constantly changing rental policies more or less assured the fact that every movie I brought back to them was late. Well… that’s the story I’m going with anyway.)

With Netflix there were no late fees. I could keep a movie as long as I wanted… they didn’t care. The monthly fee was still less than I was paying in late fees, so I didn’t care either. It seemed like the perfect arrangement.

And then Netflix started streaming their video.

At first it was a bit rudimentary, the streams looked like really old VHS tapes you found in that closet that the air conditioning  doesn’t reach. They only played on Windows boxes. But gradually things improved. Netflix added Apple and started improving their technology, making the streams look better and play faster. Then they began adding other devices so that you could watch the streams on your TV, and improving the quality yet again to deliver high-definition images.

Not very long ago I saved up and got a Blu-Ray player that streams both Netflix and Pandora. It’s freaking awesome. The high-def Netflix streams are comparable to DVD quality, which is amazing in a video stream, and my $17 a month subscription covers as many movies as I’d care to watch. Now not everything is on the menu, but more and more stuff gets added every day, and Netflix has stated that streaming is their ultimate business model. No more postage, no more lost and broken disks. (Never really been a problem for me, but I guess it happens.) I’m thrilled.

So I started wondering, there are a lot of ways these days to get your movie experience delivered to you. Netflix, Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, Amazon, and iTunes are all in the streaming game now, though Netflix and iTunes seem several years ahead technologically. There are video rental stores, red-box and now “blue-box,” and hundreds of flavors of cable, satellite and pay-per-view set-ups. Lots of folks still buy outright their favorite stuff, while even more illegally pirate it.

The Monday Question:

So what about you? How do you get your videophile fix, and why do you like it the best? What makes it the right choice for you?