I recently decided to re-activate my Netflix account. I was interested in trying out the movie streaming function that Netflix has been touting in the world's most subtle marketing campaign. I had a sip or two of bourbon and decided to try out the service that they have.
I put people who watch television at home into three categories. The first category is the kind of person who thinks they need a new television for the “digital thing” when they have cable. This is the kind of person that thinks they are watching high-definition because they purchased on of those flat televisions. They don't really understand what high-definition is, which is okay because they still don't understand what the fuss is about with dvd either. They think vhs is “good enough” and don't understand that they wasted a bunch of money when the purchased that new flat panel. They think any additional money for a high-definition signal is a waste of money. They could never use digital video recorder because they don't see what the point is when they have hundreds of video tapes laying around. These are the kind of people that need to get down to the local Goodwill store and purchase all of the used vhs machines they have. If you are one of these people, please leave this blog at once and come back another time. You really won't get this article anyway. You are certainly not capable of hooking anything up to the internet and your television any way. Seriously, leave now.
Now that those bozos are gone, the second category are the people who want to get the most out of their system, since they spent the money for it. They actually use and hdmi cable, and got rid of their vhs tapes years ago. They probably have invested in some sort of surround sound system to enjoy the superior sound that high-definition offers. They certainly have not spent large amounts of money on the fanciest equipment, but they get to watch a pretty good signal because they took the time to get the basics right. They want to maximize the video and sound quality of their investment. This is the category for the Alphageek.
The last category is the spare no expense sort of person. We can just imagine how much they have spent on their systems, but it does not matter because any problem they have has already been solved by spending more money.
I have hooked up my Sony PS3 to my home network, via hard wire, to maximize the bandwidth available to the PS3. The PS3 is hooked up to the television and surround sound system via the best inputs possible. The fine folks at Netflix sent me a dvd that I insert into the PS3. I then activate the dvd on my account, and I can stream movies from the Netflix servers right on to my television very conveniently. They offer a wide, ever expanding variety of entertainment to watch. Update: You don't even need the dvd now, you just download an application onto the PS3.
I have watched a few things now, and have noticed mixed results. While the streaming works better than I thought, I notice that there are differences in the source material. Some television shows are not very good quality, along the line of an old vhs tape. However, some are some what better than a dvd, but not quite true high-definition, but are still pretty good. The only true disappointment is that the sound is only stereo. There is nothing approaching any sort of surround sound that I could find. You certainly cannot beat the convenience. The service also knocks the socks off of pay per view, but only if you can compromise on the sound.
If you have something hooked up to your television that can stream Netflix, you certainly should give the movie streaming a try. I think it is something we will use for a while. Why not leave some feedback, and try to convince me that I have more than two readers.