Following the news of Netflix launching in Canada, and CEO Reed Hastings’ questionable comment that American’s may not notice a cheaper subscription rate for Canadians, comes the news that Netflix and NBC Universal have expanded their agreement. This news comes via The Wall Street Journal who reports shows like “The Office,” “Friday Night Lights” and will all be available to Netflix subscribers.
If you have a Panasonic HDTV or Blu-ray player with Viera Cast you’ll be elated to know you can now get movies and TV shows streaming from Netflix. Panasonic officially announced the news today — adding the service to Panasonic plasma televisions that include the VT20 and VT25 (3D TV) series, GT25 (3D TV) series, and G20/G25 series.
Netflix has signed an agreement with Nu Image/Millennium Films to stream first run theatrical films during the “Pay TV window” — a period during which only premium channels usually broadcast the films. The deal allows 5-10 titles per year to be available to instantly watch on HDTVs, PCs, and mobile devices through Netflix subscriber accounts.
Netflix subscribers reached 15 million by the end of June this year, an increase of 4.5 million from the same time last year. A large percentage of those subscribers, 61%, had tried streaming movies and TV shows to their computer, internet-connected Blu-ray player or TV. Recently, Netflix apps were added to Apple iPad and iPhone devices making viewing movies even more mobile. Now, other companies want a piece of the action.
Great news for Apple customers. Netflix subscribers can now watch streaming Netflix content on iPhones and iTouch mobile devices. Apple’s Steve Jobs first showed off the Netflix app on an iPhone 4 in June — which works on both Wi-Fi and 3G networks.
This just in via The Wall Street Journal — Epix has agreed to give Netflix online distribution rights. This means movies such as “Iron Man 2,” “The Expendables,” and “Star Trek” will be available next month as streaming content to your PC or TV.
Netflix frequently adds more HD titles to their streaming lineup — you can find them under the “New Arrivals” tabs in the Netflix interface . Unfortunately they don’t have a simple breakdown of HD quality, so we’ve scrolled through ourselves. Videos in high-definition are AVC compressed with Dolby Digital at 48kHz. Yeah, the quality doesn’t quite match that of a Blu-ray Disc but then again you don’t have to wait for it.
Whether or not Netflix will actually build an app to run on Android devices, the company has posted an open position for an Android Video Playback Expert on their website. An apparent Netflix employee on Reddit has also posted responses to comments saying “the way Android is blowing up it would be stupid of us to ignore that.”
A Netflix application for PlayStation 3 will become available this October, potentially replacing the streaming PS3 disc Netflix subscribers currently use. This news was revealed in a Netflix Q&A session last week, when Q2 earnings were released. But will the application require a subscription to Playstation Plus, a membership which costs $49.99 per year? Most PS3 owners would probably opt to use a software app rather than a cumbersome disc. However, if a subscription is required (as is with Hulu Premius Plus) some Netflix subscribers may just continue using the disc if Netflix doesn’t make any changes.
Netflix and Warner Bros. have expanded and extended their current streaming content agreement, adding more TV shows to the Netflix library as well as extending movie title licensing from the studio through 2011.
Relativity Media, the studio that brought recent films such as “Robin Hood,” “Get Him to the Greek” and “Grown Ups” to theaters, has made an agreement with Netflix to distribute titles during the “pay TV window,” the time during which studios have usually disallowed Netflix streaming of certain titles in favor of agreements with premium pay channels.
Netflix frequently adds new films to their streaming lineup. Although there never seem to be enough in HD, below are several titles worth checking out. It should be noted that while some titles listed on the Netflix website do not indicate they stream in HD, we checked them out and have discovered that indeed they do. The scrollable “New Arrivals” tab within the Netflix streaming interface on your TV seems to be more accurate in terms of what is available in high-definition.
Former Blu-ray rival Toshiba has officially announced availability of two reasonably priced Blu-ray Disc players. The BDX2500 ($179.99) and BDX2700 ($249.99) include Wi-Fi, 7.1 channel audio, 24 frames-per-second, and compatibility with Netflix and Blockbuster On Demand.
Netflix frequently adds new HD titles to stream to HDTVs and PCs. Several new titles now available to stream to your HDTV include Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Prison Break: Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4, and Roman Polanski’s three-time Oscar winning film The Pianist (2002).
Microsoft PlayReady and Protected Interoperable File Format (PIFF) have become the chosen formats for Netflix streaming content, according to a Microsoft announcement today. The agreement makes PlayReady the primary content protection technology for new Netflix supported Internet TVs, home theater systems, Blu-ray Disc Players, game consoles and other electronic devices.
Netflix has added a bunch of new titles to watch in HD on your PC or Mac, as well as adding a page to view the available titles. The service requires your PC have Silverlight 3 installed, a screen resolution of at least 800 pixels wide, and sufficient bandwidth to handle the high resolution files (at least 5Mbps suggested).
Netflix is apparently streaming more than half of all “Play-ready” HD titles to Macs and PCs, that according to a Netflix representative who spoke with HackingNetflix. But finding that “half” of HD titles available to stream in high-definition isn’t exactly easy.
As well as adding titles from Universal to their library, Netflix has also announced a distribution deal with Twentieth Century Fox. The agreement covers digital and disc media formats for both television shows and motion pictures. Instant streaming for Fox TV shows, with some available as entire seasons, is a first for Netflix.
Netflix has added more Universal titles to its DVD, Blu-ray and streaming library, as well as signing a distribution agreement with the studio that firms up a delay window for new releases. The 28-day window will allow Universal to maximize their sales of discs and digital downloads during that time.