The State of Netflix

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One streaming service I signed up for recently charged me $6 to rent a new release and it averaged ten seconds of buffering for every five seconds of actual playback -
I hate buffering with a passion. MTV used to be really bad with that. Maybe they still are.

If you downloaded what you were streaming, you wouldn’t have the buffering problem.
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No one is trying to tell you to make a life or death decision about Netflix Iro. Being pretty dramatic, yeah? And if in 20 years from now if Netflix still has all the same "problems" you just mentioned then Netflix won't be around either.

20 years ago we knew DVD"s would replace VHS. All I'm saying is that in 20 more I think there's a better than average chance that there will no longer be DVD's. I'm not declaring Netflix the winner of anything, neither is anyone else for that matter. Just kicking around some ideas for the future.
20 years sounds a lot more likely than 5 years, I'll give you that much. In any case, it depends on how long it takes for the invention of a physical format that's not only sufficiently superior to DVD in a technical sense but also proves popular enough to overtake DVD and the like. Whatever the case for streaming services, there will still be a demand for physical media and it'd be nice to have something that's as durable and high-quality as vinyl records.

I hate buffering with a passion. MTV used to be really bad with that. Maybe they still are.

If you downloaded what you were streaming, you wouldn’t have the buffering problem.
I wouldn't have minded this particular instance so much if I could just go do something else while leaving it to fully buffer but I tried that and, despite leaving it for at least an hour or two, it still only worked for about five minutes or so before going back to the stop-start pattern I described before.
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Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, I’m thinking about you.



So I recently took Netflix on a one month trial. I already had Amazon Prime, mostly for the free shipping. Till the time i only had only one, I always felt Netflix would is better. But now that I have it, its more like a feeling of "grass is always greener on the other side". Prime does have some content that I would definitely call "off the beaten path", which I quite like.



Most of the stuff on Netflix is just something that they made (I am talking movies only, not too much into the TV shows they make), which barely cross a rating of 6 on IMDB. Or just way too mainstream. And to be fairly honest, no amount of streaming stuff wold satisfy what i want to watch. Google is still king for me!
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I'm currently waiting for my husband to give me the green light to cut the cable cord. We get a bazillion channels but he watches only the Discovery Channel (seriously, dude?). I'm the one who streams, which is why we have Netflix, Amazon Prime (which I'd have even without the video library), and Hulu right now. Since Xfinity added Netflix capability to their new X1 remotes (and their remotes are awesome, I gotta admit), he does use Netflix a little bit more.

But I can't wait to save that bazillion dollars a month we're currently spending on cable. We have it bundled with a landline and our internet, so we'll have to carefully unbundle those. We love their internet (and it nets us both free mobile service!), but I hate paying for all that TV we don't use. I can add HBO, Starz, and Showtime subscriptions through Prime when we want those. That'd pretty much cover everything we watch anyway. And Hulu offers Discovery Channel shows he watches.

I just wish he had the time to sit down and do the math so we can cut the cord. I typically turn on the TV when he's working night shift and head straight for Netflix. In fact, until reading this thread, I'd forgotten that Netflix even has a DVD option! That's how I started on Netflix waaaay back in the earlier days. We had the 3-DVD plan. Everybody did the DVDs back then. I didn't even give a second thought to any of their streaming because it was junk and leftovers. The movies on DVD were the way to go.

But at some point I ditched the DVDs... I think it was when their playlists just expanded like crazy and we were cutting household costs. I never looked back. If there's a movie I feel I HAVE to watch as soon as I can, I can always rent or buy it through Prime or elsewhere. Instantly. No waiting for a DVD on a waiting list.

I say all this, but I also still buy DVDs. I typically buy things that are tough or impossible to find on any streaming service, or things I just want to have permanent access to. So, older, quirky Gene Wilder movies, for instance, and entire TV series sets (LOST, BSG, Monty Python's old shows from the '70s, Firefly, Mad Men, Deadwood, Six Feet Under...). Plus cheap movies as I see them advertised. A lot of these were only a coupla bucks. Heck, some of the Gene Wilder movies were "add-on items" on Amazon and I had to order OTHER things in the same order before I could even get them!

Hulu's been great for The Handmaid's Tale and one or two other things, but not much else right now. That's probably because we still have cable so I can use Xfinity's On Demand feature to get anything I want to stream right to the TV without the internet issues. We have the cheapest Hulu ($8/month) so there are commercials. Once we cut the cable, Hulu will likely become more prominent in our rotation.

Initially, I thought Netflix's idea of making their own content was a bit silly. I don't know WHY I thought that, since HBO long ago proved it was the smartest way to get people to choose YOUR premium channel over the next guy's. (I remember when HBO first came out and it was the only game in town. Back then the big deal was just getting uncut movies with no commercials. Revolutionary!) Once HBO started producing their own series, they could do no wrong. And they almost never have a flop.

So I don't know why I didn't expect Netflix to succeed. I think the brilliant part of their strategy is the bingeing. Releasing the whole season at once. It gives them a slight edge for me over Hulu, which is releasing The Handmaid's Tale one episode a week like a regular broadcast TV show. Of course, that means you'll keep your Hulu subscription long enough to see an entire season -- months rather than a week or two.

Still, I've had to get used to waiting a week for episodes of The Handmaid's Tale, when I'd gotten used to bingeing episodes of Santa Clarita Diet like Lay's potato chips. (I swear you cannot watch just one episode of that, or Kimmy Schmidt!)

I like most of Yoda's original list. I'm a middle-aged woman, though, so I'd have to add Grace & Frankie.



But wouldn't that deprive him of the sports channels?



The Adventure Starts Here!
I don't think we've EVER watched a sports channel. EVER. We get, like, three ESPNs as part of our ridiculous cable subscription. The only time we've had any of them on have been either when Yoda's been here or when a friend of mine was in town and had to watch a live Ole Miss game.



Ah I see. My sad story is that I have to keep the cable on the highest package just for one channel, Bein Sports, because it has the La Liga coverage. It is always available on the highest package of all providers. And stupid Spectrum has BBC News as an SD channel. Cant believe the only news channel in US and its in SD.



But i would definitely suggest adding Acorn TV or Britbox to your list. They just have better and more intellectual shows!



Some are longer than others, to be sure, but we're probably talking ~200 hours there. Even if you assume I should be paying, like, $1/hour to watch something (seems low, if anything), that comes out to about $16/month, and the actual streaming subscription costs just over half that. And that assumes I won't like any more new shows, and totally ignores the licensed content that's still there.

Anyway, I mention this because the gradual reduction of their licensed content was an annoyance to a lot of people, my self included. But in retrospect, I think it was probably inevitable that there would be a year or two in there where the original content wasn't plentiful of matured/developed enough, collectively, to offset the licensed content they were losing, but that after a couple of years, it's mostly balanced out. At least, for people like me who are fine with it skewing more towards episodic programming relative to movies.

But you have to say how many of these are good? Not everyone's taste is the same. So a person might not be into all 20 of these. And this is not only in US. They are doing it every other country they have gone in. India, Korea etc. They are just shoving their products over what their original business model was, which was just movies (i think).



I think they are just trying to becomes their own standalone network. Like the Amazon on TV.



But you have to say how many of these are good? Not everyone's taste is the same. So a person might not be into all 20 of these.
Sure, but these are just the 20 I found while sifting through a fraction of the ~800 or so. The idea here is that even if someone's totally uninterested in most of it (certainly true in my case), there's just so flippin' much of it, and the variety is so wide, that I imagine most people would be able to find at least a handful they like. And the cost is probably justified if someone can find even half as many things worth watching as I have.

Anyway, there's definitely a quantity-over-quality problem, but I think it's been improving, and right now the nets they're casting are so wide that they've managed to produce a lot of good stuff.

I think they are just trying to becomes their own standalone network. Like the Amazon on TV.
Yep. A few others are trying to do it, too. Easy to imagine that, in 10-20 years, we think in terms of streaming services rather than networks. It's not a perfect comparison because there'll still probably be plenty of licensing deals that expire or change, but it's obvious most of these places want to have enough original content that other content sources can't rake them over the coals for those fees. They don't actually need to produce all their own content, just enough that networks and studios don't have the leverage to demand huge licensing deals.
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Yes, they are taking the scatter gun approach to drawing customers. Just see what sticks.

They have improved on the content that they make now. More polished. Other than Beasts of No Nation, I would say, I haven't liked anything else made by them.

It is in a way it is a safe bet. They just dont want to become the next Blockbuster or RadioShack. Diversify and diversify early. Just streaming movies might not cut in in 10 years time.


I would say HBO and Hulu are falling behind in this case.

Although if i do think about it, it just might help a lot of people have their big chance. Who knows Netflix/Prime just might discover the next great director. But I am not too hopeful, but it just might happen!


EDIT: I forgot about this year's Icarus.



Based on the examples you mentioned it sounds like you're interested more in their movies as opposed to their TV shows. There are a lot fewer good Netflix movies than there are shows, for sure.



TV shows yes, i dont really care about never ending sagas. My TV watching rule is simple and very restrictive, Detective/Sleuth, someone has to die in the first few mins (or be victim of some other crime), the story should end in an hour or so, and then a new story. Or be informative factual. Like history, science etc. I dont think Netflix, Amazon has any shows matching those criteria. So i normally stay away. So I mostly rely on foreign networks for it (ITV, BBC, Sky, ABC etc).



Netflix definitely seem to do better TV than films. I dont think Ive watched any of the original films that Id score any more favourably than average, whereas Ive enjoyed quite a few of the series, Stranger Things, Black Mirror (not strictly exclusive, or at least the first 2 seasons werent, but then Im still counting it) Glow, Jessica Jones, currently on season 2 of 13 Reasons Why etc. But then they seem to get a lot of decent older stuff that isnt exclusive but I still love. Mad Men, Gilmore Girls, Red Dwarf etc.

We do have Sky as well (for Westworld, Game of Thrones etc) and I pay for Amazon mainly for the fre next day delivery, but then I thonk Amazon also beats Netflix for film content. Not so much original stuff, but some good quality older stuff.

Agree with the issue that streaming is so reliant on your internet connection. For anything I cant find, I do have other streaming sources, and the other week, I just couldnt watch it because the internet was so bad. So we ended up on the Sky boxsets and watched something off there. Same the other week, I wanted to watch a tv show and the internet dropped so badly, none of my streaming sites would work! Luckily I had Twin Peaks saved on my Sky Q box so that did me!



Agree with the issue that streaming is so reliant on your internet connection. For anything I cant find, I do have other streaming sources, and the other week, I just couldnt watch it because the internet was so bad. So we ended up on the Sky boxsets and watched something off there. Same the other week, I wanted to watch a tv show and the internet dropped so badly, none of my streaming sites would work! Luckily I had Twin Peaks saved on my Sky Q box so that did me!

Try a VPN. My internet company had no choice but to throttle me but after a few months behind a vpn It all seems to be working fine now. Oddly enough, Netflix has way more trouble navigating through the vpn than any other site. They are constantly spamming me to turn it off. I just keep hitting refresh until it goes through or I turn it off for a minute until it starts streaming, then I turn it back on.
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Try a VPN. My internet company had no choice but to throttle me but after a few months behind a vpn It all seems to be working fine now. Oddly enough, Netflix has way more trouble navigating through the vpn than any other site. They are constantly spamming me to turn it off. I just keep hitting refresh until it goes through or I turn it off for a minute until it starts streaming, then I turn it back on.
I dont think it;s that, its just the connection we live. We are semi-rural, so sometimes the connection just drops. Mostly it runs just fine, and fast enough to run streams, online games on my Xbox etc. but we do occasionally just have days like that where every time you try and do something, the connection just keeps dipping.



I am not sure, since net neutrality got voted off, has it kicked in yet?



Damn stupid politicians!



What do people think about Netflix's vice signaling with Trigger Warnning Productions at the start of their first blockbuster and now doing a Michael Bay project?