|Finally, Sony has decided to align the PlayStation 3 with Netflix by removing the requirement of a disc. And to add to it, the new interface has been enhanced to make it user friendly. Being an owner of PS3, I decided to get this Netflix application. On researching about it a bit more, I came to know about few of its impressive features. I am sharing my research with you all to give you a detailed idea about what Netflix actually is, and what are the benefits of installing Netflix app on your PS3.
What is Netflix?
Netflix is a provider of on demand internet streaming media in the United States of America, Canada and the Caribbean. It started its subscription based digital distribution service in 1999, and by 2009 it was contributing a collection of about 100,000 titles on DVD and had outdone 10 million subscribers.
Netflix Videos on PlayStation
Netflix is a niche player of Internet video streaming that caters to users on variety of platforms like Windows, Mac OS X as well as several other compatible devices. As with most of the devices, just press the ‘Play Instantly’ button and enjoy your favorite movie on your PlayStation 3. Replay, and pause as you normally would on any disc player. Earlier, PS3 users had to use a Netflix supplied disc for streaming. Now movie buffs can just log on to the PlayStation Network and opt for the free Netflix app. Once the program downloads, go to the video section, accept the new terms and conditions and launch. Also, Internet streaming includes no extra costs apart from the Netflix's regular subscription service. Now only a part of Netflix's content is available with the option ‘Watch Instantly’.
Initially, Netflix on PlayStation came with a restriction that allowed the users to view one hour of media for around each dollar spent on their subscription. But in Jan 2008, Netflix lifted this restriction. The users were now allowed to watch titles for unlimited hours of streaming media at no extra costs. The new terms of service were introduced after the launch of Apple's new video rental service.
Video Game Consoles
At E3 event in 2008, Microsoft announced a contract to let the users watch Netflix videos over Xbox Live. This service was initiated on November 19, 2008 for the Xbox 360 owners with Netflix Unlimited subscription. The Xbox Live Gold subscription enabled them to stream movies and TV shows directly from their Netflix Instant Queue from an application on the Dashboard.
Later in October 2009, Sony declared the availability of Netflix on PlayStation 3 console. The set-up was similar to that on the Xbox 360, and allowed Netflix subscribers to stream and view movies and TV shows from their Instant Queue. On October 19, 2010, PlayStation launched a downloadable application for the users which allowed them to view movies by simply paying the monthly Netflix subscription for no additional service charges.
In May 2008, the first set-top box was released to stream Netflix movies. The device, manufactured by Roku, offered infinite access to the Netflix catalog for all subscribers starting at $7.99/month.
How Much Bandwidth does Netflix Streaming Use?
Let’s have a quick look at the breakdown of the bandwidth required by Netflix for streaming:
The HD movies need around 3.8Mbit for efficient streaming
The bandwidth required for SD movies totally depends on the length of the movie. A SD movie usually varies between 500-700MB.
A 30 minutes TV show in HD should be of approximately 1500MB
A 30 minutes SD TV show is of about 400MB
Advantages with Netflix
Offers thousands of instantly streaming videos and shows at very affordable cost. You don’t even have to go to the store, and can find and watch your favorite movie right away by just installing the Netflix app on your PS3.
Allows you to watch movies after every couple of days. The option of one to three movies at a time allows the user to choose an option of either watching a movie right away or keeping it for watching it later.
No late fees
Drawbacks of Netflix
Netflix no doubt offers a whole big list of movies and TV shows to choose from, but the major drawback which I came across is that the movies do not change frequently. The user is thus left searching for the movie from the same list for a continuous time period.
The streaming of movies may take time, though that totally depends on your internet connection
There might be issues logging on to the PlayStation Network. There is a workaround being discussed in the forums in case PSN is actually down.
In you are ordering a delivery for rental, you can't check for scratches. So I’d prefer streaming over shipped discs, any day.
Bottom-line, the Netflix experience on the PS3 has improved considerably. There may be few glitches in linking with Netflix.com from your console.