Why the Netflix price increase isn’t

I might be getting in to this conversation a little late, but I still keep hearing people talk about the “price increase” for Netflix users. But its not really; or not if you’re willing to ditch one of their two services, streaming or dvd-by-mail. And I’m gonna be just fine with ditching streaming. Here’s why:

  • Selection: Out of 40 disks in my queue, only 6 are even available for streaming.
  • Reliability: Who wants to get halfway through watching a tv series and have the remainder suddenly yanked from the service because of a contract dispute between Netflix and the producer? I’ve had that happen at least once with streaming.
  • Picture quality: At least on my interconnect connection, watching Netflix streaming is like watching a DVD, if I were to previously have dipped my glasses in vaseline.
  • Sound: In some of the videos I’ve watched on streaming, the sound was out of sync with the video by more than a second. I saw this the worst in the old Monty Python tv shows. Timing is everything (they say) in comedy…and trying to watch Monty Python with the sound off by a second proves it.

I’ve heard some people say they’ll be just as happy ditching dvd-by-mail and getting streaming only. I’m not sure why they’d be willing to pay for a limited selection of jerky out-of-sync videos, but they’ll get a price cut too, just the same.

Now if Netflix ever decides to actually drop their dvd-by-mail service altogether, then we’ll have something to really complain about, but hopefully they’re smart enough to know that streaming just isn’t ready for prime time, yet.

7 Comments so far

  1. Cynthia Corral (pischina) on July 22nd, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    Those are all excellent points for someone with your viewing habits
    and I would bet there are many people out there just like you who
    need this information to make their decision. My viewing habits are
    different though. I have 419 DVDs in my queue and 296 in my
    streaming. I prefer streaming (through my Wii, I’ve never had any
    problem at all with audio or visual) because often in the 48 hours
    it takes to receive my DVDs, I’ve decided I want to watch something
    else. Streaming allows me to change my mind several times over in
    one day. Or when I start something I dislike, I can easily stop and
    choose something else. I haven’t decided what to do yet, as I won’t
    pay double, but as you note, not everything is available in
    streaming. I originally had the 5 DVD + streaming plan, which shows
    my viewing habits are admittedly unusual. I’ll probably just take
    the streaming + 1 DVD. But I’m glad I have time to think about it.

  2. Ouch: The Netflix Price Change Hangover – TechCrunch (pingback) on July 23rd, 2011 @ 6:32 am

    […] Metroblogging.com (blog) […]

  3. Matt Bruensteiner (thephoton) on July 23rd, 2011 @ 8:05 am

    Cynthia, For me, vast selection was always the key selling point of
    Netflix. If I just wanted to see the latest films by M Night
    Shamalayan or J J Abrams, I’d probably be better off just renting
    at Redbox or Blockbuster, because I don’t really watch that many
    movies per month. But I also want to be able to survey the career
    of Paul Newman, for example, or get a foreign classic by Jacques
    Tati or Yasujiro Ozu, and you’re not going to find those in a local
    shop (especially not now that I’m seeing the independent Hollywood
    Video advertising their going out of business sale) any more than
    they’re on Netflix streaming. I’m surprised a film buff like you
    doesn’t prioritize selection more, but streaming plus one-at-a-time
    dvds might give you the best of both worlds. It sounds like you
    might have a much better internet connection than I do. I have DSL
    over 80-or-100-year-old phone lines, and that could be the source
    of my problems with picture and sound quality on streaming.

  4. The options don’t end with Netflix – OregonLive.com | TV Programs on DVD (pingback) on July 24th, 2011 @ 6:56 am

    […] up on ones we originally missed — I’m looking at you, “The
    Wire”). …Why the Netflix price increase isn’tMetroblogging.com

  5. A Family (unregistered) on July 24th, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

    We are Personally, cutting some things, to have both… It may be a
    little strange- But our family uses both a lot.

  6. Gene (unregistered) on July 31st, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    Absolutely, positively, totally agree. This was spot-on the same
    assessment I had of the situation. There’s nothing available for
    streaming that isn’t available on DVD; but the same can’t be said
    of the other direction. And since there is very little “current”
    content that I’m interested in, I’ll stick with the DVDs. I don’t
    have cable or satellite, so I use Netflix for my everyday TV
    viewing. I can watch entire runs of classic TV shows on DVD… but
    not on streaming.

  7. Matt Bruensteiner (thephoton) on July 31st, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

    Thanks Gene. One thing I found out from clicking through those
    pingbacks above is that there is some real competition out there
    for Netflix. If you’re really into deep selection, and willing to
    pay a couple of bucks extra for it, check out GreenCine. I haven’t found very
    many holes in Netflix’s library, but GreenCine does have a couple
    of seasons of one particular show that are inexplicably absent from

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