Friday, July 20, 2007

Discussion Thread: Instant Watching

Got ideas? Yes, we've heard about your overwhelming desire for a Mac-based availablity. We know it gets better the more movie titles that are available. Here's a place you can tell Steve about your hopes and dreams...

223 comments:

  1. I know you know about the desire for mac based availability. I'll take it a step farther and say what I *really* want is the ability to get those shows into iTunes so I can watch them offline while traveling, and put them on my iPod/iPhone/Apple TV (I don't have an iPhone or Apple TV, but if I did ... )

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  2. Apart from the too you mentioned (Mac program and more titles), the only other thing I'd want is an Instant Watching queue, or even better, and way to have movies in my normal queue marked for instant watching - so that they wouldn't be sent to me, but if say I'm watching all the films by a director in chronological order, and some are available for Instant Watching and some aren't, I could list them in order on my Queue together.

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  3. I would love to be able to automatically flag for addition to queue based on arbitrary parameters: i.e., every time a movie by a certain director or with a certain actor comes out (either in the theater or on DVD), it is just automatically added to the appropriate queue -- or, failing that, I am sent an email where I can click once to add the new release to my queue.

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  4. Mac support?? Hey, how about additional browser support on the platform that's already supported! Firefox Firefox Firefox, please!

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  5. I really don't like using IE, and once that stupid, menu-less IE 7 gets pushed out to everyone, I really don't ever want to have to look at it again. I'd love to see Watch It Now support for Firefox. I'd really like to see support for Firefox on Linux as well, but the number of people who would care about/use that are probably too few to justify the work involved. But Firefox support would be much appreciated :)

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  6. Add me to the list of folks that are requesting Firefox support. The only time I ever need to fire up IE is for Instant Watching. I'd love to never have to open IE at all!

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  7. Firefox support.

    Linux Support. Will this be possible once you adopt Silverlight for Instant Watching?

    http://www.webware.com/8301-1_109-9714005-2.html
    http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9731410-7.html

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  8. I have to agree completely with the firefox support option. I would even prefer a netflix application that would be registered to handle the "netflix://" protocol so it could launch from any browser. Anything that would prevent me from opening IE.

    Aside from the "avoiding IE" department, I also have a few other suggestions/pipe dreams:

    Resume playback: it already seems to keep track of how long you are watching a particular movie, would it be possible to pick up where you left off if your computer restarts randomly, you accidentally close the browser, etc... because right now it can be kind of a pain to find out where you were in a movie due to the buffering and what not. A simple message when you play a movie that you have already played and not finished asking if you want to resume would be sufficient.

    Heres a fun one: leaving notes for your friends at specific times in movies, or being able to link to specific segments of a movie, like if I want to send a link to a friend who also uses netflix referencing a 2 minute clip of a movie.

    I think there is a lot of untapped potential with the ability to watch movies on demand like this, possibly right now due to bandwidth constraints, but I think the obvious future of netflix/movie rentals is going to be watching them online, and it's cool to think about the added possibilities.

    Would it be possible to get any insights on how movies / tv shows are picked for instant watching? Is it mainly a legal issue, or storage / bandwitdh? Is there a reason that almost every Werner Herzog film is on instant watch, but not Hitchcock?

    I also agree that there should be some way to save movies for instant watching, right now I just add them to my regular queue and then look at the section of instant watching that shows available movies in my queue, but I think there should just be a separate list.

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  9. I love the feature that tells you which of your queued movies are available for instant watching. This is super helpful. Agree that it could be much more prominent, with some indication on the queue page itself.

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  10. My top requests:
    1. A way to mark movies in the queue for Instant Watching (see Chad's comment above).
    2. RSS feed for new titles added to the Watch Now library.
    3. Firefox support.

    I'm a loyal Netflix customer and love that you are so responsive to community feedback. There was a feature I recently requested (don't hide movie reviews with the preview) that was launched seemingly days after I requested it. Good on ya! Community feedback will give you the leg up on the Evil Empire.

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  11. 1) Mac support first (at least PC's have the option of IE). I personally feel cheated to have this feature unavailable to me for so long and wish I could be compensated with a discount or additional future watching time.
    2) Firefox support second (which I run on the Mac).
    3) Icons in the queue letting me know this can be Watched Now.
    4) Improve the 'resume playback' feature when I close my browser. During the couple times this has happened, sometimes it picked up right where I left off, sometimes it re-started from the beginning. You can still slide to wherever you were... but only if you remember where that is. If this is a function of my computer's cookies, temp internet files, etc tell us how to adjust our settings.
    5) Add 'Hide movies I've already seen/rated' to Watch Now.
    6) Why are we using minutes if we watch the same movie/scene twice? If a DVD is mailed to me, I can watch a certain scene over and over if I'd like. When I watch online, if I didn't catch the dialogue or just want to watch some gorgeous cinematography a second time, I feel like I'm wasting precious minutes that could determine whether I squeeze in that extra film at the end of the month. I don't mean to own it forever like I bought it in iTunes, but make it like Cable OnDemand - you can watch it for 24 hours, after which you'd have to rent it again.

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  12. It would also be nice to have subtitles on Watch Now movies. The quick and easy fix might be to have two copies available for streaming - one with and one without. The laptop I'm watching these on doesn't have the greatest speakers.

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  13. I agree with all of billy's suggestions. I've even been converted on the Mac issue - I guess I wasn't considering the fact that some people can't use this feature at all right now.

    I particularly like his point #6 about making Watch Now a bit more like On Demand - I think that makes a lot of sense...

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  14. Firefox support!

    I took all the movies available on Instant Watching out of my queue (because I needed more space to put other stuff in it, heh), and made a custom list of what was available that I wanted to remember to watch sometime, but a way to more quickly make a list of Instant Watching movies for later would be great...a one-click add from the Instant Viewing page, for example (instead of "Watch Now", "Mark for Later" or something like that...probably not "Save for Later," because that might imply some sort of downloading/offline capability that isn't there...at least not now...). I'm not sure if this should be a 'queue', because the ordering thing doesn't make a lot of sense for Instant Watching, but at least a special kind of list, maybe.

    I also like the idea of RSS feeds showing when movies become available for Instant Watching. Perhaps more importantly, some way to tell when/if a movie was going to stop being available for Instant Watching (I believe that some are only available for a limited time, yes?). I don't want to have put them in my nice little list and then go to watch one three months later and it's not there. Perhaps a notification that says "such and such will no longer be available for instant watching after such and such a date" and maybe asks if you want to put the DVD in your queue?

    Oh, and I think I maybe found a bug...if you go into a movie detail page via the Instant Watching page, the section in the sidebar for custom lists isn't there. If you go to the page from the normal browse, it is. So when I made that afore-mentioned custom list of Instant Watching titles, I had to use two tabs and flick between them, which was a little annoying.

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  15. I vote for Mac support and the RSS feed of new releases.

    Also get a lot more stuff available via Instant Watching and you can fire back at Blockbuster:

    BB ad: "They make you wait for the movie in the mail. You can get a movie at one of our stores."

    Proposed NF ad: "They make you go to a store. You can watch a movie instantly on your computer without leaving your house."

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  16. It would be great if there was an RSS feed for the Netflix Watch Now Additions.

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  17. Yes, please, on the Mac/Firefox support. Until this is possible, it would be really nice if we Mac users could get a an extra rental or two per month as compensation.

    I don't mean an upgrade to our plans or anything, but something like the online coupons that customer service makes availble when something goes awry. I suppose that would be difficult to monitor, but it would be nice to have something in place of the watch it now feature.

    It would even be nice if I could give my unused instant watching minutes to someone who could use them. Right now they just go unused every month, and that's just sad.

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  18. eric said...

    I really don't like using IE, and once that stupid, menu-less IE 7 gets pushed out to everyone, I really don't ever want to have to look at it again. I'd love to see Watch It Now support for Firefox.

    ----------

    There is currently a solution to watch "Instant Movies" in Firefox. There is this plugin called "IE Tab" the link is right here: IE Tab

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  19. nuuuu:

    I should have mentioned this earlier, but a week or so ago I tried using Watch Now with Firefox/IETab and it did not work. It only would display the movie when using IE proper. Maybe there's a problem with my machine's configuration, I don't know...

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  20. I've mentioned all of these before, but here goes.

    1. Subtitles Option Please! The deaf and heard of hearing are totally left out on this.

    2. Firefox Support - IE sucks. Netflix knows it, we know it.

    3. A separate watch now queue and a way to look at our regular queue and see which ones are also watch now.

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  21. Yeah, the IE tab thing is a temporary fix, but seriously, WHO STILL USES Internet Explorer? Why make "Watch Now" Internet Explorer only?

    Firefox support is what I want, as well as the ability to resume playback at any time, and see an RSS Feed of all New additions to the Instant Watching area.

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  22. shaun,

    I've used the IE Tab for all of the instant watches, and it works all the time. Try re-installing it again or see if you need to update fire-fox too.

    MCWHAMMER, of course it is a temp fix, but my approach is - use what you got until something better comes along.

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  23. I'm voting for

    1. Firefox - please

    2. Have a way to indicate on the queue that the film is available to Watch Now.

    Thanks!!

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  24. I'd like support for Safari web browsers. IE sucks and I never want to use it. If the content people read these blogs:::More newer movies please from 1990 and after.

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  25. I'd like support for Safari web browsers. IE sucks and I never want to use it. If the content people read these blogs:::More newer movies please from 1990 and after.

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  26. Yes, definitely Mac compatibility and it would be great if it was also compatible with Firefox.
    Not understanding the licensing, I'd like more TV shows and mini-series in Watch Now.

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  27. How about getting some of the DVD extras online. Or even directors commentaries. I would also like support for Media Center Extenders like the XBOX 360 so that we can wirelessly stream to our TV's.

    Just to put in my vote on the other two issues that have seem to come up:
    I could care less about FireFox and Macs. I would rather you instead focused on new features and functionality. And while not as vocal I would bet most users would agree...

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  28. Better selection, please. I've used this feature only once, because the movies I'm interested in are not available to watch instantly ... or, I've already seen or own them, so there's no point.

    Can you offer some detail as to how titles are selected? Do you have any usage data? How is this feature going over with the general Netflix membership?

    josh, I've thought that same thing when seeing those BB commercials, and agree that there needs to be more available for it to be a valid claim.

    By the way: "but seriously, WHO STILL USES Internet Explorer? "

    I'm sure plenty of people do. Just because the few people who post here use Firefox, doesn't mean that the majority of Netflix members do.

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  29. Another Mac/Firefox user reporting in, but I think most of us could get by with Safari [yes/no?] if there's some serious compatibility or licensing issues with Firefox. IE hasn't supported Macs for years so that's obviously not an option (and perhaps one major reason for the hold-up?). But since only 4% of computers are Macs (although I suspect Netflixers' % is very much higher), and with all the extra research time required to get us up and running I'm not sure that we should be clamoring for compensatory back-pay; although Bailey's suggestion that we be able to hand over our unused minutes to someone else is an excellent one for those of us lucky enough to have a friend who's happy to share their precious minutes with us. And, to keep the playing field fair for everyone, having a timed meter seems to make more sense than just adding up the run-time of the movies - if you want to watch a movie twice, or a particular scene 20 times, no problem, but that's your choice - this is already an incredibly generous freebie, so let's not get greedy here. But re-starting where we left off and having subtitles are obviously essential once the bugs have all been worked out.

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  30. Subtitle option is a definite plus.

    Also, I think someone mentioned this, but a tool/place where people can create montages of watch now clips and to be able to post them in some netflix forum (ex. Friends). Watch Now is all about being convenient and fast. Some people don't have the patience to watch the whole movie from the beginning.

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  31. I just want to be able to use my browser (firefox) and not have to switch to iex everytime I want to watch a movie.

    The availability of hard to get/ very long wait listed titles would be wonderful. There's a title I added to my queue waay back when that has never been available. I think it's been in my queue since I joined back in 2000. (I really don't know when I joined Netflix because I stopped for a couple months after losing my job. My queue remained but my stats changed even with the change in credit card. Sorry that's my Netflix petpeeve.) Anywho, that's a long damn time. There's a vol. of an anime series that was at the top of my queue that disappeared into my saved section. It's been about a year. The next volume has been very long waited for about 6 months now. I'd love to be able to get passed them. I'm sure others have similar titles in their queues.

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  32. Is Netflix going to be using Silverlight 1.0 (coming out in the next couple weeks)? Or is Netflix going to wait for Silverlight 1.1 (not coming till 2008)?

    For those not familiar, once netflix switches over to Silverlight, they will be able to support Mac and other browsers on both PC and Mac (Firefox, Safari, etc).

    Hopefully the reason they are asking for requests now is because they are getting ready to roll out the new Watch Now.

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  33. Cross-platform support is kind of important- it says you appreciate ALL of you users. Linux support would be nice. Right now, with using a window only codec and delivery system nobody but one group of viewers can watch- well, until someone reverse engineers the delivery system and comes up with yet another codec plugin... You know, it would be nice if Netflix considered that not all DVD broadband users are using just a single operating system. There ARE alternatives to Silverlight/WM10/IE, you know.

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  34. Tristan MuntsingerJuly 22, 2007 at 3:36 AM

    Currently I don't see a way of finding recommended movies in Instant Watching. Just now I was looking for something to see and I couldn't really find anything. I know I can visit the top 50 (easy), browse the categories I like (okay), or sift through all the most recently added (hard; especially because the ones that were added since I last checked the page are mixed with ones I already knew I wasn't interested in watching), but finding a movie within all that is more of a chore than anything else.

    Why can't I see a list of recommended selections that are watchable online?

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  35. I agree, I'd love to sort by recommendation for watch it now.

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  36. A subtitle option for Instant Watching would really improve the service.

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  37. -yes, another supporter of making 'watch now' available for Mac users. Either Safari or Firefox...since it's easy to have both for Mac. Also, a way to indicate watch now or order at home in a queue.
    And perhaps a feature of 'stars/moviemakers to watch'--where you can add preferences to be notified of movies by certain directors or with certain actors-- maybe an email, or included into suggestions and under 'reason'- list the name of the person you added to watch.

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  38. i agree with the limited selection. seems like most of the items available are the much older films and some of the tv stuff. i have tons of movies in my que, but only 2 came up for instant view. these were more recent, but independent films. i think you would have a better response to this option if the items included were newer releases.

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  39. Yet another vote for Mac support!! It is very frustrating to not have this option available to me - but not frustrating enough to switch to a PC ;-)

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  40. I would also love to see Firefox, subtitles, and a resume feature.

    Also, what about "rollover minutes?" There are months that I don't watch anything, and then (rare) months where I watch a lot and run out of time. Since the Law & Order SVU all got released online, I've been watching like mad, but I hardly used the functionality in the beginning.

    Also, what about choosing to allow other profiles on your account to watch movies? I would use a separate profile for just online viewing if I didn't want a friend to see something I'd seen.

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  41. I would like additional sorting capabilities. I recently took a glance at my Queue. I noticed that some of the movies I had Added were two stars. I would like to move them to the bottom of the Queue without having to do all the juggling work.

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  42. Cartoons availible would be nice for the kids. Scooby Doo in particular.

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  43. One more vote for Mac support!
    One more vote for Firefox support!
    I would also love a language selection and subtitle support with movies. I hate watching Japanese movies with the crappy English voice actors, i would much rather hear the original actors with English subtitles.
    I don't really agree with people asking for rollover minutes or movie repeat watching without using minutes. I'm pretty sure they limit these so that people aren't using up netflix's bandwidth 24/7 with repeat watching.

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  44. What I would really like is to be able to access the watch now movies with my Playstation 3. That way I could watch them on my big plasma with surround sound, instead of small computer screen with junk speakers.

    HD versions would be nice too eventually.

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  45. Another vote for Media Extender compatibility via Media Center - seems like this will be a lock as Vista begins to propogate.

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  46. I'll second (or third or fourth) Watch Now support for Linux and Firefox.

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  47. My nice big Mac g5 is begging for Instant Watch to work either on Firefox, Camino or Safari. Pleeeeease!

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  48. Roll-over minutes would be very cool, I'm surprised it took until comment 43 to be suggested. As a Mac user, I'd even let you wait to start my roll-over until the service is available for me...though if you want to be REALLY nice, you could start my roll-over now ;-)

    Perhaps a way to save a local copy of the Instant Watch stream would address the replay/rewind situation ... wrap it in iTunes-like DRM if you have to.

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  49. Firefox and Mac support! wooo!!!

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  50. I would love Firefox support. Just opening IE slows me and my computer down.

    Add scene selection for long movies

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  51. I'd definitely like to see Mac support. Currently Firefox isn't really an option since a recent upgrade of Quicktime has nixed most video playback in Firefox. I don't think the problem will last long but it's annoying for now since there's a lot of functionality that Safari doesn't have.

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  52. Add me to the long list of requests for Firefox compatibility. Also add me to the admittedly shorter list of those asking for Linux compatibility.

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  53. I'd really like to be able to add movies to my queue and pick them up immediately, if they're available at one of the Redbox kiosks within a 0-15 mile radius of my house. While still a loyal Netflix subscriber, I'm increasingly tempted by Blockbuster Total Access and the convenience and ease of RedBox, which are popping up all over my neighborhood.

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  54. yeah a couple of questions.

    When's Instant Watching coming to me when I'm traveling in Europe? At least get started with the UK. I'd think you could start it at the very least with the Netflix films that you produced yourself and control the right for.

    When's Instant Watching coming to the new Wi-Fi Blackberry I'm planning to buy? I particularly want this service when i'm sitting in an airport lounge waiting for a flight. Otherwise I just may have to get the iPhone and doubt they'll offer Netflix access anytime soon.

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  55. Thanks to the person for suggestion IE tab. I hate using IE, but sometimes I am forced to (eBanking ,Netflix Instant watch etc). Wrt to Instant Watching I would like to see support for AppleTV, so I can watch in my living room as suppose to be glued in front of the computer. Streaming these movies to the TV is where Netflix ought to go with this.

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  56. Linux support! Perhaps to avoid the Internet Explorer/Windows Media Player requirement, Netflix can develop a stand-alone movie player for Linux and Mac (show us non-windows users some love). Also the opportunity to buy more instant watching time in addition to your plan, maybe at a discounted rate. Like add an extra $1 per month to your plan for 4 more hours of viewing time (since this won't add more DVD's allowed out at a time, it's cheaper than $1 per hour).

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  57. Sondergaard - You will NEVER see Netflix support on the AppleTV unless someone hacks the AppleTV. Allowing Netflix on AppleTV would mean people wouldn't "buy" their movies from Apple's iTunes.

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  58. All we have is a mac and our movies aren't being watched! i would also love to download them and add them to iTunes!

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  59. How about a set-top box? This would solve the OS issues and allow you to watch the movies directly from your tv. It could probably have similar components to a DVR. A HDD to download the movies to, wifi, Ethernet, HDMI, etc, etc. Maybe bill it as a separate service or just let it deduct from normal watch now minutes.

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  60. I second the following:

    Mac support for Safari, FireFox, and Camino (not in any particular order);

    Option to save to iTunes for iPod portability (I NEVER watch movies on my computer - I prefer my iPod or my 52" JVC - either on my comfy couch);

    Subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, of which I'm one.

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  61. Mac mac mac mac mac mac mac - we're not getting what we're paying for if you don't support our platform. Come on, it's ridiculous that you don't support macs.

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  62. ie is the slowest most horrible browser, i only have it for the watch now feature w/ netflix. normally i use flock or mozilla.

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  63. This needs browser ambiguity. The people in your user base who will be most likely to use this feature has to be us youngins' hip with the technology who've ditched usage of IE long ago.

    PS - Currently I can't even use IE to watch movies, because the browser is trying to reserve a two gigabyte block of hard drive space. My Windows install is on a small partition, one with less than two gigs left, and that's where IE installs itself as well, thus there's not enough room for the temp files, and no instant watching for me.

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  64. I just wish I could make it work. Ive tried all the suggestions on this website and It still won't play. Very annoying to say the least.

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  65. Silverlight 1.0 (Release Candidate) came out today! Yay! Hopefully we will see it up on Netflix soon?

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  66. Question:

    How long does it take for the Instant Watch viewing activity page to update itself to the current usage?

    Another question:

    Is it possible to receive a notification in the queue list which ones are available in Instant Watch?

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  67. MAC!! please don't forget about us! mac users are people, too!

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  68. Go ahead and add another one for MAC support.

    I've tried the feature and would most surely use it except I don't really watch TV on my computer.

    That's why I've invested money into a nice Home Theater System with a 65" TV and that's what I watch movies on.

    I have a MAC hooked to this TV as my HTPC and would love to see MAC support so I can use the feature.

    So until then I wait.

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  69. Can't one use win xp on the mac? then if yes, one could watch...

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  70. As much as it is convenient to think of "instant" movies on your PC, the percentage of people who have good HTPCs set up to properly display said movie at home to a worthwhile sized screen is small, at best.

    It might be far more worthwhile to develop hooks to AppleTV or SlingBox or TiVo so that those, more prevalent, easier to use, and more purposefully built boxes can search and display NetFlix content.

    As a video pro with numerous computers, several HD cameras, TiVo and more, I do NOT have a HTPC nor is it on my list to try and do that.

    -IEBAman.

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  71. better selection please! I just looked at the "recently released" section and I can't even figure out where you find these movies! I understand you want slow growth so you don't bog down your server or whatever, but seriously. What's the point of all this if you don't get better titles?

    Maybe you could throw in one or two new movies each week along with all the elvira movies and other crap?

    Also I would like to see a watch now tab in my queue. I've added one or two watch now movies to my queue to watch later, but now can't remember which movies they were.

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  72. I tried the Instant Watching feature for the first time yesterday and I must say that I LOVE IT!

    Now on to what I DIDN'T love: not being able to have all available controls while watching the movie such as subtitles availibility or the skip/reverse feature.

    Also, I am a bit confused on how it works. I thought since I rent 3 a month @ $14, but my activity page stated that the # of hours will reset to 21...did I misunderstand?

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  73. Oops! I meant to say "I thought since I rent 3 a month @ $14, I would get 14 hours, but my activity page stated that the # of hours will reset to 21...did I misunderstand?"

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  74. Let me start by saying I love Netflix. I won't even consider switching to any other service. I have 2 accounts billed to my credit card, and probably will add a 3rd soon.

    That said, I cannot believe you launched the Instant Watching feature w/o support for Macs or Firefox. Apple sold over 1.7 million Macs in the most recent quarter, up 33% from last year. I have to believe Mac users are an ideal demographic for Netflix. Why are you alienating us?

    It would be nice to get an official time frame from your developers on when this issue will be fixed, so we can stop b*tching about it.

    I know you will fix it, just like when you added the "Update my Queue" button at the bottom of the Queue mere weeks after I suggested it. Just don't take too long!

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  75. I'd like firefox and/or linux support.

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  76. Please post a timeframe for when you expect to support Mac and Firefox. This is ridiculous....

    We shouldn't have to keep telling you how stupid it is that these platforms aren't already supported; simply tell us when the problem will be resolved and we will leave you alone 'til then.

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  77. I agree, at least let us know what's going on as far as Linux, Mac, and Firefox are concerned. Let us know what hurdles have to be overcome, or if things are going along smoothly. Keeping us in the dark with a "we're working on it" statement doesn't quite make things any better.

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  78. Hello, I just discovered this blog. I am a current customer and I use a mac. It's disappointing that I can not watch movies online although I pay just like a pc user does. Please add mac support and get with the program.

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  79. sub-account watch now. i am guessing the delay here is with parental controls?

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  80. I share the sentiments of other Mac users who feel they are not getting the same deal for their money as PC users. I don't suppose there's any real solution to that, other than making Mac compatability a top priority.

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  81. Totally lame and unfair that Mac users are paying the same price for less service.

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  82. it disturbs me that you would rollout the instant video selection through the computer and have no provision for the mac user. I just spoke with one of your customer reps who said i should take it up with Apple about copyright issues in delivering content, and now I'm thinking: iTunes has been streaming video for longer than you have and there doesn't seem to be any problem in getting that across to Mac AND PC users. Understand that we're seriously considering cancelling our netflix subscription. Saying on your website: "your system is not compatible" is not Customer Service.

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  83. I know this steady drumbeat from the Mac Pac must have gotten real old by now, but it hardly seems unreasonable to expect at least SOME kind of explanation or projected time frame. Imagine if a car rental company lured their customers in with a free tank of gas, but denied it to anyone that happened to be left-handed - it would cause an uproar! And that's kinda how it feels.

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  84. I have canceled my subscription because of this whole NON-Mac ordeal. I recently have started getting dvd's from the library...and they're FREE!
    Adios Netflix!

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  85. WE WANT FIREFOX!! WE WANT FIREFOX!! Just in case you haven't figured it out, chalk up another major request for firefox with instant viewing. I like, others, ONLY use IE7 to watch instant viewing. PLEASE!!!!!

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  86. I 86th that... I want mac accesss...

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  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  88. PLEASE ADD APPLE (MAC) SUPPORT. THOSE OF US WHO DON'T SUPPORT MICROSOFT SHOULD NOT HAVE TO SUFFER AS A RESULT OF OUR CHOICE.

    Personally, I believe those of us who aren't Microsoft users should get a membership discount simply BECAUSE WE CAN'T UTILIZE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF OUR PROMISED MEMBERSHIP

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  89. @Steve from Netflix, we understand that you are very busy, so have prepared a multiple choice questionnaire -

    -----------

    1) The reason Netflix is having trouble making Instant Watching available to Mac users is :

    a) The technical problems have proven to be considerably more challenging than we anticipated, but we estimate that everything will be resolved by -------. (please fill in date).

    b) Since Internet Explorer no longer supports Macs and most subscribers prefer Firefox or Linux anyway, we are currently in the process of making that changeover. Estimated date of completion -------. (please fill in date).

    c) Apple is vigorously blocking it since it conflicts with their own plans for streaming, but we are currently in negotiation with them. No projected time frame possible.

    d) Given the relatively small number of Mac users, it's not cost-effective to do all the necessary research. We just assumed that you'd all cancel and sign up with Blockbuster.

    e) Steve Jobs once cut me off on Ventura, and see if I ever plan lift a finger to help out any of HIS cult zombies.

    f) None of the above (please be more specific).


    2) We plan to compensate Mac users for their loss of anywhere between 5 and 50 hours of free viewing per month over a period of -- months by :

    a) Issuing vouchers which can either be used for future viewing or transferred to friends with PC's who are generously sharing their own streaming hours with you.

    b) Allowing Mac users one additional DVD per month until Watch Now is available to you.

    c) Discounting your memberships.

    d) Apologizing.

    e) Steve Jobs once cut me off on Ventura, and see if I ever plan lift a finger to help any of HIS cult zombies.

    f) None of the above (please be more specific).

    ---------

    We hope this helps, Steve, and very much look forward to hearing from you.

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  90. I'm not Steve, but I can take a crack at those answers.

    1. None of those options are right, though B is the closest. Several months back Netflix gave a demonstration of a new version of Watch Now with new software that would support more browsers and Mac (and possibly linux), and also have more features for everyone. At the time, that new software (Silverlight, made by Microsoft) was in beta. It came out of beta this week. So, presumably, the netflix team is now hard at work polishing their modification of Silverlight and we will see it "soon". Though I would certainly like to hear some idea of how long Netflix thinks "soon" is. Days, weeks, months?

    2. They have no real way of figuring out which customers only own Macs, so D is probably the best we can hope for.

    Here is a movie of the Netflix Silverlight demonstration (that I mentioned above) for any interested in seeing what is coming, and some proof that they have actually been working on it: http://download.microsoft.com/download/e/d/d/edd7b135-d2a9-4499-a3ca-a6c8a0ab5716/Netflix_mix.wmv

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  91. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  92. @Baff - Great answer, much appreciated and mildly encouraging. I'm just sorry you had to take time of your own day to serve as an NF spokesperson.

    @aob - Maybe this is their temporary solution : disabling 'Watch Now' for everyone?

    But all kidding aside, please note that I remain a huge Netflix fan in most other respects and have no intention of bailing. However, just as with the recent blackout, we just need to be kept more in the loop - that is, the blog needs to be a 2-way street, as Michael uses it to great effect.

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  93. Yet another vote for Linux and Firefox support. Alternatively, how about making the download available to those of us who apparently don't have a compatible OS? I've had reasonably good luck getting Windows applications working under wine (the Linux windows emulator).

    Cheers,
    Dave

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  94. Add me for Mac support of Instant Viewing. I am about to lose my Windows laptop so I'll just have to wait on DVDs through the mail.

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  95. I like the concept of instant viewing, but your selection of movies is quite weak. No Lord of the Rings? No Rome? Only the first Matrix movie? Instead of digitizing Sister Wendy, perhaps you could make more popular selections available.

    Thanks!

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  96. @Baff

    In response to your statement:
    They have no real way of figuring out which customers only own Macs

    I am a Mac user, and when I click on the "Watch Instantly" tab I am presented with a system compatibility message that reads:

    Your operating system is not compatible with this feature. Try again from a computer with Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista.

    So if they can tell this, they should also be able to see that my account has never been accessed by any computer other than my Mac.

    @nuuuu
    Can't one use win xp on the mac? then if yes, one could watch...

    Windows XP can run on the newest Macs but purchasing a brand new computer and then spending hundreds of dollars to add additional OS software for the sole purpose of watching movies is not an option. If Mac users wanted to be running Windows, we would already have computers that do so.

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  97. "So if they can tell this, they should also be able to see that my account has never been accessed by any computer other than my Mac. "

    That can be done with a simple script. I doubt that they are saving that information to your account every time you visit the website. Even if they did, the information would be quite inaccurate. I'm sure plenty of mac owners have logged onto their account from a PC at work, a friend's house, internet cafe, etc.

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  98. I don't want to be over-redundant going into all the Firefox and Mac issues, although I agree they should be included, but one suggested idea that I would really like to see implemented is the ability to purchase more instant watching time. I realized that I like the Watch It Now feature a lot more than I thought I would, but I don't want to get extra DVDs in the mail. Ja?

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  99. I can understand requiring Windows and IE right off the bat; kowtowing to DRM pressures can be mighty difficult.

    However, the platform issue can be easily resolved. Please fix it, create a DRM module for the OS, and stop restricting your users from using all the services provided.

    [I can't believe I'm cheerleading for DRM...]

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  100. Watch Instantly Tab Missing from Shared Account...August 5, 2007 at 8:30 PM

    Need to give Instant Watching privileges to those who share their accounts with the primary account holder. My wife is the primary account holder and I can't seem to find the Watch Instantly tab when I am logged in. Am I missing a simple fix? Thanks.

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  101. I'm sure plenty of mac owners have logged onto their account from a PC at work, a friend's house, internet cafe, etc.

    This may well be, but I know that I have not. I don't have any reason to log in from anyplace but home.

    The bottom line is that I am not getting a feature that PC users do, and I (like all other Mac users) are paying the same exact price for my membership. I've been a member of Netflix since way before Instant Watching was implemented, so it's not like I signed up knowing that I would be getting less than others when I joined.

    Kinda sucks that there isn't even a vague estimate of when this situation will be rectified - if at all.

    At least give me a way to pass the watching time along to someone who can use it! I'm at the 5-at-a-time level, so that's 30 hours of watching time that I don't get to use and can't share.

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  102. More More More. What determines which movies are made available for instant viewing? How fast will you add more recent movies? Also can you put special small icon next to movies that are available for instant viewing? You can only tell now by clicking in to the movie or going to the watch now tab. It would be good to have a small icon next to a standard movie list such as the top 100, New Releases, etc...

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  103. For those who say Netflix doesn't know how many Mac, Linux users it has: Every time you visit a website, your browser sends the site a header which tells the site what browser and os you are using. So Netflix can just tabulate how many visitors to their site use Linux or Mac and what browsers they are using. Go to http://www.ipchicken.com/ to see your browser header.

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  104. But if an account hasn't accessed 'Watch Now' by the end of the month it either means that he/she can't or doesn't want to (because the choices are still pretty limited). And since this must surely save Netflix something in licensing and/or running costs, why not just issue those folks a bonus rental, as I was when it took 2 weeks to get me disc 3 of a 4 disc series - which calmed me right down. Sometimes all we need is a "we understand your frustration", and to be offered some kind of compensatory gesture, even if not a precise quid pro quo (ie. 1.5 free hours instead of the 17 I'm actually being jipped each month!).

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  105. @James - I know all about headers. But... there is a huge difference between knowing how page hits are from mac vs. which users are mac only.

    On the Instant Watch page is a simple script that looks at the header and anyone not using Windows/IE gets a warning message. That doesn't mean that Netflix is storing that info to your account.

    Even if Netflix does record every single page hit to every accounts file, they still wouldn't know who is mac-only. Case in point: I am a mac-only user, but a couple months back I used a PC to try out the Instant Watch feature. So, Netflix would see me as a dual PC/Mac user. And just because someone only accesses Netflix with only a mac, doesn't mean that they don't own a PC and simply choose not to use it.

    2 years ago, there was a class action suit against Netflix and I am STILL waiting for them to pay out. Their website dedicated to it to the lawsuit hasn't been updated in over a year. They basically swept the entire thing under the carpet and are now ignoring it. So, if you are expecting Netflix to put out a bunch of effort to figure out which users can't use the Instant Watch feature and pony up some bonus for them, dream on, it ain't gonna happen.

    I understand the frustration on this, but the devs who read this blog likely have zero say on any potential customer compensation. Its up to the bean counters to decide if its better to let a few people cancel accounts or pay off a whole bunch to make sure those few don't leave.

    Anyone wanting Netflix to feel it, either cancel your account, or call Netflix and get kicked up a few levels and talk to someone in management for as long as possible. Who knows, maybe you will get a free month out of it.

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  106. All good points, but some bean counter obviously hired Micheal to set up this blog to help channel and control some the anger being vented on 'Hacking Netflix' and to help stop the hemorrhaging of their customer base, so presumably someone at the management level has some interest in keeping us happy (he said as the oak-paneled boardroom echoed with laughter at his pitiful naiveness?). But insisting on speaking to a supervisor (at the very least) in addition to posting here is obviously a great idea.

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  107. @ Baff: Your right that they would see you as a PC user as well as a Mac user. I would personally think a web-based company would make it a priority to keep statistics on what software it's users are using. Personally I only use Ubuntu Linux but at a relatives house I use their PC to watch movies on Netflix. So they would see me as a PC user too.

    But after browsing the Microsoft Silverlight site, they have a video of a Netflix watch now demonstration that works for Mac in addition to Windows. I've also read that Silverlight will work with Linux as well. So I think it's a matter of waiting for Silverlight to come out and the firm Netflix hired to produce a final, stable version of Watch Now for Silverlight.

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  108. Sometimes all we need is a "we understand your frustration"

    That's it. Exactly. But apparently Mac and Linux users aren't even worth that much in the eyes of Netflix. The blog entry on this topic says "Yes, we've heard..." the desires of Mac users, but that's as far as it goes. I have a hunch that the the rest of that thought, were the Nexflix employees to put fingers to keyboard would be "...and we don't care." That's the impression I'm getting from the lack of response to this thread.

    I may well have missed it, as I have read the replies over the weeks, but I don't recall seeing even one Netflix response to anything at all in this thread, much less the Mac/Linux questions.

    I don't think anyone from the company has even read this thread. It was just put here to humor us. (Oh, and I'm still waiting for the payout from the class action lawsuit, too.)

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  109. I did a thorough search on the class action suit and didn't find a single article on the web from the last year. Seems the press has lost complete interest.

    I did manage to find the court website devoted to it, which shows what has been happening (mostly what hasn't been happening) in the last year: http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov/search/case/dockets.cfm?dist=1&doc_id=256516&doc_no=A115571

    And due next week is "Appellant's appendix and opening brief", so maybe the next trial will actually start soon.

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  110. Instand Watching is an Instant Hit for me. I prefer watching on a realTV. My PC has a Super VHS output which I've used to connect directly to a Philips 1080i TV. After adjusting the color balance, the results are remarkeably good. Better than over the air !!! But a queswtion -- it's a lot of fiddling with the Control Panel etc. to do that. Is there some standard instgructions that could show up on the Netflix site to follow. Thanx a lot.

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  111. An open letter to the management of Netflix.

    Hello!

    Thanks for a great movie rental service and the recent price reduction. It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Kudos to you also for your strong collection of Blu-Ray films available for rent.

    I am writing in reference to your new Watch Instantly service. As a long-time Netflix customer, I was disappointed to learn that the only supported operating systems for the service are Windows XP and Windows Vista. I was further discouraged to learn that Internet Explorer 6+ is the only browser supported!

    I'm sure I speak for the majority of the 20,000,000+ Macintosh users when I say that I would strongly value this service on the Mac platform. Indeed, some might argue that I am entitled to a monthly fee reduction since I am not able to take full advantage of a service for which I am paying. Through no fault of my own, I receive a less fully-featured service than my Windows PC-using brethren, at the same price.

    Mac support would expand your customer base, and possibly keep current customers on board. Although I am not looking to 'jump ship' from Netflix just yet, I will be keeping an eye out for competing services with Mac compatibility, and will be offering my Macintosh consulting services to any companies (including Netflix) looking to take this responsible and lucrative step.

    Consider joining the trend of Google Video, Youtube, and other industry leaders who use the cross-platform Adobe Flash plug-in to allow users to watch video online. Alternatively, please consider the Apple Quicktime standard which runs on Windows and Macintosh equally well. Lynda.com is a great example of a company offering protected, subscription-based content through their website using Quicktime.

    With last week's quarterly sales announcements from Apple showing industry-leading growth, Apple and the Mac platform are on the rise. For example, Apple shipped 1,764,000 Macintosh computers last quarter, representing 33 percent growth over the year-ago quarter and exceeding the previous company record for quarterly Mac shipments by over 150,000.

    Clearly this is evidence that more and more consumers and businesses are being drawn to the legendary ease of use, security, stability, and best-in-class software that are all part of the Macintosh product line.

    Further, the IT industry as a whole is seeing a marked push to cross-platform compatible solutions. In particular, the popularity of the Firefox web browser, which works brilliantly on Mac, Linux, and Windows platforms, has seen its success in no small part due to its cross-platform nature.

    Firefox also offers Windows users an important alternative to the Internet Explorer browser which ties too closely into the Windows operating system. By a design which intended to allow IT admins to remotely install software *unrelated to the web browser but in the OS itself*, IE opens security holes for potential attackers. Further, Secunia lists 115 advisories for Internet Explorer 6, 20 of which are currently unpatched. IE 7, released in late 2006, has 15 Secunia advisories, of which 9 are unpatched. Irrefutably, the security of Microsoft Internet Explorer continues to be questioned.

    In a time when consumers are becoming more and more aware of Internet security, it was further discouraging to see that your Watch Instantly product actually requires an ActiveX control to be run. ActiveX is a proprietary, closed-source Microsoft solution for installing software remotely that has caused notable security issues for Windows users. Users of Firefox and Safari for Mac and Windows download programs every day safely, without using ActiveX. It is most certainly possible.

    Firefox and Safari (WebKit) succeed in high security due to their open source nature. Creating security through transparency, thousands of programmers, security experts, and 'average Joe's' with some programming knowledge can examine the foundations of these apps for security cracks, and contribute powerful feature additions and security fixes. I assure you, these products are most worthy of your support.

    Sadly, in stark contrast, only Microsoft employees and select anti-virus/anti-malware companies can scan the Internet Explorer and Windows programming code for security deficiencies. Even more intriguing is the notion of continued security breaches of IE, even though its programming source is protected from the eyes of the public and potential crackers.

    Major Web 2.0 players such as salesforce.com, Google Apps, and Zimbra have ensured full functionality in multiple browsers in an effort to reduce dependence on the security-deficient Internet Explorer browser and increase their client base. Further, competition and choice of vendor are great boons for consumers and prompt vendors such as Microsoft to improve the feature list and security of their products.

    Netflix, with its massive customer base, is in a position to propagate this pro-consumer culture by ensuring a discrimination-free web experience.

    Netflix's failure to open Watch Instantly to multiple browsers and OS's will slow the progress and momentum that is being made towards a safer, OS-independent, and feature-rich Web experience.

    Since your company is completely web-based, you are in a unique position to easily offer cross-platform solutions. Removing the need to install client-side software for Watch Instantly will actually make your job easier. I encourage you to develop a solid web app that runs in multiple browsers within multiple OS environments, supporting Firefox for Mac and Windows at a bare minimum. In this way, you will be able to support multiple platforms without writing and maintaining disparate software clients. Most importantly, your customers will thank you for it.

    I look forward to your response and wish you the best success with the Netflix service.

    Yours in working towards a secure and open (quite congruous terms) computing experience,
    Eric Catania
    Member, Apple Consultants Network

    Owner, Digital Reality
    New York City Mac Sales, Support, and Networking.

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  112. At work I'm allowed to watch movies, I'm a Security Guard (insert joke here). I'm not allowed to install things on my computer due to my insufficient access privileges, which is why I couldn't install the netflix player for Internet Explorer - HOWEVER, I can install FireFox "add-ons," so I'm really hoping that the netflix player for Firefox will come in the form of an Add On. Okay, that's my request. :) Have a great day!

    ~ brandt

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  113. How about our overwhelming desire to be charged less if we cannot use the service?

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  114. I would love to watch "instant movies" on my wireless laptop. As it stands now, the movie starts after a minute of buffering. Then it plays for 5 minutes. Then it buffers again for 30 minutes. This is on shows that are 30 to 50 minutes long. That's why I don't even bother with movies. Can something be done to address this.

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  115. Sure would be nice if netflix could port that instant watch feature over to the playstation 3 web browser.

    I am not a big fan of watching movies on my PC....but on my TV through my PS3 browser would be great!

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  116. I have just started using Netflix and like the Instant Watching feature.

    I found that I had to stop watching a show in the middle. When I came back to it, the show started at the beginning - when I tried to move the control bar foward, the player paused itself.

    Is there any way that you could provide a "Resume" feature that
    would let a viweer pickup where he
    left off?

    Thanks!

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  117. FIREFOX Please....I abandoned IE long ago and never intend on going back. I know you said you are working on it for 2008...way to far away.

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  118. What's the scan and pan versions only available?! The online viewing feature is worthless to me if the films are not offered in their correct ratio.

    I know that a good number of titles are offered in letterbox format only on DVD but appear in full frame on Instant Watching. Is Netflix using old scan and pan masters intended for VHS?

    As it stands now, the online viewing is worthless in my opinion.

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  119. I'll second the request for "allowing other Profiles in the account to Watch Instantly."

    It could work the same as the way we parcel out DVDs between multiple profiles - in one hour increments [while I'm sure some would whine they want per-second increments, I suspect per-hour increments will satisfy the vast majority of people].

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  120. Maybe just pick a name for yourself and run with it, Mike? I'm all tuckered out with weighing options.

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  121. please add the ability to change the size of the subtitles. We recently watched "Letters from Iwo Jima" and the subtitles were just a little small

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  122. Linux support. The Internet is for everyone, not just Microsoft customers.

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  123. as a couple other people said i would like firefox and linux support. my netflix name is noNOSPAMnewmsgs@.hotmail.com

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  124. Firefox + linux, please.

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  125. I came back to check the status of the comments, and I noticed that my comment was missing. I don't know how many other comments were missing, but I know for a fact that mine has disappeared.

    I asked for Linux support, and my comment is removed? Don't even worry about it, I won't be needing you to support Linux or any other OS for me, we're done.

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  126. michael, from netflixSeptember 10, 2007 at 4:26 PM

    For what it's worth: only two comments have ever been deleted here. One was spam. One was a guy who posted his gripe a dozen times to bunch of posts (I removed about six of them and then stopped). Controversial comments don't get deleted here.

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  127. Not sure where to ask about this and the last time I tried to call I gave up after a while. I have a new Dell D630 Latitude laptop, downloaded the latest drivers from Dell, all MS patches up to date but still get the dreaded green flashing box when I try to instant watch. My old clunker ThinkPad T40 without updated drivers works fine. Am I hosed? IE7, XP SP2...and yeah Firefox on my Mac G4 would be nice too!

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  128. I have been using the Instant Watching now for a couple weeks, and this has let me discover "Jeremiah", a showtime show I would probably never seen otherwise.

    This is great, but I have noticed that many of the shows are incorrectly labeled. I am wondering if this is a persistant issue throughout the TV episode instant viewing.

    Other issues I believe should be addressed (besides the obvious Mac and Firefox issues) are browsing of available instant viewing titles and an explanation for why certain TV episodes are only available on DVD (I am guessing that is a content owner issue, but I have never seen that addressed to the community).

    As to the browsing, it just seems a bit haphazard. I can look on one page and see Xena: season 2, and three pages later, I might see Xena: season 3. It just seems it would make more sense to bunch these like titles together.

    As for "Jeremiah", I have seen from other netflix reviews that I should just rent disk 6 to make sure I see the episodes in order and the actual season finale.

    Perhaps, enabling a error correction section to these titles would correct that issue - a bit like imdb has on their site.

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  129. Media Center Extender support ASAP, please (for streaming to the TV via Xbox 360). If you want to hold your market share against Blockbuster's recent purchase of MovieLink, this feature is a MUST. MovieLink already supports the Xbox 360/Media Center Extender paradigm perfectly; I use it all the time.

    I don't care about Firefox or other PC-based browser support. I don't want to watch movies on my small 19" PC screen while sitting in a desk chair--I want to watch them on my big LCD TV while sitting comfortably on my couch.

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  130. I will simply say this. Operating Systems based on Linux are growing in popularity more and more. If vendors like IBM (Lenovo) and Dell have the foresight to offer bundled PC solutions with Ubuntu and SuSE Linux, how can you dare say the userbase is not there. If Bob the "I dont know anything about PC's" guy can go to dell.com and save $500 dollars on his purchase by running linux, he is going to. Vista has turned so many people off to Windows computing and netflix would benefit from taking the lead to support a real alternative to a Microsoft controlled world. I would be a customer if they did, and I am sure millions (yes, millions) of others would too.

    Mike
    (UNIX/Linux/Windows System Administrator)

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  131. I dont understand why there are not more new releases for instant watch. I would gladly pay extra too have decent movies. I would not even need to recieve DVDs by mail if I could get the movies I wanted online. I love netflix, and am a loyal customer, but Amazon unbox is becoming more and more enticing. Instant watching has been around for months now, and I have not noticed an increased rate of new releases available. Netflix should be at the forefront of this technology. Thanks.

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  132. let me just add another "port it to linux!" comment.

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  133. Is there are problem displaying available movies on Instant Watch?

    Anime are easy to watch on the computer screen, the "real people" movies are easier for me to watch on the larger TV screen. The anime movies listed under the Instant Watch have dropped to less than a quarter. I can find anime movies in the general lists that are watchable as Instant Watch but not listed under the Instant Watch tab > Anime.

    Instant Watch is wonderful. It fills the entertainment gap when I am waiting for Netflix and the TV is lacking in appeal.

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  134. How about a "real" name for this "instant watching" feature. It seems to have an identity crisis going on from "Watch Now" to "Instant Watching"....How about something like "PressPlay" or even "The Stream". I am sure your loyal fans can come up with something!

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  135. I was really enjoying instant watching until today, when netflix player told me I couldn't watch anything until I upgrade to WM11 and submit to Windows Genuine Advantage.

    Now, I'm OK with moderate DRM, but WGA is not moderate DRM; WGA is total assimilation by the borg. I never liked booting to windows just to watch netflix, but I can be practical and meet you in the middle at WM10. But I won't be herded into WGA just to watch movies. Bye, bye netflix, it was nice knowing you.

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  136. How about adding close-captioning to movies on instant viewing? This would be very helpful. I'm sure Netflix can figure it out...

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  137. As a Mac user, I cannot use the instant watching function yet. Although I certainly expect Netflix to correct their mistake of not offering this service to Mac users, I am more interested in seeing the company pursue download options through TIVO. I currently download some tv episodes and movies through Amazon directly to my TIVO. Even with my TIVO, I occasionally miss a tv episode or feel like a movie on the spur of the moment and Amazon's downloads are filling that need. I would much rather do this through my Netflix subscription. I would be willing to pay an appropriate monthly fee for downloads, as that would be in addition to my through the mail dvds. Although I honestly see downloads as replacing dvds in the very near future! I also have to say that if TIVO/AMAZON were to come up with some type of subscription plan for downloads, I would most likely sign up immediately even though I love netflix....as this would be sooooo much more convenient for me. So come on Netflix...stay on the cutting edge with this and get negotiating with TIVO before someone else does!

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  138. Firefox, great update. i found online a way to do it. wonderful.
    however, what would be ideal is to make instant watching available for the Playstation 3 operation system.

    that way we can watch your movies on big screen.
    the reason i am with you (as opposed to blockbuster) is due to the instant watching...

    make it possible for the PS3! that would be wonderful!
    and well, yeah, HD would be the step after that?

    i found some other requests for PS3 compatibility. please keep us PS3-users in mind ;-)
    otherwise, thanks for a fantastic service

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  139. I didn't take the time to read all the comments, but I think that you should add more animated TV shows to the "instant watch" list. Anything from adult swim would be a good start. Defiantly Family Guy! and Futurama would be a close second. THANKS!!

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  140. I didn't read through all of the posts, but I'll toss this in anyway: is there a way to have a tag on the main dvd list (ie. the movies shipped in the mail) as to whether or not they're available for instant viewing?

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  141. Hi Mike,
    Sorry, I did not read through all the posts...so my question may already be out there. I have one room in my home without cable hook ups...and it happens to be my personal domain. I know I could semi easily use a splitter and run a tv in here, but hnestly I just love pulling up netflix watch instantly while I am sewing or goofing off whatever. But I need a netflix package that caters to me, I really don't care about the movie rentals, I am content watching law and order reruns, but watching 2-3 a day, I have used up my limit in a matter of days! I am willing to pay a little more for an unlimited instant watch package (within reason - we're not talking new releases here!)
    Anything in the works like that?

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  142. OK, I can't read through 141 comments saying the same two or three things over and over, so I hope this hasn't been covered. This blog is pretty old, so I doubt I'll get any responses, but I'd like to at least try to call this to the attention of Netflix: INSTANT WATCHING DOESN'T WORK. I've gotten it to work before, but I cannot watch anything -- the video starts and stops and freezes constantly. I am considering switching to Blockbuster, as I really need the ability to pick things now (if I'm not in the mood for something, I can't watch it, so what I put in my queue last week or last month may not cut it today). I realize my internet connection is weaker than some (I'm one floor above the wireless router), but right now my computer is saying my connection strength is "good" and it's not working. If I am not given the ability to choose the video quality and the site keeps detecting me as "high" and my connection can't keep up, then it seems there's nothing I can do to resolve this. I'll check back here again, so if anyone has any advice, please help.

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  143. I have a few questions with regard to the future of the instant viewing option. Obviously instant viewing is the way of the future, once bandwidth becomes plentiful and cheap. I have serious concerns, however, about the direction of Netflix's offering.
    You've chosen to use Microsoft's Silverlight platform going forward. Doesn't it seem foolish to choose a proprietary format completely controlled by Microsoft? I mean, while they promise cross-platform interoperability, such promises have been broken by them more times than I can count in the past. Even more confusing, why choose a proprietary format controlled by a company that will almost certainly become a competitor within a few years? MS already sells the Zune and operates a Zune store. If Silverlight takes off as a format, every Windows computer will probably be shipping with a media player linked to their store, so why would you expect customers to go out of their way to use a service from Netflix? Have you guys never heard of "embrace, extend, extinguish?" In this case, MS owns the format in the first place, so all they need to do is get it widely adopted and then break compatibility with old versions and leave you high and dry. Think of all the music stores out there right now, slowly dying as MS has partially broken compatibility with "PlaysForSure" their DRM for music. Why would anyone not assume they won't do the same thing to Netflix with video in a few years?
    Now obviously if Apple adds rentals to iTunes, Netflix will be cut out of that market segment, unless the courts act upon Apple' near monopoly influence in the portable player market. But that does not mean buying into MS's snakeoil is any kind of answer.
    It seems to me Adobe's Flex platform, Sun's DReaM, or the OpenIPMP project would all be safer choices for cross-platform DRM going forward and none of those parties is likely to be a direct competitor motivated to break the de facto standard.
    What am I missing here? Are you guys really this short-sighted with regard to your long term business model or are you planning to have moved on to another company within a few years anyway? Do you guys just not understand the value of open standards as insurance for the future? Please, enlighten me as to why you think this time MS won't break the rules and kill you?

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  144. It would be great if you could release a Netflix Plug-in for the Microsoft Media Center or Xbox 360. The Plug-in should enable your instant watch feature so that your customers can enjoy these movies on a bigger screen in their living room. Thanks.

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  145. A windows media center plug-in would be ideal. I love the "Watch Instantly" feature. I have Vista PCs hooked up to my TVs so it looks great. The problem with it is that I have to use a browser to navigate. Ideally I could navigate via Windows Media Center using my remote control.

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  146. In the meantime, I say you give us "poor" Mac users another free movie a month (for those of us who don't have the 'unlimited' packages). I don't know about the rest of you, but it seems we're getting short changed -- paying as much as the rest and not getting as much. What am I supposed to do? Buy a PC just for this? I'm on the two a month plan...give me three a month until you get the problem fixed and I'm a happy camper. After that, take it back to the two a month -- and my five hours of instant watching. Sounds fair to me.

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  147. I really don't care HOW I watch instantly, I just want something decent to watch. The selection is absurdly poor. At this point, there is nothing I want to watch available that I haven't seen already, so I essentially no longer consider this a benefit of Netflix. I'm not looking for new releases, but some QUALITY old stuff rather than the crappy B movie selection or 1970s tv series would be nice.

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  148. The only improvement aside from the Mac and FF support would be the ability to go from one episode of a series into the next without having to click back through, perhaps a simple option of go back/play next.

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  149. Couple of things:

    1. Add Instant Watching on the queue. If the movie have that option, it should be on the queue. That helps me decide whether I want to move the up queue.

    2. Promote Instant Watching movies. Yeah, the library sucks, but I'm sure there's a couple of gems in there. You guys work at Netflix, I'm sure you seen ton of stuff, maybe dedicate some more time to watch the Instant Watching stuff and promote a movie that is instantly watchable on your main page once a month.

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  150. Two questions/issues:

    1) Why hasn't anyone figured out how to secure the transmission for the "Watch it Now" feature so US citizens traveling outside of the US can logon and watch shows. For example, service members serving outside the country. Currently it's just blocked to everyone anyone outside of the US cannot watch anything. I get people having fake logon accounts and the "wrong" people getting access to it, but there is already a built in authentication system in place. All deployed service members have an APO or FPO mail box. If they have their credit card which is used to secure their Netflix account and they have the movies sent to the same account that should be proof enough. People that fight for the rights of others in our country can enjoy a little slice of home. This would be a huge morale booster for the guys.

    2) On the military topic, currently it also takes 10-15 days to get a movie sent to an APO or FPO mail box and 10-15 days to get it back to Netflix. Why doesn’t Netflix have a special price for service members who are deployed? Again, the FPO/APO mailboxes prove they are deployed. It just doesn’t seem fair that we have to pay full price for a service that we can’t fully utilize. What about allowing service members to logon when they receive the movie and return it so the next one can be sent so they “cross” paths in the mail. I get there is it would be an honor system, but if you can’t trust active duty service members, then who can you?

    Just two simple ideas that would greatly improve the quality of life for me and my guys currently deployed. Merry Christmas everyone…

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  151. Netflix is awesome. Thanks so much for providing streaming video - it's great, though not without fault.

    - Multi-platform. Firefox + MacOSX. I know you guys are working on it, but please make it a high priority.

    - Better forward/reverse controls. I could see no way to forward/reverse other than dragging a slider. If I just mis-hear something, I want to jump back 5 - 10 seconds. The slider is very, very small and hardly allows for this precision. Buttons to jump 10s back/forward (or a key combo, like alt-arrow) would be greatly appreciated.

    - Subtitles support.

    - Multi-channel audio.

    Thanks for listening,
    MD from 62704-5502

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  152. How about giving the option to bookmark certain titles for instant watching. Like workout dvds. This way people would not have to search and then play the dvd.

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  153. i'm just curious why a bunch the movies in my queue WERE available for instant watching, but aren't now (Sgt York, King of Kings, Brigadoon...)

    Did a studio back out or what?

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  154. Hey I have an idea: Don't make people have to continuously upgrade their Windows Media Player plugin, every time Microsoft wants to force it on people. I had to install Windows Media Player 11 this morning, which now won't validate, so I can't watch instantly from Netflix. Awesome. DRM sucks, Microsoft sucks, and Windows Media Player sucks.

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  155. Not that it hasn't been said, but make it work with Linux, please. And while you're at it, make it work on Macs too. I'd like to make you aware of a program called "Flash" that could do it quite nicely. It works on most browsers, and works on most operating systems (at least on most 32-bit OS's; and most 64 bit OS's with some kajiggering).

    I love the idea of streaming movies directly from the website. In fact, as I understand it, that was the original plan for Netflix, but the Internet wasn't ready in 2002. So if you want to deliver movies via the internet, why are you doing it in a platform specific way? The Internet is supposed to be platform independent.

    So if it's not too much to ask, please fix this little problem, and keep up the otherwise splendid work.

    Sincerely,

    A mostly satisfied Ubuntu/Mac using Netflix subscriber.

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  156. End the monopoly with Microsoft. WGA validation is preventing lots of Netflix subscribers from their access to the instant watching feature.

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  157. Work on your DRM a little more. I was using Watch Instantly with a component output hooked to an HD CRT and then a required upgrade to WMP11 made that stop working. The workaround, to have a dummy VGA CRT as primary, messes with other software that uses hardware acceleration to display on the primary display only. I feel trapped by what worked before really well and I didn't change a thing I wasn't forced to. It's making me a very strong anti-drm adovate now.

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  158. Well, I searched through all the comments on this topic and cannot not find any mention of this, so here goes:

    I think searching within the "Watch Instantly" feature could be improved. If I want to search within a genre for all titles with > 4 stars there should be a way to do this.

    From what I can see, I can either browse by star rating (but cannot restrict to a particular genre) or browse by genre, but not sort by star rating.

    BTW, when I'm browsing a genre, what order do the titles show up in? Not alphabetical, not star rating...

    I would also like to add my support for some kind of queue for my "Watch Instantly" choices.

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  159. Linux/Firefox support is very important. Many people have Linux based MythTV media computers hooked up to their TV. With Linux support I could simply stream movies to my TV with my remote control. It would allow for on demand movies without cable or satellite. As is it now I have to mess around and hook up my laptop to the tv then hook up sound cables etc.

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  160. Please add more keyboard shortcuts to the "Watch Instantly" interface! Using spacebar to pause and play is helpful, but I particularly would like a keyboard shortcut to toggle the Full Screen option.

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  161. i can not understand how when a person reimages their desktop it counts twords their 4 limit computer viewing when in fact its one computer. i had no choice but to reimage my desktop and lost out in watching movies online. i reimaged 3 times do to hp telling me to do so in hopes of me fixing the desktop. thank god i download the software on my laptop its not a total lose, but its not fare i can no longer watch on my desktop do to me reimaging my pc and there is no fix untill a year later ! too early for me to call it quits i will try to see their is a fix if not i must leave

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  162. I've had zero luck with instant watching! I always get "connection too slow for immediate playback"... What does it take? I'm on WinVista, w/ a 4-5MB connection. Can only certain movies be viewed instantly? Is instant watching a myth? Has anyone ever clicked on a movie and actually began watching anytime soon?

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  163. Maybe someone could check out the interface that ABC uses on their streaming page. See here:
    http://ll.static.abc.com/streaming/move/00040001/static.html?d=20070521&pth=&aff=&

    It works really well for Macs. How about if Netflix uses this for watching instantly on Macs.

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  164. ps...it seems that Netflix would WANT us to watch movies online, on Macs, as it would save them postage, and free up movies for more folks.

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  165. Interesting comment by ChefJoe... to use dummy VGA CRT as primary as a workaround. I was using Instant Watch just fine up until a few weeks back. Now I get the constant Reset DRM notice and it never seems to work. ChefJoe's comment reminded me that I had also switched from using the VGA output on my video card to the component output a few weeks back. With the component out, the nVidia control panel identifies my Pioneer rear projection as a HDTV.. which is what I want. But I wonder if that is what is now causing the Instant Watch to not work... which would suck. Man I hate DRM!

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  166. Ever since the limit for instant watching was lifted, I can not get any instant watching content. I had no problem before, but ever since, I now get "connection to slow". Never, ever had this problem before.

    What is the deal? I love the instant watching capability to catch up with some old TV series I used to watch.

    Please help!

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  167. Seems like if you supported Firefox you could satisfy a bunch of needs here.

    Since Firefox supports BOTH Mac and Linux - you could kill three birds with one stone.

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  168. I cannot watch instantly either for whatever reason. A few months ago, everything would play instantly and was a great service. Unfortunately, there wasn't much that interested me at the time. Now, that they have interesting content, it doesn't work like it should. I have a fairly fast connection through time warner, but it still chokes. I've checked firewall settings configurations, all to no avail. It works fine in my public library through wifi, but just about everywhere else it chokes. I'm not sure if it's Netflix's problem or my problem...

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  169. I want Media Extender support too.

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  170. At the very least, if there is not going to be mac, firefox, or linux (we run a microsoft-free household and business) compatible version of watch instantly, there should be a pricing plan available that doesn't require we pay for such features (other than the 2 per month limited plan). We (my fiance and I) are on the 3 per month unlimited plan and cannot utilize the watch instantly functionality, yet we are paying for it nonetheless.

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  171. I noticed the other day that you have added a 'play' button to the queue for those items in the queue that can be 'watched instantly'.

    I'd like to thank you for this. It has made it much easier for me to use my main account as a list of movies I want to remember I can 'watch now'.

    Thanks again,

    sh-

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  172. I wish we could see which items could be watched instantly, no matter where we search from. If I search the name of Gregory Peck, I should see which of his movies are instant watch (ie "The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit"). As it stands I would need to click on each one individually to find the ONE that is available.

    While the interface for finding specific titles on instant watch needs to improve, I am happy with the latest update of adding that play button to the right of many of the titles.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!!!

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  173. Vis-a-vis Instant Viewing pan-and-scan, that seems to be a Warner thing.

    All the P/S movies I've seen have been those distributed on DVD by Warner.

    I've seen Paramount, Anchor Bay, and MGM-distributed films in widescreen.

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  174. Absolutely, PLEASE, figure out a way to allow the Watch Now stream to Media Center Extenders, but not just the xbox and not just Vista. MCE XP is still in use out there and I extend to a Linksys extender that works great for what it is allowed to do. From what I understand from reading Microsoft's Developers Website, is that Netflix has to make the liscense process "silent" to stop the DRM pop-up. Doesn't sound like too much of a hang-up.

    Low-hanging fruit to make your customers real happy.

    (much more relevant than supporting FireFox--people can have more than one browser on their PC--I do)

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  175. The bargain bin selection of instant watch movies is almost insulting. Its not a selling point anymore. I was born in 1980, most of these movies are older than me.

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  176. "End the monopoly with Microsoft. WGA validation is preventing lots of Netflix subscribers from their access to the instant watching feature."

    ditto!

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  177. I would like to second the request from Victoria and request more short cut keys be setup.

    Especially the ability to flip between full screen and windowed.

    Thanks

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  178. More flexible and informative search options, please. If I search by genre, I only see a very small selection of the total films in that genre. The only way to view every film available is to go letter by letter, screen by screen.

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  179. I'd like to be able to force the quality level to "high" and wait however long it takes to buffer the film. (I bet it's still faster than a red envelope.)

    I don't care a whit for Instant Watching if it's not DVD quality. As-is this feature adds no value for me.

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  180. I whole-heartedly agree with the prior poster about giving us the ability to select the quality level. I have a fast connection and according to the Netflix chart should be receiving High quality video, yet I only receive Basic. (And no, it's not my connection, I've tested my bandwith repeatedly.) My theory is that the Netflix servers are overworked and thereby defaulting all users to Basic quality. I'm more than willing to wait an extra ten minutes for the video to download if I can watch in High quality. Basic quality is unwatchable.

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  181. Just wanted to say that I am seeing Watch Instantly videos in High Quality. The video stutters occasionally but its not too disruptive.

    I live in NJ and usually watch at night.

    my network bandwidth is approx: 5Mbits down /2Mbits up.

    That said, I would also like to put in a word for user-settable buffer size. I would be willing to wait 5 mins to get smooth high-quality playback.

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  182. I have a simple problem I hope someone can help me fix. a few weeks back, instant viewing was working just fine. Now I get the dreaded "Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience." and IE7 crumps. What's the deal? Thanks, L-Rod

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  183. Question about Watch Instantly videos expiring...

    I've noticed over the last few weeks/months that some videos have only a limited time in the "Watch Instantly" world.

    Is there any way to tell when a video's time is about to expire? I was in the middle of watching "The Great Train Robbery", when the end of the month came around and it was no longer available.

    It would be nice to know the list of those movies that are going to expire soon (so we can be prepared to grieve).

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  184. Instant watching for mac please! I can't believe this hasn't happened yet.

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  185. Why the *bleep* can't profiles browse instant? That seems like an arbitrary restriction.

    Oh yeah, and do the Mac thing before Apple TV takes away all your business :-)

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  186. Are there any plans for streaming 5.1 surround? Or maybe they do I and need to change something?

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  187. For some reason, I can no longer use instant watching. I am a COMCAST customer and I suspect that the streaming video is being degraded on purpose, but it's hard to be sure. Any insights would be appreciated.
    David (dafritz1@comcast.net)

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  188. +1 for "*nix" support. It's more and more a viable option for the average user, and companies who put in the small effort to provide drivers/services do themselves great justice in the way of creating longtime customers from these people.

    I love Netflix by the way, and just returned a movie that I had found in my car, reported as missing in the mail. Being consistently interested in ethics and decision-making, I had to wonder why I didn't just keep it. Maybe I hate blockbuster? :)

    This service is good. But please don't forget about *nix users, as though we may not show so highly in the polls, I believe that being able to get "brand loyalty" among that "crowd" is almost as simple as not shutting them out (plus they probably provide better bug reports) :)

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  189. i can't see the "browse instant" tab on my account. anyone know how to activate this and i already have the plan for it.

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  190. Hi

    I'm new to the community, and would love to watch Netflix on line but I'm unable to get video, only audio. Unfortunately, I received little support from Customer Service and was advise to contact Accer (new computer) to update driver....while I have contacted them, driver was fine but uploaded any way. Unfortunately, I still can't see video but I can access other providers online video (vongo)and the receive audio without any problems....any suggestion will be welcome before I cancel my subscription.

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  191. Would like to see the watch instantly feature available on all profiles in my account. since i am the main profile, it only shows on my queue that there are WI movies. When my husband logs into his profile, he doesn't even have the browse instantly tab and it's not fair to him.

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  192. OK, so I hear that your working on the Mac issue but I can't help but feel that I'm not getting my money's worth. I pay the same as a PC user, but I don't have access to a major feature. So how about a price cut for Mac users? Or maybe a free extra movie now and then, something to make me feel like you haven't forgotten that I pay to have the same access to movies as everyone else.

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  193. I would like to see netflix streaming on my xbox360. That would be so cool.

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  194. I too feel that PS3 compatibility would be a HUGE boost for Instant Watching adoption (there are millions of PS3s out there hooked up to the net and TVs)

    I love the instant watching but must hook my PC up to my 46" LCD (I am not watching on a stinking PC screen!).

    I use my PS3 NOT for games, but to watch blue ray movies, and other media stored on its hardrive and an attached external hard drive.

    The PS3 is an ideal platform for instant watching.

    Also, Sony is poised to provide similar functionality through their online store.

    Beat them to market!

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  195. The stupdid instant viewer will not work for me. I have my machine configured with most of the free space on the D drive. Most products allow you to chose location of your temp directory. Netflix does not.
    This is just plain stupid lazy programming. Netflix needs to invest at least enough money to hire a few high school interns to add standard options.

    I have been in software for a long time. In the business, we call this "shelf-ware". Software that does not work, but can be presented by sales with fancy glossy marketing that shows we have "a future direction".

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  196. I really enjoy the "Instant Watching" because I am in college and it is nice just to be able to have a friend come over whenever they want to watch a movie on my computer. The only problem I have with the "Instant Watching" is that there are not many movies available to watch online. I think Netflicks should make more movies available to watch online. That would be great!

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  197. I have heard rumors that Netflix plans to do away with DVD's all together and only offer the Instant Watching. Is there any truth to this?

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  198. Please forgive me if my issues have already been addressed - I read many of the comments, but not ALL of them! I live in the US Virgin Islands, and am unable to use instant viewing because I am outside the 50 states. I understand that due to licensing problems, etc., instant viewing isn't available in foreign countries. Fine. But I'm not IN a foreign country, I'm on US soil! I'd call Netflix's 800 number to inquire, but it doesn't work from here. Since they quit using email for customer service, none of us here have any way of contacting them except by long-distance or snail mail. That's ridiculous! I feel that because of those two issues, we here in the USVI are being shortchanged!

    If anyone has any helpful info, I'd be most appreciative.

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  199. 1. Make Instant Queue available to other profiles in the same account. The Netflix Player makes this a 'must have' feature. I don't want my kids accessing my account but I want them to be able to add Instant Watch movies to their own queue for later viewing on my new Netflix Player.
    2. Give me a way to browse ALL Instant Watch titles in one window.

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  200. Really, you don't have support for Mac's yet... really? I know there is probably some bureaucratic response (i.e. the customer is not right). I pay the same money as the PC drone customers, probably more because I've got Macs and still... nothin. Really Netflix? Really?
    Get to work!

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