Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Announcing the Netflix API

We're pleased to announce the availability of the Netflix API. The team has been hard at work on this and we're glad we can finally let people see what we've built. The Netflix API allows access to data for over 100,000 movie and TV episode titles on DVD as well Netflix account access on a member's behalf. The Netflix API gives developers the ability to create new and novel applications using Netflix data for Netflix members or movie fans in general. This API is free to developers and commercial uses are allowed.

Why are we doing this? Because we have limited resources and we can only work on so many items at once. We hope that by opening up our APIs we will enable the creative desires of other developers to make a variety of wonderful applications. We expect to see different movie finding approaches, queue management tools, mobile phone applications, social network applications, the integration of Netflix information and capabilities into a variety of other applications, and more. And that, in the end, will further delight our members and other movie watchers in their quest to find and watch movies they'll love. For more detailed information, see Michael Hart's API blog post on the new Netflix API Developer Portal. You can always reach the developer portal by clicking on the "Developers" link in the footer of any Netflix page or by going directly to http://developer.netflix.com.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Netflix to Break Guinness Movie Watching Record

Chris Garrity from the Netflix communications team here to announce the Netflix Movie Watching World Championship. Starting October 2nd, Netflix will host eight competitors from around the globe in New York's Times Square in an attempt to break the existing world record for continuous movie watching. The 8 competitors include the current record holder, Ashish Sharma of Mathura, India. Mr. Sharma will be on hand to defend his record of 120 hours and 23 minutes. Netflix has also given the public a chance to participate in the contest by submitting video auditions at the Netflix Movie Watching World Championship page on Facebook. For more information on the event, become a fan of the facebook group and receive up-to-date information on the competition including contestant videos. Enjoy the enclosed promotional videos for the event.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

LG Electronics BD300 is impressive

Hello, Steve Swasey here. I'm vice president of corporate communications for Netflix. Last week I joined one of our technology partners, LG Electronics, to show off their new BD300 Blu-ray disc player.

Recall Netflix and LG Electronics announced their partnership in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. In July I joined LG at a sneak peek of the BD300 at LG's "Summer Line Tour" in New York, at which we provided some details about the product.

Last week LG formally rolled out the BD300 at the CEDIA show (Custom Electronics Design and Installion Association) in Denver. I spoke at the LG news conference to a standing room only crowd of journalists and bloggers. You've probably read the reviews so I won't repeat details here, except that the BD300 is sleek.

Foot traffic was heavy at the LG booth, with a lot of people interested in seeing this first and only Blu-ray disc player to instantly stream movies from Netflix. Of course LG set up demo units with some pretty impressive wide screen TVs. "Billabong Odyssey" never looked so good.

The BD300 will be available at retail in about three weeks for $399.00.

Good stuff.

"Long Wait" Queue Hiccup

Hi, Kevin McEntee here. I’m in charge of engineering for the Netflix Web site. We had a hiccup on the site today. For about 2-1/2 hours, from about 11 a.m. to about 1:30 p.m. Pacific time, every movie in everyone’s Queue showed “Very Long Wait.” This was caused by a change we made in our database yesterday that inadvertently impacted the whole site today. Shipping, receiving and Queue adds were not affected. There was no connection between today’s event and the hardware issue that prevented Netflix from shipping DVDs last month. We’ve added more circuit-breaker and audit protections in the system to protect against this from happening again. In short, nothing happened today except some confusion about when your movies would be available, which was quickly corrected.