Monday, May 12, 2014

April Netflix ISP Speed Index Adds Canada

We have just added April data to the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best primetime Netflix streaming experience.

With this month’s update we have expanded the index to include Canada. Perhaps not surprisingly, the fiber services from Bell Aliant and Bell Canada top the chart, closely followed by cable provider Shaw. As a country, the average speed for Netflix in Canada beats that of the United States, but ranks below most European nations.

A few additional data points from the April update of the Netflix ISP Speed Index:

  • In the US, the average speed on the Comcast network for Netflix streams continues to increase, averaging 2.77Mbps in April. Comcast now has the third slot in our major ISP ranking, behind Cablevision - Optimum and COX. 
  • In Latin America, Telecentro has taken the lead in Argentina, unseating Claro, while in Costa Rica Tigo Star has passed Japi for the top spot and in Ecuador TV Cable ceded the lead to Telconet. 
  • In Europe we saw continued improvement on Telenor ISPs in Denmark, Norway and Sweden while in Ireland we saw increased performance on UPC.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 48 million Netflix members worldwide who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix each month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network. A faster network generally means a better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

Note: the average performance is below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes Netflix uses to deliver the TV shows and movies as well as the variety of devices members use and home network conditions. These factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs.

The latest regional rankings are below.

Joris

Joris Evers is part of the communications team at Netflix





Friday, May 9, 2014

A Quick Update On Our Streaming Plans And Prices

To continue adding more movies and TV shows, we are increasing the price of our $7.99 a month streaming plan by one dollar to $8.99 for new members. Current Netflix members get to keep their current price for two years, enjoying HD-quality movies and TV shows on any two screens at the same time.

We are also introducing a new $7.99 plan with SD-quality viewing on any one screen at a time. As always, members can change plans at any time. New members get a free trial of whichever plan they prefer.

We look forward to bringing our members more great movies and TV shows, including acclaimed Netflix original series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. We will continue to make Netflix the best possible place to enjoy entertainment across all the devices our members own -- from Smart TVs to mobile phones.

Sincerely,

The Netflix Team

Friday, May 2, 2014

Netflix Now Streaming in Ultra HD 4K

In chapter 1 of House of Cards, Frank Underwood famously tells Stamper to "Look at the bigger picture." With House of Cards season 2, that bigger picture is here! The best quality video in the world is now streaming via the Internet.

House of Cards in Netflix UltraHD 4K

We’re excited about the picture quality we’re seeing in Ultra HD 4K, and we’re even more excited that expert reviewers of the first TVs capable of streaming Netflix Ultra HD 4K, including the Samsung HU8550 and HU9000, seem to agree. This is just the the beginning, expect more TVs that support Netflix in Ultra HD 4K in stores soon from Samsung, Sony, LG, and Vizio. If you buy one of these new TVs, just connect it to a power outlet and the internet, turn it on and sign into Netflix. Ultra HD 4K streaming will work out of the box.


To get the highest quality Netflix experience in Ultra HD 4K, we recommend available bandwidth of at least 20Mbps. This provides enough throughput for the stream, which is about 16Mbps, plus headroom for service variability. And speaking of variability, there are many things that can affect the data throughput to a specific device on your home network. One of those variables is how a broadband provider chooses to handle incoming bits from Netflix. Any broadband provider that’s directly connected to Netflix will deliver a better experience, especially during primetime.


Market researchers predict that consumers will buy a million Ultra HD 4K TVs this year and even more in subsequent years. We expect it will likely take up to 5 years before Ultra HD 4K becomes mainstream; when most of the TVs on store shelves are Ultra HD 4K.


Today, our catalog of Ultra HD 4K movies and shows is small but packs a punch: the second season of the Emmy Award winning show House of Cards, and several nature films from noted photographer and filmmaker Louie Schwarztberg.

Later this year, we expect to add another multi Emmy Award winning show Breaking Bad, and more Netflix original productions. As more content producers shift their production and mastering to create Ultra HD 4K output, and more Ultra HD 4K TVs are in the market, we’ll bring more of that content to you.

What’s Next?

We’re excited about bringing you Ultra HD 4K, but it’s been a joint effort with our partners to create the TVs, the streaming tech, and the shows we all love. We’ve all worked hard to design products and produce shows that support the broader feature set of Ultra HD 4K. This, of course, includes the Ultra High Definition 3840x2160 resolution, and 10-bit color precision, but also framerates up to 60 frames per second and richer colors. 

Fellow AV geeks... we know you want more details on the tech behind Netflix Ultra HD 4K. In a future post on the Netflix Tech Blog, we’ll share some of those details with you. In the mean time, on behalf of everyone at Netflix who worked on delivering Ultra HD 4K, enjoy the bigger picture!



Thursday, May 1, 2014

This Month's Picks for Families: High School Musicals

As a working mom of two little kids I couldn't imagine living without Netflix. Honestly. It was true even before I started working here. To help show other families out there how Netflix fits into your life, we've created, “This Month’s Picks for Families.’ Every month we’ll make recommendations and give you some ideas that could fit into your family’s routine that month. And we’ll also include some craft or recipe ideas, but don’t worry we’ll keep them realistic and practical.


I learned early on in my parenting journey the power music has to change the mood in our house, especially in the car.  I introduced my kids to Stevie Wonder and Michael Buble pretty early, so I get to listen so Superstition as often as Let It Go.  And while I’m 100% tone deaf, I sometimes break into song while trying to get my kids to do something.  This weekend in an effort to get my kids out of the house I started singing “let’s bowl, let’s bowl, let’s rock-n-roll” from Grease 2 (I wonder how long before they start to understand those infamous double entendre) and I explained to my 4 year old that nobody likes to wait, in fact a woman named Carly wrote a whole song about it (Anticipation anyone?).  


In anticipation for the springtime musicals going on throughout schools everywhere, we put together some movies for your older and younger kids to get into the musical spirit.

For your big kids:



And your little ones:

1Mulan

Since I’m pretty sure my kids got my ears and two left feet, I think we’ll spend more time watching musicals and having fun at home.  Click here to see how easy it is to make your own No Sew Stage Curtain.



And remember that scene in Shrek when Donkey says, "Parfait’s gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole planet!"? We agree. Click here to learn how to make your own Shrek-inspired parfait.  

Maybe now with these title suggestions, you can finally get Let It Go out of your head. 

-Jenny

Jenny McCabe is director of the Consumer PR team at Netflix (and a mom of two)