Spotlight On Netflix

Netflix Streaming Video

The Netflix streaming video service provides on-demand video to just about every TV connected widget out there. Netflix provides mostly older or B-movie content. Netflix also provides a DVD rental service to complement their streaming offerings.

Offering Price
Streaming Video $7.99 / mo
1 DVD At-a-time $7.99 / mo

Netflix have been aggressively expanding their streaming content offerings into current TV seasons and first run movies. Netflix has also angered their subscriber base by raising prices on the combined streaming video and 1 DVD plan.

Places To Watch Netflix

Netflix supports just about every platform under the sun – iPad, Android phone, Wii, Roku, Bob’s discount TV box. Android support for individual device can be dodgy because of all the various Android platforms, but Netflix is continually announcing support for new devices supported.

PlayBack Device Netflix
Android Devices YES
iOS Devices YES
Roku (TV) YES
Playstation 3 (TV) YES
XBox 360 (TV) YES
Wii (TV) YES
Blue-ray Players YES

Netflix Video Bitrates

Netflix has used two generations of encoders. The first generation was based on Microsoft’s WMV3 codec. Netflix has more recently adopted Microsoft’s VC-1 Advanced Profile, which reduces the bandwidth requirements.

High Def Audio Quality Bandwidth
1 HR TV Show Size
Better 720p Stereo 3.80 Mbps 1.70 GB
Good 720p Stereo 2.60 Mbps 1.15 GB
Standard Def Audio Quality Bandwidth 1 HR TV Show Size
Best 480p Stereo 1.50 Mbps 0.65 GB
Good 480p Stereo 1.00 Mbps 0.45 GB
Ok 480p Stereo 500 kbps 0.25 GB
Bad Stereo 375 kbps 0.15 GB

Before using Netflix, check that your internet provider gives enough bandwidth to get the video quality you’re expecting.

Netflix Conclusions

The Good: Netflix is available on every platform out there and provides a large (thought dated) library. It’s a great way to test the video streaming in their household.

The Bad: Netflix’s catalog is dated, and doesn’t bring provide current TV shows or new movies that would allow someone to cut the cord. Another service will likely be needed to complete the deal. Netflix is moving aggressively to expand their content, which gives hope for an improved service.