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Netflix gauges user interest in iPhone movie streaming

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Movie rental house Netflix is still testing the waters on potentially streaming movies instantly to the iPhone or iPod touch, according to reports from users.

The information comes from a survey aimed at Netflix users who own an Apple mobile device. According to the survey, the service would be available over Wi-Fi only:

"Whenever you want to instantly watch content on your iPhone, your iPhone must be connected to a Wi-Fi network (such as one you might have at home or at work, or in public places like coffee shops, book stores, hotels, airports, etc.)," the survey reads.

Rumors that Netflix was working on such capability were reported last August, citing "an industry executive familiar with Netflix's plans." The instant streaming app would reportedly require no storage space on the device itself.

This isn't the first time Netflix has asked it's subscribers what they'd be interested in seeing from the service. Surveys were sent out to determine if users wanted streaming via the Sony Playstation 3 a little over 6 months before that service actually came to fruition. If the same timetable pans out for iPhone and iPod touch streaming, the service could be rolled out by the fall.

As Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told Reuters last September, "It's something that's likely to come over time. But nothing in the short term. (With) movie watching, we are not focused on mobile yet, but (instead) on the TV, on Blu-ray and on the video game consoles. We will get to mobile eventually, including the iPhone."

Streaming movies over Wi-Fi is beyond Apple's reach at the moment, as iTunes only lets users download entire movies and take up space on their storage devices, be it AppleTV or mobile devices like the iPhone or iPod touch.

Both Netflix and Amazon have encroached on the Apple TV with their set-top box products built by Roku. Netflix Player was introduced in 2008, just a year after Apple TV was officially announced as a shipping product. Netflix Player incorporates a Web browser plug-in with Microsoft's Silverlight technology.
post #2 of 23
You may want to fold my earlier thread into this thread.

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=107483

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post #3 of 23
Streaming movies over wi-fi seems kind of lame to me, unless I could temporarily download the movie and have it expire after 24 hours (or something along those lines). The only time I have wi-fi access long enough to watch a movie is when I'm at home, and if I'm at home, I'd rather watch the movie on my TV or computer. The closest I would come to being able to watch a movie over wi-fi is sitting in an airport, but those wi-fi networks are usually not free, and I'm (thankfully) rarely sitting in an airport for 2 hours straight.

But, if I could download the movie before I leave the house and then watch it on the plane and then have it expire after 24 hours (or whatever) -- that would actually be useful.
post #4 of 23
Where can I actually participate in this survey? I want this on my iPhone. I love me some netflix!
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Streaming movies over wi-fi seems kind of lame to me, unless I could temporarily download the movie and have it expire after 24 hours (or something along those lines). The only time I have wi-fi access long enough to watch a movie is when I'm at home, and if I'm at home, I'd rather watch the movie on my TV or computer. The closest I would come to being able to watch a movie over wi-fi is sitting in an airport, but those wi-fi networks are usually not free, and I'm (thankfully) rarely sitting in an airport for 2 hours straight.

But, if I could download the movie before I leave the house and then watch it on the plane and then have it expire after 24 hours (or whatever) -- that would actually be useful.

AGREED.
I would rather have it on the AppleTV.
I wish Apple would create an App Store for the AppleTV.
post #6 of 23
1) Needing a survey for this is like asking AI trolls if they want to hate on Apple today. The number of iPhone OS users are there and their streaming market is growing very fast with internal projections of when streaming rentals will outdo their mail rentals.

2) WiFi would be nice, but this really needs to be cellular. If Sling Media can stream via 3G hopefully Netflix will be able to as well, though Netflix will surely use a lot more bandwidth than Sling.
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post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

AGREED.
I would rather have it on the AppleTV.
I wish Apple would create an App Store for the AppleTV.

Before they do that (or at the same time) they need to give us new AppleTV HW, a new AppleTV OS (hopefully based on iPhone OS's lightweight foundation sans Cocoa Touch), and some other default services.
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

AGREED.
I would rather have it on the AppleTV.
I wish Apple would create an App Store for the AppleTV.

I agree with you here too. The aTV could really use an App Store and HW refresh. I thought I remember seeing some sort of "Wiimote" like patent fly by on AI once. Sadly, if there were an App Store, Netflix would never make it (aka: rejected) due to the fact that it both competes with Apple's iTunes, and that the Netflix player would duplicate a part of the aTVOS (given the same rules of the iPhone/iPod Touch apply)

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

2) WiFi would be nice, but this really needs to be cellular. If Sling Media can stream via 3G hopefully Netflix will be able to as well, though Netflix will surely use a lot more bandwidth than Sling.

Just what AT&T needs... more bandwidth hogging. Mind you, I don't disagree with your want here. It would be awesome to stream movies via cell networks, but I don't think AT&T nor its customers would be happy if this were to hit on the 3G networks. At least with Sling, you need to have the hardware at home making its number of potential customers less. Netflix, you don't need any extra hardware.



Anyhow, as for the iPhone/iPod Touch, it would be nice to see this kind of thing come to fruition. I would be curious if Apple would bring down the rejection hammer or not. I'd lean more towards them rejecting the software, but they could surprise me (and I hope they do!)
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post #9 of 23
I have no interest in Apple TV, but great interest in Netflix over iPod touch, especially since I haven't got a PC or newer Mac to view streaming Netflix.

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post #10 of 23
This would be a lot more interesting on an iPad (thinking screen size), especially if its part of the usual subscription fee... streamed movies on demand? Sure, why not.

I wouldn't want this hogging the 3G network either. AT&T has only now started to get the bandwidth up to something resembling its promise (and even then only occasionally)... putting streaming netflix on the 3G net would just bog it back down again.

There are plenty of WiFi hotspots to use, and it'd be great for having at home (ATV or iPad)... I can see it being a good thing...
post #11 of 23
Wouldn't a Netflix app automatically be rejected for offering so-callled "duplicate functionality"? (translation - not allowing iTunes complete control over your media consumption). Also, some of the Netflix movies might have (gasp!) girls in bikinis, which is against Apple policy.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

Just what AT&T needs... more bandwidth hogging. Mind you, I don't disagree with your want here. It would be awesome to stream movies via cell networks, but I don't think AT&T nor its customers would be happy if this were to hit on the 3G networks. At least with Sling, you need to have the hardware at home making its number of potential customers less. Netflix, you don't need any extra hardware.

Oh yeah, I think that would be a huge hit to them. They seem to be getting ahead of themselves now but with the Summer coming up I hope they aren't going to be back where they started.

I know I'd get Netflix again just for streaming if I could get it on my phone's cellular. If they think it would be a huge hit Netflix could work with AT&T to sell it for money money, so AT&T can get a portion of it. It wouldn't be hard to block from their servers or the app accounts that aren't paying for the cellular Netflix streaming. Of course, if they go web-based then nothing will prevent them from doing whatever.
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post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

This would be a lot more interesting on an iPad

not so much 'more interesting' but more useful as the ipad has a bigger viewing screen

Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

Wouldn't a Netflix app automatically be rejected for offering so-callled "duplicate functionality"?

depends. if Apple really is working on a subscription/streaming service of their own, definitely. But since we've had no signs of that, they might allow it. Should it ever actually happen.

Quote:
(translation - not allowing iTunes complete control over your media consumption).

i haven't seen the Kindle app booted off yet. Or Pandora or last.fm or tv.com (which allows some tv streaming) etc

[quote
Also, some of the Netflix movies might have (gasp!) girls in bikinis, which is against Apple policy.[/QUOTE]

you do know that itunes has rated R movies and tv yes.

and if Apple was really that uptight about it they could always put in some kind of approval clause that Netflix can't stream rated r movies. and I bet Netflix would fold in order to reach said customer base.
post #14 of 23
to stream Movies and lose my battery in 30 minutes.
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post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in miami View Post

to stream Movies and lose my battery in 30 minutes.

If you using Flash 10.1, sure, but I can already get hours on my iPhone streaming. You can test this yourself by uploading a properly formatted MP4 or M4V file to a server and then accessing it on your iPhone. I use iDisk often as it saves me the effort of adding to iTunes, then syncing, then removing from device and iTunes afterwards.
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post #16 of 23
If I am not mistaken, the current Netflix streaming to Mac requires Silverlight. If Netflix is going to work on iPhone, they are going to have to make the videos available in h.264 or something.
post #17 of 23
They ought to fix Netflix on the desktop first. Navigating a browser from the couch isn't exactly the best experience. Look at Hulu Desktop. Netflix...remote control, what a novel concept.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

If I am not mistaken, the current Netflix streaming to Mac requires Silverlight. If Netflix is going to work on iPhone, they are going to have to make the videos available in h.264 or something.

I'm sure it's already encoded in H.264. Silverlight had that before Adobe Flash, as I recall. YouTube and many others already encodes in H.264. If Hulu and Netflix want to be viable on the fastest growing and soon to be largest per-unit market for internet use they'll have to have a non-plug-in version for their videos.
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post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in miami View Post

to stream Movies and lose my battery in 30 minutes.

It's meant for the iPad.

This is ALL about what possibilities the iPad brings to the table. Netflix sees the writing on the wall.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

It's meant for the iPad.

This is ALL about what possibilities the iPad brings to the table. Netflix sees the writing on the wall.

Yeah, cause everyone is begging to watch a movie on a 10 inch screen when they already have a computer that they don't have to continually hold to watch. Plus, it would be really awesome to watch it on the small screen when sitting in front of the 50 inch HDTV, which is powered off.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

Wouldn't a Netflix app automatically be rejected for offering so-callled "duplicate functionality"? (translation - not allowing iTunes complete control over your media consumption).

Yea, there's going to be a few tests thrown Cupertino's way when the iPad debuts, especially Netflix as it has lots more content providers and a less expensive model than iTunes, but I think Apple will allow just about anything, except Flash. (and Googlevoice and Jingleboobs and iRich and...)

Opera already has a browser for the App Store, just waiting for submission.


Quote:
Also, some of the Netflix movies might have (gasp!) girls in bikinis, which is against Apple policy.


Netflix is just about as clean as the App Store and iTunes movies are.

And Apple returned that "bikini app" it pulled earlier back on the App Store.
post #22 of 23
apply TV and Slingblade+iPhone----OH YEA
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post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pendejo View Post

They ought to fix Netflix on the desktop first. Navigating a browser from the couch isn't exactly the best experience. Look at Hulu Desktop. Netflix...remote control, what a novel concept.

Netflix streaming works nicely with a remote in Windows Media Center 7. If AppleTV and/or Front Row were more open then things like this could be better implemented. Hulu desktop is great, but its still a little buggy.
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