Tuesday, August 9, 2011


So, I finally broke down and signed up for the free trial of Netflix. The main idea is to stream through our Wii; I signed up for the 1-DVD-at-a-time service too, but I'll likely cancel that and just go with the streaming. The streaming is much more economical... watch as many movies and TV shows as you have time for on Instant Streaming, vs. watch as many single DVDs as you can receive in the mail and send back, one at a time, for the same monthly price? No contest! There are, however, a couple of things about Netflix Streaming that annoy me a bit, and I wanted to blog about those things... maybe someone from Netflix will read this blog entry and take it to heart. (Fat chance, but a guy can dream, can't he?)
  1. I'd like to see separate Instant queue profiles made available. Obviously, the shows in my queue (Bond movies, Star Trek, The X-Files, etc.) are going to be incompatible with the shows my 3-year-old daughter is going to want to watch (Care bears, Caillou, Strawberry Shortcake, Hello Kitty, Wonder Pets). Recommendations are going to be different, too. It would be nice to be able to select an Instant Queue to view, and maybe even select who's watching. It would be smart marketing, too.
  2. I'd like better parental controls. Right now all you can do is limit the programs that can be viewed based on the MPAA rating... only allow shows rated PG or less, for example. This is a joke! For one thing, "NR" (Not Rated) movies fall in the area on the other side of "R" from "G", which means that the Mario Brothers Super Show cartoon from the 1990s, which my two kids like, is prohibited if I restrict my account to PG-13 or less. And if I turn on parental controls, I can't watch documentaries or more grown-up movies myself. "Control" indeed!
  3. What's with the Android app only being available for like two-and-a-half phones? Make it available to all phones, but just "support" it on your shorter list. If people want to try it on their non-supported phone, why stop them? Worst case, they call support and you tell them their phone is not supported... and then you not which not-supported phones keep getting called in, and you add them to your support matrix as soon as you can!
  4. What's with not being able to exit Netflix and go back to the Wii menus? Apparently you just have to turn the Wii off. User Interface FAIL.
  5. Scrolling to a certain point within a program, or fast-forwarding/rewinding, is positively painful. You're telling me that after I select a new spot, you're going to re-download the entire show? Even YouTube does better than that! Software FAIL.
In general, we LOVE the Netflix service. I have a poky Internet connection (on purpose, to save money) so it's fairly easy to push it over the edge and cause the streaming to re-buffer, but that's not the fault of Netflix; I'm sure with a faster connection I'd get faster buffering. With a few tweaks, Netflix could be not only a killer service, but a killer application as well. Hoping that day comes soon!