Netflix on Tivo

The marriage of convenience and technology in my household is now complete.  I got a nice surprise the last time my Tivo downloaded a system update.  Netflix!  It has only taken 3 years to finally come to fruition but it is finally here!  While the selection is currently a bit limited for downloads,1 the quality is on par with standard def. TV broadcasts.  Surprisingly, when they say “watch instantly“, they mean it.  I’ve watched about 10 movies so far and every single one started within minutes and played thru to completion w/o pausing or hanging on the download.  Fast forwarding is a bit slow to start and stop but not unexpected for on-demand content. 

Of course, I’ve been able to stream Amazon movies thru the Tivo for about a year now.  The Amazon service is quite different though. For one, Amazon charges by the movie vs a flat monthly fee for unlimited downloads.  Amazon’s downloads also take quite a bit longer as the content is uncompressed and not optimized for streaming.  Usually, for a 2 hour movie, I have to wait 30-45 mins before I can begin watching if I wanna watch all the way thru w/o the movie pausing.  To be fair, Amazon does have a much larger selection of movies for download.  However, if they hope to compete, they’d better get their act in gear because I can easily see Netflix kicking their ass soon. 

I have yet to try HD content as I’m still streaming over a 54g wifi router.  You need a hard line connection or the newer N speed wifi routers to really stream HD content seamlessly.  I’m sure as the availability of movies increases, I’ll spring for faster wifi.

Once the selection improves, it will also give cable companies a run for their money.  Seriously, imagine having almost any movie or TV show ever made available to watch instantly for a low monthly fee.  No more exorbitant cable bundling fees to worry about.  No more getting stuck with 100’s of channels you don’t watch just to get a few you do watch.  If I were the cable companies, I’d be shitting in my pants about now.  Of course, they’d still make money on primetime channels, first-run content, and broadband so their money stream isn’t totally screwed just yet.  That said, I’ll quickly dump all of my movie packages once Netflix boosts their downloadable content. 

Yes, I know, I’m a geek.  But you knew that already.

  1. you can still have movies unavailable for download mailed to you but that is so 90’s. []

5 thoughts on “Netflix on Tivo”

  1. Ooooo I’ll have to look into this when I get back home! Nice! They have it on Xbox too as well. I figured though the movies available on all these platforms are probably the same ones available from the NetFlix website where you can log in and watch instantly as well.

    @Dustin ~ actually no. There are different contract agreements via xbox and Tivo. So far I’ve found a larger selection on Tivo but more newer titles on the xbox.

  2. In testing both ways of “getting it” I think I like the xbox version of netflix better. also, i didn’t notice a HD option on the TiVo (though I own a HD Tivo) and on the Xbox the HD movies (though limited) is really nice.
    I should be getting some new games this xmas – so lets play, Moby!

    @victor ~ I had problems with the xbox version but finally got it working. However, the watch instantly feature is much better on Tivo. There is no jerking or stop/starting in the middle of downloads.

  3. I have to ask about your network set up and service… For instance, most cable companies are easily providing 8Mbps downstream speeds, at least in bursts. I can’t see how a hardwire or N wireless network will provide anything better than your 54Mbps since you’ll be limited by your internet service. Even Verizon FIOS service is advertising up to 50Mbps download. Unless of course you download first, then play from across your network, then hardwire or N will help. I don’t think your bottleneck is necessarily your LAN or WLAN.

    Happy holiday time btw! And the tatoo is looking good. Keep warm on the Gixxer.

  4. just an update – i think the difference is that I have a wired network (via Comcast cable) direct to my xbox and the tivo – I don’t get any stutter on either system.

    Have a great New Year! Also liking the new layout – I may need to do the same. Or maybe I should just blog more often.

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