Monday, January 15, 2007

Netflix Rolls Out Instant Downloading

Netflix, which has over 5.7 million subscribers for its DVD-by-mail service, introduced a new feature that allows its members to download movies and TV content to a broadband connected PC. Netflix will initially offer about 1,000 titles and its selection will expand over time as licensing for electronically delivered movie rentals widens. Pricing will follow a unique model based on subscribers' monthly plans. Subscribers on the entry-level $5.99 plan will have six hours of online movie watching per month and subscribers on Netflix's $17.99 plan will be offered 18 hours of online movie watching per month.

Netflix is using a custom browser plug-in for Internet Explorer to provide real-time content streaming. Play back can be paused and a position bar will give viewers the ability to jump to any point in the movie. Subscribers will need a minimum of 1 Mbps of bandwidth and the higher the bandwidth, the higher quality the video displayed. The company is rolling out the service now and expects to offer the service to all its U.S. subscribers by June.


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