Just about the same. Not a big deal.
Just about the same. Not a big deal.
Most of them you probably won’t miss, but it’s worth taking a look anyway before they’re gone.
Today I was greeted with a new message on my Roku box. While trying to watch an episode of Caprica this morning I was told by said Roku that I was trying to watch Netflix on too many devices. A quick trip into the family room revealed that the children were watching Kick Buttowski via the built-in Netflix client on the television.
Many months ago I blogged that people were having this happen to them, but I hadn’t had the problem. Later on I updated that Netflix said that it was a problem and that they were not limiting accounts to one streaming device at a time.
It appears that 1)Netflix has started limiting users to one streaming device or B)There is another problem with the Netflix service.
Have you had this problem with streaming devices? Let me know in the comments.
UPDATE: Confirmed by Netflix. “If you are on the Unlimited Streaming plan, the Unlimited Streaming + 1 DVD out-at-a-time plan or a limited streaming plan, you may watch only one device at a time.”
Netflix has effectively upped their rates again by forcing those that want to stream from more than one device (Roku, Xbox, PS3, Wii, Blu-Ray player, etc.) to get a two DVD + Streaming service for $19.98 a month. That is a 150% increase! There is currently no option to have a second streaming device without having plastic disks sent to my house to gather dust.
With antagonistic policies like these being implemented, it’s getting harder and harder to be a Netflix apologist. Now that $20 a month is the going rate to watch streaming video on more than one device, it may get easier to find credible alternatives at this price.
Yesterday I posted about Netflix limiting it’s streaming customers to one streaming show at a time. Apparently though, it was an error rather than a crackdown as previously thought.
While I had suspicions that this was some mix up (I hadn’t had the problem at my home) the fact remains that it didn’t surprise me. I now assume that the Netflix service is going to get worse and worse until it’s no better than the Charter Cable that I cancelled so long ago. Netflix may still have the best service of its kind, but it now has an image problem. It’s the service that raises prices on its customers and limits their viewing options.
It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with the Starz contract negotiations going forward.
As you read here, or on some other source, Netflix is raising their prices for the streaming and DVD combo service. They are raising it from $9.99 per month to $15.98. From the sound of their blog post on the subject, they are pretty resolute on this change.
As always, our members can easily choose to change or cancel their unlimited streaming plan, unlimited DVD plan, or both by visiting Your Account.
That sounds eerily like, “It’s my way, or the highway.”
Well, thanks to Netflix raising their prices 60% it’s going to cause people to look for alternatives to Netflix. I just resurrected my Hulu account that has sat dormant for a couple of years. I signed up for the service when it launched but didn’t find the service compelling. Now that I may be rethinking my choice of streaming video service, and the Hulu service is much more mature now, it may be a viable option. The price is the same $7.99 as Netflix and they have a large number of television shows and movies to choose from. Not as large as Netflix, but may be doable. The thing that will make it possible to switch will be the content for kids. Perusing the television shows I’m not seeing a lot of programming for children, except for Naruto.
I think Matthew Leech has a good plan for replacing the DVD portion of Netflix. I didn’t think about using those red kiosks at the grocery store. They rentals are only $1 (if you remember to return them the next day) and they have the latest DVDs there even before Amazon VOD. I’m still holding onto the idea that Amazon will bolster their streaming offerings with their Prime service as well. That along with the cheap or free shipping that comes with the service would work well for the family.
One bright spot in this whole thing is the fact that all three services, Netflix, Hulu/Hulu Plus and Amazon VOD/Prime are all services that are available on my Roku set-top box. Stay with Netflix, add Hulu Plus or dump them all. Any way I go, I’m covered. That’s refreshing not having to change out boxes and cables behind the entertainment center.
Meanwhile, I’m not making any decisions until August 31, 2011. At that time I’ll cancel the DVD service. Until that time though, I’m going to go on a DVD binge and catch up on the top 20 movies in my DVD queue.
Or, if you go back in time to the point that Netflix added streaming to the service ($7.99 then) they are effectively doubling the price for streaming and one DVD at a time.
Amazon Prime, and their one price for Prime shipping services and streaming, is starting to look more interesting. Prime is $79 per year or $6.58 per month. Assuming Amazon is aggressive in getting new streaming content this might be the place to look in the future.
In the meantime, I’ve had the same DVD at my house for roughly three weeks. Apparently the DVD service is not that important, but it was nice to have for those titles that don’t stream yet. I’m going to be sending that one back and going for the streaming only. I’ll rent new movies on Amazon VOD instead of getting them on DVD. Both services are available on the ROKU so I don’t have to choose just one.
It was inevitable. I received the following email today from Amazon informing me that the price of their Amazon Primewill go up from $79 to $99 per year.
Dear Russell Turley,
We are writing to provide you advance notice that the price of your Prime membership will be increasing. The annual rate will be $99 when your membership renews on August 28, 2014.
Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Since 2005, the number of items eligible for unlimited free Two-Day Shipping has grown from one million to over 20 million. We also added unlimited access to over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video and a selection of over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
For more information about your Prime membership, visit our Prime membership page.
The Amazon Prime Team
In a previous post I hinted that I may not renew the service based on the classification of items as Add-Ons. That has not been as big a problem as I envisioned then. I now buy enough through Amazon that when I want to purchase an item designated as an Add-on, I have more in my cart that meets the requirement. It does still bug though. It is nice that a full five months before my service renews that I’m getting notice. Though, I would probably forget about the increase in price by then and rail about not being notified. This post should stop that.
Their reasons for increasing the cost, their increasing costs to provide the service, is reasonable.
With the increase, Amazon Prime is now $8.25 per month. If you are only using Amazon Primefor the movie and TV service, then you are now paying more than you would be for Netflix. For breadth of shows Amazon still pales in comparison to Netflix, except in one area, new TV shows and movies. Shows that are currently running on cable channels, like one of my favorite cancelled shows Psych, are available to purchase the day after they air on their channel. It’s a nice feature that Netflix doesn’t offer. If you don’t want to wait for the latest season to be available on Prime or Netflix for no additional cost, you have that option.
Streaming video aside, we subscribe and get batteries, toilet paper, etc. delivered regularly, and I am always reading some borrowed Kindle book on the Kindle or other tablet. I’d say that I’m getting my $8.25 worth and then some every month so the increase is not causing me to jump ship.
Are you going to dump Amazon Prime because of the price increase?
People are always asking me if this tech gift or that geek gift is right for their significant other. The one rule that I try to follow is this, “most electronics are crap”. This is particularly true for many of the gifts that are marketed for “the geek in your life” around the holiday season. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of 5 Gifts that I’d love to get myself this year.
1. Roku 3 Streaming Media Player– It’s a set-top box that has the best interface of any similar device I’ve ever used. These features are supposedly built into many Smart TVs, but the one thing they get all wrong is the interface. Roku gets it right. Netflix, check. Amazon, check. Every other streaming service, check.
2.Motorola Moto G – 16GB– The Moto G, due to be released on December 4th, is a great way to give a new Android smartphone to your luvva without chaining them to a two-year commitment. It has much in common with its big brother Moto X, but for less than $200 it’s a stupendous deal.
3.Kindle Fire HDX 7″/ Google Nexus 7– Everyone wants a tablet, even if they don’t need one. They are one of the hottest tech gifts period. The reason for calling out both, rather than just the Nexus 7 is whether or not you are into Amazon Instant Video streaming. If you’re a fan of that service then the tablet to get is the Fire, otherwise I would get the Nexus 7. It is a quick tablet with a fabulous display. I would also skip the 10″ version of any tablet. They’re just too darn big.
4.Amazon Prime– If you are receiving a constant stream of purchase from Amazon, there’s a good chance that you are already an Amazon Prime member, but how about your father-in-law. The impossible to buy for father-in-law. He could use Prime as well. Not only do you get free 2-day shipping on a significant percentage of items in the Amazon store, but you also get to stream all the available Instant Video choices that are included as part of the subscription.
5.Lenovo IdeaPad S400– The ultimate Christmas gift, a new laptop computer. My recommendation is one of the Lenovo IdeaPad models. They have plenty of power, plus they have touch screens. That way when you reach out and interact with the computer with your finger, it will actually respond.
Now, you may be asking, where are all the Apple products? Back at the store where they belong. I can’t in good conscience ask anyone to buy Apple products where you get less for your money and are locked in with a company that only wants to extract every last cent it can out of the consumer. If you are into Apple products, move on and God help you.
One last piece of advice, skip the extended warranty on your devices. They are unnecessary most times and when/if it does become necessary to replace the device you won’t want to have it replaced with the same old many year-old tech.
If you’ve been a backer of Netflix, you’ve probably backed the wrong horse. One year ago they looked invincible. I was happily getting one DVD at a time, streaming on my two Roku units and loving life. Flash forward to today and I’ve cancelled the DVD service because of the price hike and now I will be limited to one streaming show at time. You heard that right. If the linked article is correct, and I haven’t done my due diligence in this regard, then it’s the beginning of the end.
Netflix was a service that was truly a good deal. I bought into the streaming service early even when there was little to watch. It got better and better and now apparently they think that they’re untouchable. No one has created a credible alternative at this point. I’ve read that a streaming service will be created and marketed under the Blockbuster brand, but haven’t seen the details yet. I’ve taken a look at the other alternatives and they all leave a lot to be desired. So, what does Netflix do? Bilk the consumer out of more and more money. Shame on you Netflix!
I’ve yet to see this one stream limit manifest itself at my home, but the day it does we’re going to have some seriously sad children. While there is no alternative to the Netflix streaming service right, I’m not going to stand by and be given less and less for the same price I’ve been paying. Seriously, this completely stinks of our local cable company taking away my channels at the same time raising my rate. That was the whole reason I cut the cord in the first place.
I was reminded of the VUDU service today. VUDU is a streaming service that lets you rent or buy movies and TV shows and streams them to you. They started out life as a dedicated box you would purchase that had a portion of the movies on their service cached on the internal hard drive. The movie would start right away and then stream from there. Nowadays they are strictly a software company. On your computer you can rent movies for $2 and have access to them for 2 days. Good deal.
And here’s the best part. According to their website, you can get movies the same day that they are released on DVD. No more 28 day Netflix penalty.
And here’s the worst part. Television shows. The catalog of available television shows, especially children and family programming is anemic at best.
VUDU is built into numerous web connected devices , Blu-ray players, HDTVs, and the PS3.
So, this seems like a killer combo for streaming content: Netflix Streaming – $7.99/Mo. and VUDU for new DVD release access, a-la-carte pricing. I just need a way to get VUDU content on my TV.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see a VUDU channel on my Roku.