WAAAAIIITT!! Just wait a second and read this before you dive (back) into Netflix.
I am recently trying to recreate my first impression of Netflix by answering one of the many emails I receive with a free 30-day (re)trial. I was a previous member and canceled during the Netflix bloom around 2005. With the recent addition to the XBox 360, I thought I would jump back in. After all, $9 after the free trial may be worth it. We will see….
Immediately, I created my account, picked up my XBox controller and began utilizing the new streaming access control panel named “Instant Queue”. This is similar to the Rental Queue basic users are comfortable with but you can watch the movies/shows instantly. What a great idea! Nope. Wrong. Not even close.
The catalog of movies looks like the pool of videos in the middle isles of a Movie Gallery. You know, the ones you wade through to get to the new releases hanging on the walls. The 1980-1990’s cinema hits blend themselves into categories like Drama, Comedy and Thriller with a few more recent films, but not many. I scan and scan only to find each category holds only 100 movies. Yeah…. 100. To make things worse, I see movies I love and always remember as part of my childhood. I start remembering tag lines that still get laughs and the great 80’s sobbing teenage love films that made almost every encounter with the opposite sex awkward for my generation. This is bad because even though I love these movies, I don’t have time to sit through “The Neverending Story” and watch Bastian fly the winged dog creature around Fantastica in an effort find his lost memories. I want new movies and I want them now.
It never happens.
After a couple of days of perusing several hundred out-dated movies, I am beginning to realize that even the good movies that Netflix offers as New Releases are old (online). I’ve seen them already or they are on TNT on Sunday, already. Further digging turns up another interesting detail Netflix didn’t make very clear. When I try and select my 1 DVD rental and add it to my snail mail queue. the newest releases (the DVD’s that released yesterday) aren’t available for me to rent either or they are just hard to find. This is a tough situation. I have nothing to rent that is recent and my Instant Queue looks like a old film strip from my childhood, or what I remember from it!
One gem does rise from the plethora of 80’s and 90’s movies and that is the TV show archive. It’s just like the movie queue and you can hold them there for extended periods (I think!). So, what do you think is in my TV Show queue? Well, of course, “The Office”, “Dexter” and freaking “Law & Order”. That’s about all they have that interests me. All my queued shows but one are syndicated and air for 2-3 hours a day. Not worth $9 a month.
My expectations were high, as usual, and Netflix is obviously doing what they can for a meager $9 a month. I don’t blame them. This is a choice of apathy. It’s a trade off between having access to things you don’t really want/need and not having access to things you want/need. On the other hand, we can keep our status quo and continuing wanting the things we ‘think’ we need and leave Netflix for the quantity lovers. I want quality….and now.
Yeah, that sounds about right…
PS – Check out Zune. Latest everything (movies/shows/cartoons) but it costs, so be careful…