Jeff Epler's blog

31 March 2009, 22:02 UTC

Netflix 'Watch Instantly' problems

Netflix has gotten a lot of praise for a polished experience using their website. Well, "Watch Instantly" could benefit from some polish.
  • No Linux support
  • .. in fact, Microsoft Silverlight is now a requirement on Windows, so you can see who they're in bed with
  • .. which turns out to be such a dog that it can't run in virtualbox without maxing out the CPU and dropping frames (on a Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz with 960x600 display resolution)
  • No subtitles or closed captions available
  • No choice of audio languages
  • "Buffering"? What is this, realaudio in the year 1999? (of course, network logging shows the problem is remote, not local)
  • .. and after buffering, which can take several minutes, it goes directly back to "play" regardless of whether you've walked away
  • .. the play/pause button is not available during buffering to avoid this
  • .. and if you walk away for too long with the video paused, it chews you out for it
  • .. hitting reload may not actually take you back to where you were, despite the onscreen promise that it will. (this happens when you've navigated to a different episode of a series with the next/previous buttons)
  • Every seek requires buffering again
  • .. even if that segment of the video is already watched or is in the preloaded grey bar
  • The Windows screensaver activates while watching the video
  • .. and on deactivation, the player leaves fullscreen mode (only in virtualbox)
  • Inactive buttons (such as play/pause during buffering) are indistinguishable from non-hovered buttons (such as fullscreen)
  • Video quality is about on-par with a mediore divx rip, not with dvd (on a 3.0mbps connection)


28 August 2007, 1:44 UTC

Bye Bye Gamefly

With 3 days left in my billing cycle, I finally got around to cancelling gamefly. Instead I'll start heading to the local used games store...


26 July 2007, 16:23 UTC

gamefly: it's no netflix

I bought a wii a few months ago. Keeping in mind that most games are duds, and because I've enjoyed video rentals through netflix, I decided to sign up for gamefly since it sounded like "netflix for video games".

Well, the reality is that gamefly is no netflix. Let me list some of the shortcomings:

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29 June 2005, 2:41 UTC

So I got a netflix subscription...

Partly due to that little bit of guilt I felt about regularly bittorrenting a few TV shows, I recently became a Netflix subscriber.

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