There was a time where my roommates and I were pretty hardcore Netflix junkies. We rented a ton of movies, I used the streaming service to expose myself to new shows, and, tried as we might, we could never get our queue under 150 items at any given point. For reasons of his own, my roommate let the account lapse and we all moved on.
Well, I decided to get back into the Netflix game. With a 30-day free trial and stuff that I started watching but never got to finish, I figured, why not? I remembered the huge kerfluffle when Netflix tried to split streaming and DVD services, not to mention increasing the price in order to keep access to both, but had heard that they had backed down from that planned setup.
As it turns out, they went and did it anyway. While the 8 bucks a month subscription is still available, it’s for streaming only. If you want DVD’s, you need to double down. They are a business after all and they need to make a system that turns a profit, but I can’t help but wonder how well this works.
If people do use one service more than the other, it’s nice to have the option of just utilizing one instead of paying extra for a service that you don’t use, but they only offer streaming initially and offer DVDs as an extra. What if you just want to rent DVD’s but have no interest in streaming? Shouldn’t a “DVD only” option be available as well? I wonder.
For me, stream only works just fine. I was going to watch the stuff on my computer anyway and this just saves me the hassle of dealing with all of those pieces of paper that you tear off in order to get the envelope ready to ship back. You have no idea how quickly those things pile up.
Having the “stream only” service also gives me free reign on what to watch as opposed to having to wait for a disc to be in stock or dealing with slow transportation.
There are some downsides, however. While the amount of streaming content offered by Netflix seems abundant when it acts as a supplement to the DVD material, on its own, it’s surprisingly scarce. You’ll find that a lot of the stuff that you search for will come up as only available in hard format. It’s surprising, as the idea seemed to be to put more of a focus on streaming content.
Even if something is available to stream online, there’s no guarantee that it will stay there. I’ve come across a few instances where something that I had queued for instant streaming was no longer available. Again, when streaming was only meant to supplement the discs, this wasn’t that big a deal, but when you’re signed on for streaming only, it can be vexing.
It’s fair to say that this new system is still in the experimental stage. While many protested, if done well, the plan could work out for everyone. As it is, it has its benefits, but there are some definite kinks that need to be worked out.