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Old 09-05-2004, 11:32 AM   #1 (Print)
Leo Valiant
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Netflix, TiVo to Unveil Partnership

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040905/nysu012_2.html

"the companies refused to comment on what one called rumor, one insider, who was close to the negotiations, says the straightforward partnership is all but a done deal, pending only the approval of the TiVo board this week"
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Old 09-05-2004, 11:36 AM   #2 (Print)
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Old 09-05-2004, 12:39 PM   #3 (Print)
Zevida
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That's pretty awesome. I've been mulling getting a NetFlix account. I think I'll wait and see how this plays out before I make a decision.
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Old 09-05-2004, 01:02 PM   #4 (Print)
mikey94025
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How is this good for customers in the short term?

Netflix is great. Tivo is great. I have both.

I understand why this is good for Netflix (no postal fees) and good for Tivo (more utility in their box/service).

But in the short term, when my 802.11b wirelessly connected Tivo boxes cannot transfer SD-recorded shows in real time due to bandwidth limitations, how long will it take my Tivo box to download and/or stream DVD-quality material and how much of my Tivo storage will it consume? It seems that I will have a drop in quality (certainly people with non-DVD Tivo boxes won't have component output) and/or there will be considerable latency required for the transfer. I also watch my Netflix DVDs in multiple locations at once (e.g. start watching during dinner in the kitchen, and then move to another room with a larger TV and shake-the-house sound).

This is something that will ultimately come and makes sense to start trying out, but in the short term the consumer experience will be inferior. The concept seems to require higher bandwidth within the household and also higher bandwidth into the house than conventional DSL/cable modem before true "video on demand" can occur.
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Old 09-05-2004, 01:27 PM   #5 (Print)
Leo Valiant
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Re: How is this good for customers in the short term?

Quote:
Originally posted by mikey94025
how long will it take my Tivo box to download and/or stream DVD-quality material

I don't know if it was just speculation of the writer, but the article said "The downloads will likely take several hours."

I'd like to know just how many downloads they'll allow a month. I can't imagine they'll stick to the unlimited for $21.99 a month when your movies will arrive in hours instead of days.
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Old 09-05-2004, 01:30 PM   #6 (Print)
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Another aspect of this business model that will cause problems will be the ISP's that provide broadband service. I have Comcast, and I know they will suspend accounts that use to much bandwidth a month downloading. I am curious how many DVD movies you can download and not have your service suspended.
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Old 09-05-2004, 01:44 PM   #7 (Print)
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I remember reading an article about Comcast threatening to suspend some chap's account because of 'excessive' bandwidth usage. The specifically quoted Comcast as saying he was downloading the equivalent of 2 or 3 DVD's worth of data per day. The guy said he was exchanging movies with friends overseas.

Too bad Tivo doesn't support MPEG-4.
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Old 09-05-2004, 01:54 PM   #8 (Print)
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I found it interesting that the article said that cable companies would be under pressure not to cut folks off for fear that they would migrate to DSL. INTERESTING.
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Old 09-05-2004, 02:32 PM   #9 (Print)
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Re: How is this good for customers in the short term?

Quote:
Originally posted by mikey94025
It seems that I will have a drop in quality (certainly people with non-DVD Tivo boxes won't have component output) and/or there will be considerable latency required for the transfer...The concept seems to require higher bandwidth within the household and also higher bandwidth into the house than conventional DSL/cable modem before true "video on demand" can occur.
I don't think this is attempting to be a VOD system. It's just making NetFlix over the internet act just like another TV channel. You schedule a recording at one point, and at some point later on (after it's been recorded) you get to watch it - with all of the trick play features.

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Old 09-05-2004, 03:50 PM   #10 (Print)
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Re: Re: How is this good for customers in the short term?

Quote:
Originally posted by mjh
I don't think this is attempting to be a VOD system. It's just making NetFlix over the internet act just like another TV channel. You schedule a recording at one point, and at some point later on (after it's been recorded) you get to watch it - with all of the trick play features.


I don't really think it will work like a scheduled recording. I assume that the movies will be downloaded in the background over several hours while your TiVo goes about its' normal business.

Ideally it would work very similar to NetFlix in that after you watch and delete one of your movies the next one on your list would start downloading. Of course I really have no idea, but this just seems to be the logical way to me.

-Dylan
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Old 09-05-2004, 04:14 PM   #11 (Print)
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I don't think this is attempting to be a VOD system. It's just making NetFlix over the internet act just like another TV channel. You schedule a recording at one point, and at some point later on (after it's been recorded) you get to watch it - with all of the trick play features.

Of course it will download in the background. He meant that to the end user, it will appear to work like television recording, because there will probably be an estimated date/time when the movie will be available for the user. However, they aren't going to stream 100,000 movies at once; to save bandwidth and minimize bandwidth costs, they'll almost certainly queue the downloads. Most downloads will probably occur during late night and early morning hours, so they don't interfere with web browsing, etc.

I expect there will be be a significant drop off in quality from DVD, because they are unlikely to download at full 6-10Mbps DVD bit rates, and most Tivos don't have component connections or 480p output. VOD on cable typically uses 3-4Mbps, so we can probably expect that level of quality or less.

Last edited by bkdtv : 09-05-2004 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 09-05-2004, 04:24 PM   #12 (Print)
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This is VERY cool news. I hope it's the entire Netflix catalog... this would be perfect for TV series on DVD instead of having to get them in the mail. Because usually I don't want to watch them right away so I'll record the DVD's... but that's a pain. This way it's more like recorded-VOD but with a much bigger library!
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Old 09-05-2004, 04:38 PM   #13 (Print)
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Re: Re: How is this good for customers in the short term?

Quote:
Originally posted by mjh
I don't think this is attempting to be a VOD system. It's just making NetFlix over the internet act just like another TV channel. You schedule a recording at one point, and at some point later on (after it's been recorded) you get to watch it - with all of the trick play features.
My guess is that instead of another TV channel, NetFlix will appear as another (remote, big!) TiVo, and the MRV part of HMO will be used to bring the movie down. Thus it will interfere with other local MRV activities, but not with anything else. For those that don't like to wait, this may mean you can start viewing before it's finished downloading!

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Old 09-05-2004, 04:39 PM   #14 (Print)
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It would be convenient for some movies to just be able to download and watch them. But one thing a TIVO simply can not do that a DVD player can is 5.1 dolby digital or DTS surround sound.
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Old 09-05-2004, 04:41 PM   #15 (Print)
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Quote:
It would be convenient for some movies to just be able to download and watch them. But one thing a TIVO simply can not do that a DVD player can is 5.1 dolby digital or DTS surround sound.

Agreed. Netflix w/ Tivo would be more comparable to VCR tapes (lower video quality and no 5.1 sound) than DVDs.

I think it was a mistake for Tivo not to offer digital audio output or component connections on its newest silver Series2 Tivos. The lack of those two connections greatly limits the appeal of a Netflix-type service.
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Old 09-05-2004, 07:35 PM   #16 (Print)
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Right now I can mail a DVD to Netflix on Monday and have the replacement on Wednesday. And the discs are, of course, in full DVD audio and video resolution with whatever extras (commentaries, etc.) are included.

The same movie stored on my standalone TiVo would have less resolution, more compression artifacts, stereo sound, and no extras.

So Netflix-via-TiVo is certainly not something I'd pay extra for.

However, if it were included with my existing subscriptions, I could see it as a *very* useful way to sample TV series on DVD; download the first four episodes of a series I've never seen and watch them at my convenience. Great way to catch up on series I missed, like I'm doing right now with Alias on DVD.

But not if it would count against my three checked-out discs. If it did, I'd rather have the discs and wait an extra day.

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Old 09-05-2004, 08:04 PM   #17 (Print)
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I wonder how the performance will be? Will Netflix still allow for unlimited movies? Some questions still need to be answered...

http://www.tivoblog.com/index.php/a...il-partnership/

Alex

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Old 09-05-2004, 08:06 PM   #18 (Print)
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I understand how people are concerned with the quality however; doesn't the convenience out way the fact that the quality won't be as good? I know that for me personally, this is the case...

Alex

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Old 09-05-2004, 08:17 PM   #19 (Print)
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one of the reasons I jumped on the 99$ Toshiba SD H400 deal was the component out and Digital sound out in anticipation of this day.

PS TiVo anounced around the time of the whole DirectTV stock sell off it would have this internet download out around Early 2005. Looks like they are on track
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Old 09-05-2004, 08:37 PM   #20 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by raianoat
I understand how people are concerned with the quality however; doesn't the convenience out way the fact that the quality won't be as good? I know that for me personally, this is the case...

Alex


For me too.

It's a disposable movie. It doesn't need to be perfect. Just watchable. Then delete. If I want a better copy to keep, I'll buy one.
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Old 09-05-2004, 10:36 PM   #21 (Print)
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Hope I'm not the first to ask this question, but does anybody know if those of us without HMO (i.e., DirecTV subscribers) will have access to this opportunity?

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Old 09-05-2004, 10:44 PM   #22 (Print)
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TiVo will make money out of this deal.

Not just by increasing its competitive advantages over ReplayTV or other DVR vendors. My guess is that they will add a small fee for each movie that is requested by the customer. Or they could make NetflixTiVo a higher level of service that people would have to sign up for and pay an extra 5 or 10 bucks a month which would be a good deal considering Netflix costs 22 bucks a month. We shall soon see, all we could do now is speculate.

PS. I think this service will probably be more for the people that want to watch movies right away instead of waiting for a couple of days, they probably won't care that the quality of the download isn't as good as DVD. To tell you the truth image quality isn't a big selling point for me, just as long as the TV isn't showing snow, or isn't showing double vision I'm fine with it. Thats why I'll probably be the last person in the world to own an HDTV set. I've seen the difference between HDTV and regular TV and I don't get what all the buzz is about. Sure the picture looks great but it just isn't worth spending thousands of dollars to get new equipment just to see a clearer picture. Now when they come out with a TV that has smellovision or something like that, then I'll be one of the first to buy it. : D

PSS. My cable modem has an average speed of 3.2 MBits per second, so if you think about it, all it would take is 10 minutes to download the first 10 to 20 minutes of the movie and then you can start watching it while it is downloading the rest. So in this case it would just take minutes to watch a movie you order. Better then waiting days.
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Old 09-05-2004, 10:46 PM   #23 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by cwoody222
For me too.

It's a disposable movie. It doesn't need to be perfect. Just watchable. Then delete. If I want a better copy to keep, I'll buy one.


Why do you think the quality will be poor? If the movies are encoded using VBR at decent bit rates there's no reason they shouldn't look pretty good. Directv PPV on a DTivo looks pretty darn good. Granted downloading a 1.5GB-2GB movie will take a pretty long time.

My questions are will they be anamorphic and if they are does Tivo have the circuitry necessary to perform the letterbox down conversion? If the Tivo doesn't maybe they will have two different versions and the Tivo will download the right one depending on a "TV type" setting in the software. Similar to the setting on a DTivo- 16:9 or 4:3.

There is no chance in hell that I will pay for a movie that isn't at the very least letterboxed.

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Old 09-05-2004, 10:57 PM   #24 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by serumgard
Hope I'm not the first to ask this question, but does anybody know if those of us without HMO (i.e., DirecTV subscribers) will have access to this opportunity?


It's a competitor to DirecTV pay-per-view, although it obviously could potentially offer a much larger library than DirecTV. It could depend on if it fits in DirecTV's business model (ie, would they get a cut of the action), and the general question about whether DirecTV will ever allow any of the networking features.

BTW, the TiVo beta questionnaire has been updated with a question that asks "where do you rent movies from", and one of the options is "by mail". guess you know how you want to answer that one if you want to test this feature when it comes out...
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Old 09-06-2004, 12:07 AM   #25 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by gtrogue
Why do you think the quality will be poor? If the movies are encoded using VBR at decent bit rates there's no reason they shouldn't look pretty good. Directv PPV on a DTivo looks pretty darn good. Granted downloading a 1.5GB-2GB movie will take a pretty long time.

My questions are will they be anamorphic and if they are does Tivo have the circuitry necessary to perform the letterbox down conversion? If the Tivo doesn't maybe they will have two different versions and the Tivo will download the right one depending on a "TV type" setting in the software. Similar to the setting on a DTivo- 16:9 or 4:3.

There is no chance in hell that I will pay for a movie that isn't at the very least letterboxed.


I have no reason to THINK the quality might be poor.

I was just responding to the other post about IF the quality was poor. IF that's the case, I don't care.

If it's not the case; even better!
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Old 09-06-2004, 04:39 AM   #26 (Print)
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DD 5.1 (AC-3)

DD 5.1 issue is going to be the problem IMHO.
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Old 09-06-2004, 11:09 AM   #27 (Print)
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Questions about the Neflix/Tivo deal

My curiosity on this subject...

1. Will this work on a Series 2, or will there be a new Series 3 to handle this option? There's been a lot of discounts and rebates lately - I wondering if they're blowing out the Series 2's in anticipation of a Series 3? Either way, I'll still have to upgrade - I've still got a S1 since I think the picture quality is better in basic recording modes than the S2.

2. Will the Netflix download option be a monthly fee of ~$20/month for unlimited? Or will it be pay-per-view?

3. How many Netflix titles will we be able to have on our TiVo at one time. 3 or more like the mail service - or just 1?

4. Will it be the entire Netflix catalog? I've been enjoying the TV shows now available on DVD lately. It would be nice to order up Season 1 of Happy Days on my TiVo whenever I feel like it.
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Old 09-06-2004, 11:11 AM   #28 (Print)
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Re: DD 5.1 (AC-3)

Quote:
Originally posted by topcats69
DD 5.1 issue is going to be the problem IMHO.


The movie could include DD 5.1 but, again, you're talking about file sizes in the 1.5GB - 2GB range for any type of decent quality.

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Old 09-06-2004, 11:14 AM   #29 (Print)
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Wouldn't this mean less (wholesale) DVD sales to Netflix? Certainly the movie companies won't like that.

And, even if there are copyright protection at our level, wouldn't Netflix/TiVo be making 1 digital copy of the movie to send to us? Isn't that a violation of the DMCA?
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Old 09-06-2004, 11:27 AM   #30 (Print)
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Wouldn't this mean less (wholesale) DVD sales to Netflix? Certainly the movie companies won't like that


They don't care; they would be getting a cut of every rental, like they do already, and with less cost since they don't have to make, store, & ship discs. Netflix already has revenue sharing agreements with most major studios so they get cut rate on the DVDs in exchange for a slice of the rental money. Netflix certainly can't simply copy DVDs & transmit them over the internet legally, without studio consent. They'll have contracts in place with the studios.
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