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Snoopy
06-09-2010, 12:57 PM
I'm starting a new thread because I felt that I had overtaken the other thread with my Netflix/Roku questions :)

Thanks, Brandi, for sending me the info I had requested from you :)

I'm trying to convince my husband that we want to buy a Roku player to be able to do the Netflix Streaming and also the Amazon on Demand on the TV but I have several questions myself. Any help or feedback would be appreciated.

1) The Netflix site "browsing" catalog is very underwhelming. Surely those are not the only selections offered, RIGHT? I've had to research movies or shows by typing in the actual title and of the ones I would like to see streaming, very few are available. Spartacus (the older version), for example, is not available via streaming. Amazon has it for $2.99 though. I can get it for free from the library or Blockbuster (I have a coupon via the Blockbuster Rewards program) but I have to drive there to get it and return it. Does anyone have a link to a page that would list ALL the movies/shows available via streaming?

2) Which educational shows have you watched via the Streaming option? I see that they have Mythbusters. They have one documentary on Ancient Egypt engineering. Beyond that, I haven't found anything worth the monthly fee, actually, but maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture?

3) Is the 1-at-a-time option the only one they have right now?

4) Do they offer the latest releases via mail or are they stuck having to wait 30 days to offer them? I thought I had read that in the news recently.

TIA!

warramra
06-09-2010, 01:19 PM
I'm starting a new thread because I felt that I had overtaken the other thread with my Netflix/Roku questions :)

Thanks, Brandi, for sending me the info I had requested from you :)

I'm trying to convince my husband that we want to buy a Roku player to be able to do the Netflix Streaming and also the Amazon on Demand on the TV but I have several questions myself. Any help or feedback would be appreciated.

1) The Netflix site "browsing" catalog is very underwhelming. Surely those are not the only selections offered, RIGHT? I've had to research movies or shows by typing in the actual title and of the ones I would like to see streaming, very few are available. Spartacus (the older version), for example, is not available via streaming. Amazon has it for $2.99 though. I can get it for free from the library or Blockbuster (I have a coupon via the Blockbuster Rewards program) but I have to drive there to get it and return it. Does anyone have a link to a page that would list ALL the movies/shows available via streaming?

The instant viewing catalog is not as complete as the DVD catalog. I think that has to do with copyrights and permissions. Each week more and more movies/TV shows have been added. The Starz Play also has a long list of movies available through them, but some with a limited time of instant viewing availability. The best way to find out if they have something is to type in the title or subject. Overall, compared to Blockbuster Online (which we used to use) the documentary listing is better on Netflix.

2) Which educational shows have you watched via the Streaming option? I see that they have Mythbusters. They have one documentary on Ancient Egypt engineering. Beyond that, I haven't found anything worth the monthly fee, actually, but maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture?

I think it depends on what is considered educational. We've watched some nature shows, a documentary on the Jewish People, an episode of "30 Days" on Living on Minimum Wage, movies like "The Last Emperor". The preschoolers have enjoyed it catching up with Dora, Diego and other old favorites since we no longer have cable. The older kids and I loved being able to watch the last chapter of Avatar: The Last Airbender, since we missed that too.

3) Is the 1-at-a-time option the only one they have right now?

They also have 2 DVDs at-a-time, 3DVDs at-a-time, and 4 DVDs at-a-time. I just recently dropped back to the 1 DVD option to save a couple of dollars.

4) Do they offer the latest releases via mail or are they stuck having to wait 30 days to offer them? I thought I had read that in the news recently.

Recent releases are available via mail as soon as they are released. I do not think they are available for instant streaming for 30 days. I'm going to time returning my next batch so that we hopefully will receive 'Invictus' as soon as it is available on 6/15.

TIA!

I love having this option, but we also don't have cable so it has given us the options to catch somewhat recent cable shows we used to watch. I've also used to introduce dd10 to some modern classics that she hears referenced in culture (Driving Miss Daisy, Forest Gump, Steel Magnolias). It isn't only an educational tool for us. We already had the Wii, so $9/month is great!

Amy

Busygoddess
06-09-2010, 02:05 PM
If you haven't signed up for Netflix yet, you aren't able to see their full selection library. Once you have an acct (even if it's a free trial) you'll have a tab at the top of the page that will take you to all the instant watch options, organized by category.
Just to give you an example of what's currently available for instant viewing, here are some things we currently have in our instant queue:
MythBusters
several IMAX documentaries - Beavers; Dolphins; Coral Reefs; The Living Sea; Storm Chasers; The Magic of Flight, and more
Ken Burns:The War
Shark Week
Ken Burns:The Civil War
Riddles of the Sphinx:NOVA
Building Pharaoh's Ship:NOVA
Deep Sea Detective:Mystery U-Boat of WWI
Jim Henson's the Storyteller: Greek Myths
Walking With Dinosaurs
Cosmos: The Complete Collection
Ancient Mysteries: UFOs: The First Encounter
biographies on several people - Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; George Washington, etc

We have stuff form the History channel, Discovery channel, PBS, Biography channel, A&E
We also have movies for school - Of Mice & Men (with Gary Sinise), Taming of the Shrew (with Elizabeth Taylor), Death of a Salesman, A Doll's House, etc

Unfortunately, not everything is available to watch instantly. Some things you have to get the DVD. The DVDs come quickly. They send you an email letting you know what DVD they're sending (you can change the order of DVDs in your queue). It only takes a day or two to get the DVDs. I looked up Spartacus; there's a TV show called Spartacus that is available for streaming, but the 1960 movie with Kirk Douglas you'd have to get the DVD.

They have several options available. Our plan is the 2 DVDs at a time Unlimited. We can get as many DVDs as we want (just 2 out at a time, but there's no monthly limit) & watch as much instanly as we want. I think we pay $13-14 a month.

I'm not sure how long they have to wait to release new movies. They do list things, that aren't available yet, that you can save. Then, they'll be added to your queue as soon as they are available.

I hope this answered some of your questions.

Marmalade
06-09-2010, 02:20 PM
They have the new releases available usually on the same day that the movie is released-I haven't actually come across one that wasn't available on it's release date but I say "usually" to be on the safe side.

There are long waits for hot movies though. You may not be able to get a movie like "Avatar" the day after it's released because everyone else in the world wants to see it...but you might find you have a ton of other movies in your queue to keep you waiting.

I suggest signing up for the free trial-I don't remember if it's two weeks or one month-but I really don't think you'd find yourself disappointed in the $9.99 option.

werus
06-09-2010, 03:03 PM
instantwatcher.com lists all the netflix titles currently available via streaming in much nicer format than what the netflix page has.

callie
06-09-2010, 03:28 PM
I wasn't that impressed with the selection, but I was not looking for educational movies. The quality of streaming through our Wii was great though. You have to wait the 30 days to get new releases, this was the main reason we canceled. I figured my DH could stop at Redbox on his way home when the new ones came out. We had the 3-at-a-time plan, but there at the end we were only getting 2-3 movies a month. That wasn't acceptable to my cheap ways, so now we are spending $3-$4 a month instead of the $19 for Netflix.

HTH

Snoopy
06-09-2010, 06:23 PM
Thanks everyone, that's wonderful info. Callie, you know you and I are cheap sisters in spirit, lol! We have a Blockbuster Express kiosk 5 min down the road so I've been using that mostly, and the library. I got to the Blockbuster B&M a couple of times a month at the most but there are been months when we didn't get any movies whatsover. I have the Rewards card which gives me a free rental each month and other perks so I usually get the movies pretty cheap, but since it's about 10 miles from my house, it's a trek to go return them. Up til this year my daughter's school was near it so it was a short trip out of my way to return them but starting this summer she won't be going there anymore so now it would really be out of my way.

Werus, thanks for the site, I'll check it out!

Marmalade, I researched that again and apparently there are 3 or 4 studios that struck a deal with Netflix that they wouldn't rent out any of their new releases for the 1st 30 days so as to increase the number of DVD sales. I can wait for the new releases, but the kids like to watch them when they first come out. During the school year, it's not really an issue because they don't have time to watch TV, but over the summer, they try to catch up! It'd be nice for them if they could just pick a movie to watch when they're done with their homework.

Brandi, thanks for all the information, especially what's in your queue :) I'm relieved that they have more than meets the eye. I wonder why they wouldn't let everyone see what their selection is, that sounds like a screwy marketing practice to me. In any case, thanks for reassuring me!

Well, I'm off to check out instantwatcher and make a list of what I'd lilke to get for school. Greg is also questioning the wisdom of doing this since our cable provider has already made noise about increasing monthly fees for folks who stream a lot of movies but they won't really tell us what "a lot" is. Of course, he plays games online, which I think uses bandwidth as well, but he's not questioning THAT, lol.

Snoopy
06-09-2010, 06:48 PM
instantwatcher.com lists all the netflix titles currently available via streaming in much nicer format than what the netflix page has. YES!! I'm able to sort by sub category too, which is great! There are tons of stuff we could watch for entertainment and I haven't even looked at the educational stuff yet :) This is awesome, thanks. Now to convince my hubby!

Edited to add: And they have Columbo! COLUMBO! My favorite series, lol. I don't know if I should tell Greg or not. I finally weaned myself off HGTV and Bravo, not sure if he's going to want me to be stuck to the TV watching Columbo, he he.

camaro
06-09-2010, 10:48 PM
I thought I'd point out for Canadians that there's a service called Zip.ca (http://www.zip.ca/) that functions in a similar wat to Netflix's DVD rental service. I've been considering signing up with them to replace our satellite TV service which I'm less than satisfied with lately. It appears they have a reasonable collection of educational DVDs in my brief exploration. Unfortunately as far as I know there's very little in the way of streaming services in Canada.

BPier12
06-09-2010, 11:27 PM
YES!! I'm able to sort by sub category too, which is great! There are tons of stuff we could watch for entertainment and I haven't even looked at the educational stuff yet :) This is awesome, thanks. Now to convince my hubby!

Edited to add: And they have Columbo! COLUMBO! My favorite series, lol. I don't know if I should tell Greg or not. I finally weaned myself off HGTV and Bravo, not sure if he's going to want me to be stuck to the TV watching Columbo, he he.

Ok, this is weird. I was JUST thinking about Columbo this evening and wondering if the shows were on Netflix! I must have been feeling your excitement halfway across the state ;)

Snoopy
06-10-2010, 01:43 AM
Ok, this is weird. I was JUST thinking about Columbo this evening and wondering if the shows were on Netflix! I must have been feeling your excitement halfway across the state ;) We keep discovering more and more things that we have in common. "If you like pina coladas..." lol. If you are thinking about Magnum PI too (ahhhh, Tom Selleck!) then that's it, I'm moving to Vero Beach :)

So I did fess up about Columbo to Greg but then I showed him all the war movies that he could watch and he didn't fight me too much. I even borrowed his credit card to pay for the Roku and the Netflix subscription. Brandi helped us save $20 on the Roku by referring us! I'm really excited about this. I put some movies in our queue so we can start getting the 1 DVD in the mail since the Roku will take a few days to get here and the free Netflix trial subscription is only 2 weeks (they offer 1 free month if you go directly on the Netflix site, but when we do it through the link to get the $20 off the Roku, the trial is only 2 weeks. Oh well!)

Noah had a blast watching Spartacus this afternoon (I got it free from Blockbuster B&M with my Blockbuster Rewards Card) so the first movie in the Netflix queue is Ben Hur.

pandahoneybee
06-10-2010, 07:34 AM
Hubby beat me to it, came home from getting some FREE flowers from another cool HS mom and there was the email saying he had signed up;)

Topsy
06-10-2010, 10:07 AM
One good purchase we made - - as an alternative to a Roku Player - - was an LG Blu-Ray Player. Our DVD player died, and we had been hemming and hawing over whether to get Blu-Ray or not, but then we found out that a lot of LG Blu-Ray players also had Netflix capabilities (they also play YouTube, and CinemaNow). This has been a boon. We use it for Netflix instant watch a LOT, and then get to play our regular Netflix DVD's on there too! It was definitely a good investement.

BPier12
06-10-2010, 10:40 AM
We keep discovering more and more things that we have in common. "If you like pina coladas..." lol. If you are thinking about Magnum PI too (ahhhh, Tom Selleck!) then that's it, I'm moving to Vero Beach :)

"and gettin' caught in the rain...". LOL!!! Sadly, I am not thinking about Magnum PI, although Mr. Selleck certainly is easy on the eyes, but that should not prevent you from contemplating a life-altering, completely disruptive move to Vero! :D

paganmomblog
06-10-2010, 03:47 PM
One good purchase we made - - as an alternative to a Roku Player - - was an LG Blu-Ray Player. Our DVD player died, and we had been hemming and hawing over whether to get Blu-Ray or not, but then we found out that a lot of LG Blu-Ray players also had Netflix capabilities (they also play YouTube, and CinemaNow). This has been a boon. We use it for Netflix instant watch a LOT, and then get to play our regular Netflix DVD's on there too! It was definitely a good investement.

So do you have to have a HD tv for a Blu Ray? We have a 15 yo tv and no plans to get a new one as it still works very well. I talked to hubs about Roku because it's under $100 and something we could afford, not sure I can talk him into the blu-ray though lol.

Dana
06-10-2010, 06:36 PM
You can do Netflix Streaming through the Wii and Xbox 360 as well.
They keep changing what's available streaming, so it'll be available for a while and then taken off at times.
Many IMAX movies are available via streaming.
We've also been watching Liberty's Kids streaming.

We had the 1 disc at a time, but we moved up to 2 since I started putting homeschool videos in our queue :)
They have Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts. Really neat!

Sarbare0704
06-10-2010, 07:36 PM
PS3 is also available. I love our netflix!

Snoopy
06-10-2010, 10:39 PM
We've also been watching Liberty's Kids streaming. They have Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts. Really neat! Ahhh cool! Thanks for the tips, I'm going to add them to our queue right now. Our Roku has shipped, I can't wait until it gets here. I thought the kids would be all excited to hear the news but the older ones have DVR and what not at their dad's so they were kind of blase. Noah doesn't get it but I know he'll love it once we have it because he is sick to death of the DVDs and videos that we have at home. So for now I'm the only one actually excited about this thing and I'm the one who watches movies and TV the least, lol.

Snoopy
06-12-2010, 11:09 PM
I got my Roku player today and I just set it up and Aimee and I are watching "Up". It's sooooooo cool, I'm so excited :)

dbmamaz
06-13-2010, 08:31 AM
Yay for netflix streaming! btw, my younger loved march of the penguins and the parrots of telegraph hill, and i cant remember what, but we did find one streaming video about human evolution. I've been more in to things like sam i am, and the entire first three seasons of bones. You know you can stream on your pc, too, right?

Snoopy
06-13-2010, 09:52 AM
You know you can stream on your pc, too, right? Yes, it occurred to me yesterday morning (before I checked the mail!) that I could do that so I set up my bored 14 year-old with it on his laptop. I thought he'd be watching movies all day but he only watched one, which actually made me happy ;) I'm enjoying my morning dose of Columbo as I check the blogs. If only Greg would get up and go get me doughnuts and the paper, this would be a perfect morning, lol.

dbmamaz
06-13-2010, 10:09 AM
My teen has been watching all the old cartoons he used to watch when we had cable and he was 6 . . . rug rats, spongebob, idk, a few others

jessicalb
06-13-2010, 10:12 AM
How fun Cara! We are huge Spongebob fans over here. :)

firefly
06-13-2010, 05:06 PM
I'm another huge Spongebob fan! We get 2 DVD's at a time & aim to average 4+ rentals per week by cleverly timing our watch / return cycle. This schedule would differ for everyone based on their mail delivery & proximity to a Netflix distribution hub. I still occasion Blockbuster Express & Redbox for new releases.

The educational vids are endless if you're a nerd like me w/ wide ranging tastes. I often get them mailed even if they're available streaming just so I can play them while I sleep. (Good for learning French, right?) There are so many I should start a separate post. Yep, just finished & the list is long.

How is your wireless reception & what type router do you use?

dbmamaz
06-13-2010, 05:26 PM
We're not big on new releases. In fact, hubby and I wanted to see Avatar but never got around to it - it just occurred to me to add it to our q lol. We've gotten an evolution series on disk, so far only the first one, but it was good.

We have verizon fios, and the router is actiontec MI424 maybe? I have been quite impressed with the reception with the Wii. Well, except there was some really old movie that was awful quality, I cant remember what. Maybe caveman or something like that.

We were doing a 1-2 day turnaround in house, until we got a movie we took forever to finish. The mail seems to be next day every time, here in Richmond, VA.

Snoopy
06-13-2010, 08:46 PM
My reception on the Roku is fine, although Greg was complaining that the speed of "Up" yesterday wasn't up to par. I didn't bother me or the kids though. The router is in the same room. It occurred to me that if I move the Roku to the TV the kids use most of the time, it probably won't get reception (the computer near that TV gets very poor wifi reception). Our router is a DLink DIR-655 and we have cable internet.

I didn't time my by mail DVD deal well at all. I had planned on having friends over on Tuesday afternoon to watch The Fantastic Mr. Fox with us (we love that movie, btw!), which isn't streamable. But then Noah and Greg wanted to watch Ben Hur this weekend so I put that #1 in my queue. I put it in the queue on Wednesday night and it got here on Friday. But they didn't watch it on Friday and then we were busy Saturday and Noah went to a sleepover and didn't come back until recently and now Greg is watching the NBA game. So I'm going to have to get The Fantastic Mr. Fox from the Blockbuster kiosk. Grrr. At least I have several codes for it (http://www.moneywisemoms.com/2010/06/free-movie-rentals-from-blockbuster.html), I hope one of them works...

We're thinking about upgrading Netflix to 2 at a time so at least 1 kid (or set of kids) can stream on their laptop while we stream on the Roku otherwise it's going to be complicated to time this (I'm cancelling my 2 stepdaughters' cell phone lines since their mother got them phones so it wouldn't really be an additionale expense...).

firefly
06-15-2010, 09:22 PM
We have a Wii & I bought all the stuff to go wireless from Best Buy - a Netgear Rangemax Dual Band router & a wireless adapter totaling over $300. The next day I happened to check Wal Mart & found I could have saved $100! I returned everything (unopened). I've never done that before - but was so furious w/ Best Buy. Now I'm waiting to go wireless until I decide on what new computer(s) to buy for the kids to h/s on.

We chose the 2 at a time Netflix rental b/c one is not enough & 3 is too many!

jessicalb
06-15-2010, 11:16 PM
My friend would like to say that Best Buy is always more expensive and you totally did the right think returning stuff and getting it someplace else. We always window shop there and go buy at other places. :)