News

Netflix removing features from streaming devices

Posted by: Dan at 1/20/2011 5:36 AM
I think that most of us would agree that we are on a path that will see the end of physical media eventually. Well, it appears that Netflix may have made a decision to try to hasten this process as they announced on their official blog yesterday that they will be discontinuing the ability to add DVDs to your Queue from streaming devices.

So your PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Blu-Ray players and Roku boxes (to name a few) look to have an update sometime in the future that will pull the “Add to DVD” feature out. The claim by Netflix is that they want to “concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly.” They also claim that it “ties up resources that are better used to improve the overall streaming functionality.”

While these claims may sound good on the surface, the reality is that Netflix’s streaming service pretty much stinks because the titles (what few there are) rarely are new and you usually have a small window of opportunity to stream them. If by making this change it adds more titles to streaming at a faster pace, then I am all for it. However, common sense says that yanking the “Add to DVD Queue” functionality from streaming devices will not help Netflix get video content to stream earlier in the process, nor will it improve the streaming functionality. It is literally such a small portion of the process (per Netflix’s own admission in the blog post) and is simply not directly related to either of the claims they offer up as an excuse.

As you can imagine, the response from customers has been negative to say the least. I think I have expressed my feelings above, but not for the reasons you may think. Although I personally never add DVDs to my Queue from anything other than my PC interface, I am sure there are a lot of people that ONLY use their streaming device as their main Netflix portal. But the fact that it is something I currently CAN do under the current fee structure and will have it removed without the fees going down (in fact, they recently raised their prices across the board) is another slap in the face to consumers getting less by paying more.

So what do you think, is this something that ticks you off or doesn’t really bother you?