LOS GATOS, California (AP) -- Netflix Inc. will start showing movies and TV episodes over the Internet this week, providing its subscribers with more instant gratification as the DVD-by-mail service prepares for a looming technology shift threatening its survival.
The Los Gatos-based company plans to unveil the new "Watch Now" feature Tuesday, but only a small number of its more than 6 million subscribers will get immediate access to the service, which is being offered at no additional charge.
Netflix expects to introduce the instant viewing system to about 250,000 more subscribers each week through June to ensure its computers can cope with the increased demand.
After accepting a computer applet that takes less than a minute to install, subscribers will be able to watch anywhere from six hours to 48 hours of material per month on an Internet streaming service that is supposed to prevent piracy.
The allotted viewing time will be tied to how much customers already pay for their DVD rentals. Under Netflix's most popular $17.99 monthly package, subscribers will receive 18 hours of Internet viewing time. (continued)
We like to watch our movies on the big screen, and I'm not hooking my laptop up to the big screen every time we wanna watch a movie. Oh wait, I can't because this only works on Window's OS:
We were supposed to receive The Illusionist on Thursday. It's now Tuesday. We still didn't receive it yet. This is supposed to be the replacement movie for Miami Vice, which we shipped back on January 3. We have since now sent back and received two other movies in the time it has taken for Netflix to receive Miami Vice, for us to report it missing, for them to send The Illusionist, and for us to report that film missing. I'm pissed off. If someone offered to send me a good present for switching to Blockbuster I'd probably do it. Anyone wanna offer me a good present?
And, this just in: Hay's parents, who live a few hours away from us, received four movies from Netflix last week. Effing a, b, c, and d.
Update: Thanks to Avi who recommended PlanetFeedback.com for filing a complaint with Netflix about this issue. We have decided to hold off sending the complaint via this site until the end of the week when we've had more of a chance to cool off. Netflix is now shipping Employee of the Month to replace The Illusionist. Since I am totally into watching stuff about store life right now this is a better movie choice for me anyway. (That sounds vague and weird, so I'll explain that 10 Items or Less and Illeana Douglas's celebrity grocery store webisodes are encouraging me to quit my job and work for a grocery store.)