In fact, I exclusively subscribe to their dvd service and have used it off and on for the past couple of years. Why would anyone still bother with dvd’s? Read on to find out.
Many of the dvd’s used by Netflix are the same as the titles sold in stores. That means that I get to go through all of the dvd extra’s that are available on the main dvd for many movies. That’s been changing recently with renting specific dvd’s but it hasn’t affected every available disc yet. Streaming can be a wonderful option, too bad it doesn’t allow for feature parity with dvd’s. Instead studio’s believe that it’s best to just remove features from the dvd’s to bring equality that way. Yay, equality by making everything duller!
2. Leisure Time Allowance
I’m often typing these articles in a limited work environment. Outside of that I don’t have much down time. I’m attending classes full time, have to deal with family matters and am just plain busy with many odd issues. having a few DVD’s readily available for the few hours that I actually get to myself throughout the week can be a godsend. No buffering, no need to check for wifi if I’m not home. Just pop in the disc and enjoy.
3. No Linux Support
Yep, there’s no official support for streaming on any Linux system. OMB Ubuntu! goes into the actual issues with more details but basically Netflix has used Silverlight which doesn’t have a proper drm (content protection) option available for Linux operating systems openly. Android phones and Chrome OS can run Netflix because their app’s are completely closed and they use hardware based drm. Still, with Netflix’s migration to HTML5 everyone believed that Linux would gain support due to it being an open format that’s implemented in every relevant Linux web browser.
We were wrong.
They just don’t seem to care. Linux doesn’t have a huge section of the market for desktop users but it is growing at an amazing pace. It has an awesome amount of potential that has brought the platform a ton of games via the Humble Bundles and the Valve Corporations Steam Linux Client. Do you want to hear the best part? It would cost nearly nothing to support Linux users. All of the tech needed is already available and being used. There isn’t any reason not to support Linux from a technical standpoint.
It’s not like companies will sell boxes running Linux without properly licensing Netflix for an app, they only stand to gain subscribers and to not lose their current streaming customers that switch to Linux. Since they won’t support the operating system officially, the community has found the least awkward workaround for this madness yet. Before that simple solution was presented you needed to either dual boot Windows or run Windows in a virtual machine.
4. Crappy Internet Service
Yep, I at best get about 1.5 Mbps down. I normally average about a third of that. It’s not just cause my service is cheap, it’s that my area is poorly supported by the ISP’s. Add to that fact that the walls and floors in my home are perfect for interfering with wifi and you have yourself the reason why I’m not streaming. To make that number make sense I’ll do the math for you.
1.5 Mbps = 1,500 Kbps which equals a download rate of 185 KBps.
(Note, Kbps is kilobits per second and KBps is kilobytes per second. Every 8 bits equal a byte)
You normally want 1-2 Mbps for streaming standard definition content with 3 Mbps and higher for high definition. My connection normally goes below that, since it’s so slow I usually will have 240p video on youtube buffering. That’s ridiculous. You also need a stable internet connection, you don’t want your connection to have a lot of dropped packets or a high amount of latency. To check this, do the following:
Open a terminal:
Windows: Press the “Windows Key” + “R”, type “cmd” in the box that appears then press the enter key.
Mac: Open terminal.app in Utilities
Linux: Ctrl+Alt+T (Ubuntu), Alt+F2 (quake users), everyone else search your menus.
Type the command the yells at a Google server infinitely, then press Enter:
Windows: ping google.com -t
Mac: ping google.com
Linux: ping google.com
Note: To stop the pings in Windows, Mac or Linux press CTRL+C.
How to Interpret the Data:
You really just care about failures and time here. Any failures is packet, aka data, loss. Whether that’s your pc getting impatient with the server for a reply or a failure to reach it is another matter that’s probably worth going into on a networking post at a later time. Basically, if you’re getting a lot of these then you probably have trouble playing video games online. Taking in less data means that your 20 Mbps connection could effectively be considered a 10 Mbps connection if it’s losing every other packet.
Time is measured in ms, aka milliseconds. Every 1,000 equals a full second. Many people will give you their opinion on what’s a good/decent number here but it honestly depends upon your needs. The rule of thumb here is that the lower the number the better. Unless it’s something very high (I consider over 400ms high in this case) it shouldn’t effect most of what you do on a pc unless you’re connecting to a stringently secure vpn or server. 400ms is bad for online gaming since you’ll lag behind that actual action greatly, the same happens in online internet calls (like Skype).
Ever called someone via Skype or Google Voice or received a call and they were constantly responding to you late or you’re being told that you’re slow? Hi ms, properly referred to in this context as latency, is the reason for that. That’s why you can have an 18 Mbps LTE connection on your phone but still have issues using something like data over LTE with Groove IP for calls. Your connection is fast but your latency is too great to consistently rival a real voice call. For reference, you probably want under 80ms for voice calls, although 20ms or lower is what you will receive ideally with a good connection.
There will always be some latency due to the nature of space/time, data has to move. We even have a bit of lag in seeing and hearing each other but our latency is good enough so instant transmission arguably doesn’t matter in our lives.
I didn’t mean to turn this into a lesson but basically my connection drops out too much and is too slow for movie streaming. DVD’s will work just fine for me.