Tuesday, June 08, 2010

iPhone getting Netflix Streaming App

I happened to be away from my computer, but was still able to follow the Apple developer conference yesterday thanks to my iPhone and MacRumors live stream.  One of the more notable apps mentioned was a new, official Netflix app.

Netflix Streaming App for iPhone this Summer

The new Netflix app is set to arrive this summer and will be much like the iPad Netflix app.  You’ll be able to browse the Netflix site, manager your queue and stream video to your iPhone thanks to adaptive, bitrate streaming.

Netflix Streaming Eats up Bandwidth

I’ll talk more about this later, but if you plan to use this app on your iPhone, I sure hope you have the old (as of yesterday) AT&T unlimited data plan cause it won’t take more than about 13 hours of streaming in a month to hit your 2GB 3G limit otherwise!  This could be a real issue if you plan to placeshift to your iPhone from your HTPC down the road as well.

Netflix Streaming Selection Still Weak

Another ongoing problem with Netflix streaming for me is the so-so inventory of movies and shows.  The selection HAS gotten better, but still not great.  Because of that I just don’t use it all that much – even with my iPad.  Part of that is the fact that I want the highest quality possible which means Blu-ray or at least DVD, but also the selection is just okay.

Follow Me Video Viewing

On a more positive note, I was impressed that the Netflix app will have a “follow-me” feature kind of like SageTV does – you can start a streaming movie or show on your phone, stop playback and start back where you left off on another netflix streaming device.  Very nice feature and something I would actually use!

Bandwidth Limits Versus Mobile Streaming

The mobile streaming space is something to watch over the next 12 to 24 months.  The real battle has already begun with the telecoms fighting to protect their price per bandwidth but still keep customers versus the hardware manufacturers, streaming companies (Amazon, Netflix etc), and customer all wanting streaming on demand without limits.