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What Will You Do in Response to Netflix's Rate Hike?

As you probably know by now, Netflix just announced a change in its rates for online streaming and physical discs by mail. Instead of charging one monthly fee for as many of both as you want (one disc at a time), you must now pay a separate fee for each medium—$8/month for streaming and another $8/month for DVDs by mail or $10/month for Blu-rays, a 60-percent increase for both services together.

In his excellent blog on the subject, Home Theater editor Rob Sabin points out that Netflix's streaming library is missing lots of current, desirable titles, and the A/V quality of its streaming content cannot match that of Blu-ray. For now, he recommends sticking with Blu-ray rentals and waiting for the streaming library and quality to catch up.

What do you plan to do in response to the Netflix rate hike? If you're already a Netflix subscriber, will you keep both options or dump one or the other—or both? If you're not yet a subscriber, does this development encourage you to choose one or both, or will you stay away?

Vote to see the results and leave a comment about your choice.

What Will You Do in Response to Netflix's Rate Hike?
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WazNeeni's picture

We haven't decided what we're going to do, yet. I'd LIKE to keep both, but the wife doesn't think it's worth it, and she wants to get HBO so we can get HBO Go. If we drop anything, I'd rather it be streaming, because I'm about to pay for another year of Amazon Prime.

jbridgmon's picture

I thought it was too big an increase at one time.

Shoefish's picture

I'm waiting until the change takes place in September. Will see if Netflix adds more streaming content and compare Amazon Prime in the interim.

Malcolm02's picture

I just changed my account to the disc only option, 3 at a time with Blu-ray, and my bill is actually going down, so I don't see what all the fuss is about. I tried streaming once, didn't like the quality, so I'm happy to dump it for a cost saving. You can't stream hi-res content and I love my Blu-rays. I don't mind waiting a couple of days for them to arrive in the mail.

dnoonie's picture

I'm not disappointed, I'll be happy not to pay for something I don't use and has problems. Streaming was nice to have perhaps once every other month. Streaming quality is the same as standard def DVD quality at it's best. It appears that encoding quality assurance is nearly non-existent, some shows look and sound is marginally acceptable, most encoding has a problem.

Encoding problems:
1. Mono audio
2. Missing audio channel
3. Bad compression
4. 4:3 instead of cinema aspect
5. Stretched 4:3 to cinema aspect (Are you kidding!! Did you think I wouldn't notice!!)
6. Bad negotiation of internet speed requiring restarting the streaming.
7. Never looks as good as Blu-Ray.

Until my internet connection is greater than 54Mbs (max blu-ray transfer rate), my ISP is guaranteed uncapped, streaming speed is consistent/reliable, I get surround sound with streaming and there's some sort of quality assurance with streaming, I'll be getting disks in the mail.

Streaming isn't home theater quality!!

As a side note I've called Netflix more than once and let them know that I'm willing to wait for a streaming feed to buffer to get better quality but obviously I'm in the minority, it's not even a selectable option. If I have to wait a day for a blu-ray to come in the mail that's just fine, the quality is worth the wait.

From DSL reports speed test:
5874 Kb/s download speed

abentrod's picture

And I'm glad I don't have to pay for it any more. How anyone can stream a movie is beyond me. You have to be Blind,Deaf and Dumb.

When Leo Laporte said on his show talking to Scott he is going with streaming I screamed! he has a Pioneer Kuro which I would give my left (fill in the blank) to own and he prefers streaming to Blu-Ray!!
and does not have 5.1 sound! Arrrrgh! with the poor picture and poor sound of streaming why bother watching at all, your getting 30% of what the cast, directors & other artists worked so hard to make.

That is why streaming is EVIL!! it's dumbing down the public.

WazNeeni's picture

I just wanted to add that we don't have an HDTV, and many people don't. An incredibly vast amount of people only care about watching things on their iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch. Therefore, HD quality for streaming is of no concern, and I would bet that most streaming subscribers feel the same way. If we did have an HDTV, and I wanted to watch HD material, I would watch a Bluray, not bother with streaming, or even cable. However, I would still love streaming for my iPad and general use TV.

uavmatthewweflen's picture

We almost never stream movies, because the quality is generally pretty crap (especially "Starz Play" movies). But we do stream plenty of cable TV programs (we cut the cable last year). So we're keeping streaming, either way.

The question becomes, is the 1 disc at a time plan worth $8 per month? We tend to get 3 or 4 BDs per month (typically recently released films), plus 5 or 6 DVDs (usually television or documentary programming). So the answer is yes.

Basically, it just feels like a kinda sucky price increase (about $4 per month) to our household. But if the infusion of extra cash leads to a more robust streaming library of TV shows, it will be worth it. $16 is totally worth it if it provides even 50% of the content we'd get for an $80 cable plan.

Riverst's picture

I hope Netflix update their streaming library to more "newer" titles. The picture is very poor, but I'm okay with that. I just want up to date titles. The DVD option is the best feature for me.
I don't think they should have raised the prices on us. The cheap price is what attracted million of customers in the first place. I dont think too many will find valve in Netflix now that the prices are sky high.

rominaD's picture

We cannot blame Netflix for hiking their movie streaming price. But also, Netflix can't blame it's customers, if those movie marathon addicts will look for a new movie streaming server. So I guess I will drop my Netflix off. With a sixty percent rate growth on the way at Netflix, it is believed that the leisure business will lose over 2 million consumers. With the gaping sinkhole exposed, there's a possibility that companies like Wal-Mart will pounce in to fill the break. Wal-Mart declared Tuesday that it will offer its own on-demand HD loading movies and television by way of the VUDU service that it purchased less than a year ago. Here is the proof: Wal-Mart introduces streaming HD content via VUDU.

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