Items tagged with Netflix

Due to Hulu's tight connection with CBS, Nielsen has been measuring the audiences that stream shows via that platform. For pretty much every other major SVOD network, the numbers are either a complete mystery, or each individual service reports their own proprietary figures. Essentially, there has been no standardized way to get a feel for viewership across streaming video platforms, and with so much content moving away from pay-TV channels and onto the Internet, it's obviously something that needs to be addressed. And that's exactly what Nielsen is doing. Starting next month, Nielsen is expected to start applying its famed ratings to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other competing services. It's... Read more...
The concept of net neutrality has been a hot-button topic over the past few years, particularly as evidence by fundamental ISP misconduct that has grown more prevalent. In addition, an increasing number of customers have found themselves caught in the crossfire between two huge corporations (ISPs and content providers especially) with little to no recourse... Net neutrality is an attractive concept, particularly if you've followed the ways the cable and telco companies have gouged customers in recent years, and I'm a fan of the idea on some level -- but only to a limited extent. There are two problems with net neutrality as its commonly proposed... Net Neutrality Won't Fix ISP Throttling, Here's... Read more...
The concept of net neutrality has been a hot-button topic over the past few years, particularly as evidence by fundamental ISP misconduct that has grown more prevalent. In addition, an increasing number of customers have found themselves caught in the crossfire between two huge corporations (ISPs and content providers especially) with little to no recourse. Net neutrality, as it's generally explained, is the idea that no company should be allowed to treat traffic differently than other traffic. Information should flow with equal priority and consumers shouldn't end up paying more for "priority service" on certain applications.                     ... Read more...
The transition from Full HD 1080 to 4K Ultra HD is taking place faster than anyone could have anticipated, though it comes at a cost. In addition to purchasing new hardware capable of displaying 4K visuals, on the content side, Netflix decided now was a good time to get customers used to idea of paying extra for Ultra HD streaming. New Netflix subscribers living in the U.S. must sign up for the "Family" plan at $11.99 per month in order to access the service's limited number of Ultra HD streams. Previously it was included in the regular $8.99 plan, which itself was $7.99 earlier this year. Netflix says it costs more to acquire and produce 4K content, hence why it's now included only as part of... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission has been considering the implementation of new neutrality rules in an attempt to determine how internet service providers should manage web traffic on their networks. The outcry against the FCC and the concept of “fast lanes,” in addition to treating IPSs more like public utility companies, continues to grow with many network companies and equipment manufacturers going so far as to tell U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker how these policies could hurt the internet and U.S. economy. The latest group to join the protests and outcry are 33 companies that include Intel Corp, Cisco Systems Inc, and IBM. These companies, along with services such... Read more...
We're all pretty proud to admit that we've watched Citizen Kane or any other legendary classic, but those late-night cartoons and goofy sob stories? Not so much. Part of the digital economy is sharing. If you've got a product, it's really only to grow so much as folks will talk about it online. Obviously, Netflix stands to gain a lot (new subscribers, keeping existing ones interested, etc.) by having you share your viewing habits with others on social media. But up until this week, that sharing was public by default, which caused many to pause before blasting to the entire world what they were watching. Now, Netflix is giving its video subscribers a way to share their views privately. Netflix... Read more...
Netflix has been butting heads with cable companies over tolls the latter want to charge in exchange for guaranteeing that Netflix's streaming content makes it into homes without any hiccups. So, it doesn't come as much surprise that Netflix is one of the first in line to publicly oppose Comcast's proposed buyout of Time Warner Cable (TWC), which if approved would see the merger of the two largest cable operators in the U.S. The streaming service made public a redacted version of its petition to deny the acquisition. At the heart of Netflix's petition is the creation of a combined entity that would give Comcast and TWC "the ability to turn a consumer's Internet experience into something that... Read more...
Hackathons are awesome for a number of different reasons, but the big one is that they can sometimes yield really cool inventions. Such is the case of Netflix's Hack Day, which the company held this past week. Not only were there a number of really neat uses of Netflix's technology designed in a mere 24 hours, some of them could prove to be actually useful. The project that first stood out to me is "Netflix Hue", a system that utilizes Philips' popular Hue lightbulbs to change the room's ambient light color based on what's seen on the screen. If background on the screen is dominated with orange, then likewise, the Hue bulbs would turn orange. While cool, this might not be too practical, as constant... Read more...
As much as Netflix is loath to pay Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for uninterrupted access into homes of each provider's customers, the streaming service continues to ink peering deals so that its own subscribers can enjoy high quality videos and less buffering. One of the newest deals involves a reported agreement with Time Warner Cable (TWC). According to Gigaom, the deal was initially agreed upon back in June, with implementation now being rolled out. With direct access into homes free from throttling, TWC customers should see an improvement in their Netflix streams with less dropouts and other unwanted behavior, especially during peak hours. Image Source: Flickr (Michael Dougherty) It's... Read more...
The finger-pointing between Netflix and broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs) over which side is at fault for poor quality video streams continues. Things are especially contentious between Netflix and Verizon, the latter of which is accused of intentionally throttling Netflix traffic over the streaming service's refusal to pay a toll for unfettered access into the homes of Verizon subscribers. According to Netflix's ISP Speed Index, Verizon delivers the slowest overall average speed when it comes to Netflix traffic. The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data collected from over 50 million Netflix subscribers around the world and represents over 1 billion hours of streaming TV shows and... Read more...
Disputes with ISPs over the quality of streaming traffic hasn't slowed Netflix down when it comes to adding subscribers. According to the company's most recent financial report, Netflix is now home to over 50 million total members for its streaming service, three-quarters of which are located in the United States. That figure that also includes free trial memberships. A big reason's for Netflix's continued success is its lineup of original programming. Shows like "House of Cards" and Orange is the New Black" are proving highly popular, and unlike regular television shows, Netflix releases an entire season at once. This allows viewers who are hooked on a series to binge watch, though the downside... Read more...
Although Netflix’s system for tracking what you’ve viewed and offering up suggestions accordingly is a fine way to discover new movies or TV shows you may want to watch, it can also be annoying when you watch something that turns out to be awful (or embarrassing). Worse, your friends or family members who see your account can see that thing you wish they couldn’t--doubly bad if you allow Netflix to share your viewing habits on social media. The company is testing a new feature called Privacy Mode that would let users hide a movie or TV show. “Choosing that option means the program will not appear in your viewing activity log, nor will it be used to determine recommendations... Read more...
The ongoing battle between Netflix and ISPs that can't seem to handle the streaming video service's traffic boiled over to an infuriating level for Colin Nederkoon, a startup CEO who resides in New York City. Rather than accept excuses and finger pointing from either side, Nederkoon did a little investigating into why he was receiving such slow Netflix streams on his Verizon FiOS connection, and what he discovered is that there appears to be a clear culprit. Nederkoon pays for Internet service that promises 75Mbps downstream and 35Mbps upstream through his FiOS connection. However, his Netflix video streams were limping along at just 375kbps (0.375mbps), equivalent to 0.5 percent of the speed... Read more...
We won't soon look back and remember this week as the brightest in Microsoft's history. With a newly-minted CEO moving forward with around 18,000 job cuts by the end of 2014, it's clear that this is a pivotal point in Microsoft's history. What will become of Windows, Nokia, its cloud services, and its engagement with enterprise will all be shaped in the months ahead. Even the Xbox division, which is viewed by many as a glimmer of positivity within the company, isn't leaving the war unscathed. With firms such as Netflix and Yahoo diving into original content production, Microsoft had bold plans to do similar. With its vast Xbox audience, it stood to reason that it could develop exclusive content... Read more...
From the beginning, the anti-net neutrality argument has been built on a single premise: Give companies free rein to charge more money for services, and they'll respond by improving the customer experience, rolling out service to more people, and aggressively adopting faster technology. Over the past few months, Netflix has served as an unofficial test drive for this theory -- the company has begun paying both Comcast and Verizon directly to improve Netflix performance. The result?  Comcast, at least, has improved dramatically. Verizon, on the other hand, continues to crater -- its FiOS service fell two spots to 12th place.   Verizon, naturally enough, has attempted to blame Netflix... Read more...
As the war over net neutrality rages on, the Internet Association fired off the latest volley by supplicating the FCC with concerns and a mandate to take decisive action on the issue. The IA’s voice is bolstered by a chorus of major tech companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Yahoo!, and more. “Segregation of the Internet into fast lanes and slow lanes will distort the market, discourage innovation and harm Internet users. The FCC must act to create strong, enforceable net neutrality rules and apply them equally to both wireless and wireline providers,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association, in a blog post. The IA posits three... Read more...
The world of content is a complicated one, and it isn't getting any easier for those trying to cut through the noise. Netflix realized a few years ago that streaming content owned by others probably wasn't a hugely sustainable solution, so it invested in creating its own exclusive content that would coerce folks to stay with Netflix even if a rival came along and undercut it elsewhere. YouTube has been doing something similar for a while now, but without the same amount of luck. Going forward, it's reported that YouTube has started a new round of discussions with "Hollywood and independent producers to fund premium content," which would further its existing efforts and help to position YouTube... Read more...
The back and forth between Internet service providers (ISPs) and Netflix as to which side is to blame for poor streaming performance continues with Verizon penning a blog post saying its hands are clean. According to Verizon, it's not throttling streaming video from Netflix, and the reason why some of its customers with fast connections are experiencing poor quality video is entirely Netflix's fault, the ISP says. Verizon claims to have investigated the issue after receiving a letter from a customer on a 75Mbps FiOS connection who wasn't receiving a good feed from Netflix. "This review confirmed again what I’ve explained before: there was no congestion anywhere within the Verizon network.... Read more...
After Netflix posted a message on broken video streams stating that Verizon’s congested network was to blame, the former went ballistic, going as far as sending Netflix a cease and desist letter. The FCC has now stepped in to investigate (and possibly mediate) the spat. However, it’s not just Netflix that’s taking swipes at ISPs; YouTube is joining the fray. Quartz spotted a new message on YouTube videos that are performing slowly. There’s a blue bar beneath the video that asks “Experiencing interruptions?” with a button you can click that says “Find Out Why”. The link takes you to Google’s new Video Quality Report website.   Credit:... Read more...
In case you hadn’t noticed, ISPs and Netflix aren’t exactly friendly right now. In addition to bowing to Comcast and paying extra fees (that surely stuck in Netflix’s craw), the video streaming provider passive-aggressively accused Verizon of delivering substandard network performance, and Verizon countered by blasting Netflix for what amounts to lying (allegedly). The situation is only going to get worse and uglier, and the FCC is stepping in to investigate what’s boiling under the surface. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler “Consumers must get what they pay for,” wrote FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a letter. As the consumer’s representative we need to know what... Read more...
Netflix and Verizon are in a bit of a spat at present. The issue is that some Netflix users on Verizon networks started seeing an error message when experiencing a laggy connection that said “The Verizon network is crowded right now” followed by a note that said Netflix was “Adjusting video for smoother playback”. It certainly seemed to be a direct shot at Verizon by Netflix, and the former was (predictably) none too pleased. In addition to a scathing blog post penned by Verizon’s David Young--”This claim [of the Verizon network being the cause of lag] is not only inaccurate, it is deliberately misleading”, he wrote in part--the company actually sent... Read more...
Is the FCC trolling ISPs (on our behalf)? The agency is considering raising the standard minimum speed for what is considered “high-speed Internet”, which would potentially force ISPs to work faster to roll out better service to more areas. Currently, broadband Internet speed is defined as 4Mbps, but according to an anonymous FCC official that spoke to the Washington Post, the FCC might bump that number up to 10Mbps or even 25Mbps. 4Mbps is nothing; you can’t even stream Netflix in HD at that speed, and forget about having a second user gobbling up bandwidth. The new definitions would also set a higher limit on upload speeds, which would jump to 2.9Mbps from the current 1Mbps.... Read more...
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