We’ve been hoping this would happen – it looks like online film-on-demand service, Netflix, is looking seriously at the potential of introducing its own iPhone/iPad app to enable customers to hire its movies using the Apple devices.
The company last night began surveying a select group of Netflix customers to assess their interest in such a move. As proposed, the movie and TV streaming service would only work over WiFi.
“Imagine that Netflix offers its subscribers the ability to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on their iPhone. The selection availability to instantly watch includes some new releases, lots of classics and TV episodes. There are no advertisements or trailers, and movies start in as little as 30 seconds. You can fast-forward, rewind, and pause or watch again. The movies & TV episodes you instantly watch are included in your Netflix membership for no additional fee.
Netflix is developing a streaming application that will enable iPhone users to stream movies offered by the service over a WiFi connection, reports claim.
This ‘Watch Instantly’ feature is already available to Mac and PC users on an unlimited plan, as it is to Xbox 360 owners. Some reports also claim the online video sales giant intends offering the service to the Nintendo Wiii in future.
The original report states: “The company will soon offer the Watch Instantly video-streaming feature on Apple iPhones and iPod Touch devices and the Nintendo Wii gaming console, according to an industry executive familiar with Netflix’s plans.”
We’ve been writing a lot recently about Boxee, who develop a powerful media centre application for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and the Apple TV.
For Apple TV users, of course, the big news is that after an extensive push by the hard-working developers behind the project, the new version of the software that’s compatible with the recently-software-updated Apple TV 2.3 is available now.
In making the move, Netflix also confirmed its interest in helping push for services and hardware to let consumers access streaming content on their TVs, showing Apple to have some competition in the den.
Apple’s “hobby” the Apple TV has a chance at becoming a ubiquitous household item, though the company may need to add support for non-Apple media services and implement many new features if it seriously intends making an iPod-level impact on this important growing market.
The reason Apple has the chance is visible in the growing momentum behind development of solutions to bring online video to the front room – a sector becoming quickly more intense.
Online video on-demand services such as iTunes or Hulu are hot properties, meaning many more devices – including TVs offering features similar to the Apple TV – should begin to reach market en masse starting next year. And even if Apple does not develop such solutions there will still be winners and losers in the race to offer the ‘iPod’ equivalent of the multimedia for the front room box.
i.TV today announced the integration of Netflix, into its TV and movie guide for the iPhone and iPod touch.
“We are very pleased to offer i.TV users a new way to discover and rent their favorite DVDs from Netflix using an iPhone or iPod touch,” said Brad Pelo, i.TV founder and chief executive officer. “Many i.TV users are already Netflix customers and those who are not yet with Netflix will want to sign up after they see how easy it is use Netflix on our iPhone application. This integration is the first of several major third party integrations that will be announced through the end of this year and into 2009.”
Netflix on i.TV allows people to discover media from a catalogue of over 100,000 DVDs, complete with detailed information and recommendations concerning the titles. Users can sign up for a Netflix account or link an existing Netflix account using an iPhone or iPod touch.
The price of Blu-ray players and discs seems set to fall this season, as those involved seek to take the format into the mass market – meanwhile that market’s changing, with consumers flocking to sign-up to location-based social networking services for their mobile phones, a pair of ABI Research reports claim.
“Blu-ray vendors and dealers are starting to realize that for Blu-ray to become the next DVD, they need to lower player prices in order to generate interest and build volumes,” said ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson.
The companies will give subscribers to both services the chance to stream thousands of movies and TV episodes from Netflix directly to the TV using TiVo Series3, TiVo HD, and HD XL digital video recorders.