Netflix’s DRM Sucks

As a new Netflix user I could not be more happy with the DVD delivery service. I’m using the 3 disc at a time plan and have seen some amazing films and television series over the past few months. I like Netflix so much that I’ve even considered scraping my DirecTV satellite service entirely, getting and OTA HDTV antenea and simply bypassing the cable/satellite cartel entirely.

I’m amazed at how quickly my movies make their way through the U.S. postal service with Netflix. Every single movie I’ve ever sent them has always arrived the next business day after I mail it and every single DVD I’ve sent back has resulted in a new DVD being shipped out to me that same day.

I have played around with Netflix’s video on demand as well which comes standard with my DVD subscription. I’ve been a little less impressed with this service but haven’t complained too much as it is, after all, a freebie sort of add on thing to my DVD subscription service that I’d pay for even without the video on demand.

My complaints about the video on demand are as follows.

1. It sucks that I can’t use it on my Mac. (It’s PC only).
2. It sucks that I have to watch the movies in IE. I hate IE and only really use Firefox to browse the net.
3. It sucks that there is not a very good selection of quality content to choose from on their video on demand feature (mostly tired old movies and TV shows and not new releases)

I have watched a few shows on the on demand service though and I will say that it has worked flawlessly with a TV picture about as good as a standard definition stream from my DirecTV service.

One other thing that I’d love to see would be to get a Netflix plug in for Media Center that allowed you to bypass IE and watch Netflix video on demand directly from the Media Center menu.

Today though I was reading over at Davis Freeberg’s blog (and as highlighted on Boing Boing) that if you use the Netflix video on demand service with a HDTV that you have to navigate through a maze like version of DRM that invalidates other programming that you may have purchased from someone like say (Ironic that would be considered a competitor to Netflix and Netflix’s DRM might invalidate the Amazon movies).

Now that really sucks and only goes to show you how DRM continues to hurt consumers. You as a consumer get absolutely *zero* benefit from DRM and once again DRM seeks to hurt those that would play by the rules.

By making DRM so restrictive (no Mac, no Firefox, problematic for HDTV sets, etc.) the content producers in Hollywood and providers like Netflix are only encouraging people to go elsewhere (can I have an aye, aye matey!) in order to get illicit and free content that does not contain the DRM that so many of us hate.

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  1. Mitchel Tyrell says:

    Firefox crippled itself from the Netflix service when it refused to use any Windows components.

    Mozilla embrased the Windows model of programming called COM, then they extended it into XPCOM:
    Which is incompatible with the rest of Windows.

    In short, if Firefox wanted to turn that switch back on they could, they just don’t want to.

  2. Indeed, it sucks. But I watch it on my Mac. Parallels FTW.

  3. Jeremy says:

    I am completely OTA HDTV (antenna in the attic) through Windows Media Center and I love it. I miss ESPN and TBS for sports, but it forces me to the gym sometimes to work out and watch there. Otherwise I get my media from other sources like Netflix. I waste less time (TV shows I do watch are now commercial free due to WMC DVR or DVD) and end up better spending my time in other endeavors. I also took the money I saved from monthly Dish fees and built a high end HTPC instead. Money much better spent. I highly recommend it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    FX shows a combination of brand new must see drama’s from the US,Better luck next time.FX

  5. Celine says:

    I know there’s a Firefox extension for PC users called IE Tab, which allows users to open a tab to emulate Explorer right in Mozilla. It works with Netflix, last I checked. I don’t know if there’s something like that for the Mac.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not only does it force you to use IE and Media Player, but it forces an upgrade to Media Player 11. I’ve been putting this off for years as I use version 9 for compatibility testing. (plus I don’t have enough space on my laptop for restore points in case the install goes wrong)
    Works fine in FF with the IEtab plugin, though.

  7. Quikboy says:

    @anoymous (last):

    Hey, IE7 isn’t that bad. Quite good if you compare it to the trash Safari is.

    And WMP 11 is quite superb in my opinion. I think it has features that not even iTunes does.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mitchel Tyrell is a little bitch.