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 amazon.com. (Ironic that Amazon.com 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.