website hit counter Media Center Next Logical Step for Netflix Streaming - Chris Lanier

Media Center Next Logical Step for Netflix Streaming

Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch says that the Netflix STB will be hard to sell for many of the same reasons I’ve noted before.  Erick did talk with an LG rep to see what some of the form factor possibilities might be, and one of the options is said to be “a Windows Media Center Extender with WiFi that lets you stream all your music, photos, and personal videos from your PC to your TV.”

This is the best option for Netflix for many reasons.  First of all they can reach a large audience right off the bat without additional hardware purchases.  The Xbox 360 already serves as a Media Center Extender which means you have over six million boxes in the US, and there are a growing number of other options.  You can also reach millions of people using Windows Vista Home Premium/Ultimate which include Windows Media Center.

Best of all, Netflix could launch this tomorrow by just providing a simple download to Windows Media Center users which would automatically extend to all Media Center Extenders.  Microsoft doesn’t even have to be involved here, development for Media Center to open (although Reed Hastings is on Microsoft’s Board of Directors).  Being able to reach this existing market will be key for Netflix in the future.

More Netflix coverage at Zatz Not Funny, Reuters, AP, NY Times, Brent Evans

Update: I've been reading a lot of the comments online about this and the one thing people don't seem to get is that Netflix isn't really looking to replace their existing system with streaming.  Streaming is a complementary feature to mail based delivery, it is not meant to replace it.  Because of this, it is very important to understand where Media Center and Extenders come into the picture.  It is not about having to buy a new device to get this functionality, it is about having it in other devices that will be in your home anyway. Complementary is the key word.

Published Thu, Jan 3 2008 11:03 by chrisl


# re: Media Center Next Logical Step for Netflix Streaming

I have been wanting this for a long time.  Better yet, include account management.

Thursday, January 03, 2008 12:29 PM by Jedipunk

# re: Media Center Next Logical Step for Netflix Streaming

The key thing to make this work is to add Netflix to the Media Center and not to the XBox 360 dash board.  If they add this feature to the Xbox 360 dash board, I'm abandoning MCE all together.  I sell these things to customer too.

Thursday, January 03, 2008 3:21 PM by Scott

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Abandoning MCE altogether may not be your choice. This could be exactly what MS wants. Yes, I doubt it will happen. I think they should add it to both MCE & the 360 Dashboard.

Friday, January 04, 2008 9:14 AM by tv

# re: Media Center Next Logical Step for Netflix Streaming

This seems to be the most natural progression for the Netflix service and in the wake of the Apple TV and Itunes rentals announcement, this would be a perfect (and far more potent) counterpunch from Netflix and Microsoft.  I'm no longer a Netflix subscriber, but I currently use Media Center on my HTPC quite a bit.  If they made this service compatible with Media Center and the Xbox I'd be a Netflix subscriber within the hour (and probably also finally get an Xbox.)  All-you-can-eat streaming movies via the Media Center interface would be a dream come true.

The biggest hold-up would no doubt be the competing interests of Xbox Live Marketplace v/s Netflix streaming.  But they could easily compromise on that by making the Marketplace content the 'premium' service with HD/downloadable/portable content and positioning the Netflix service as the 'basic' streaming service.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 12:29 PM by RS

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Is NetFlix waiting for Apple to take this over?So we are forced into APPLE TV this sucks or some STB box to clutter up my TV area!!


Monday, February 04, 2008 6:50 PM by Eric Holtzclaw

# re: Media Center Next Logical Step for Netflix Streaming

Well, Netflix hasn't announced plans to do a Media Center plug-in, but Apple and Netflix focus on different video markets.  Netflix stuff is mainly older, Apple will have newer content.  They really don't compete when you look at the content.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 10:51 AM by chrisl

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This is availible for media center via a plugin from Anthony Parks, the bug that I have found so far is that you can not use the watch now feature on the extender (works fron the PC) but the management part works great on the extender.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 9:32 PM by James Steele