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I’m streaming Netflix on PS3!

November 6th, 2009 by Maxim · No Comments · 19,965 Views


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As I already told, Sony and Netflix recently became partners, and Netflix subscribers can now stream movies from their “Watch Instantly” queue on PlayStation 3.

While Sony is working on new firmware  update for PS3 that would allow full Netflix support, current Netflix subscribers with PS3 will have to use a specially-formatted Blu-Ray disc that they can order for free from Netflix.

And I just received this disc in mail.

Before today I was still able to watch Netflix on my PS3 by using PlayOn media server installed on my home PC computer, which was used to transcode Netflix movies and stream them from PC into PS3. But with new Netflix disc I can now watch movies on my big screen TV without necessity for having the PC turned on – the movies and TV shows from my instant queue are streamed directly from Netflix onto PS3!

So here it is, the red envelope! There’s a label on it that says, “Do not return to Netflix!”. I just put it into PS3, and it displayed a code that must enter on Netflix website to activate my Watch Instantly Blu-Ray disc. This operation was easy, even easier then I could expect. Right after I entered www.netflix.com URL in the browser, the website automatically took me to the right page, and as soon as the code was entered on the website, the PlayStation 3 displayed my instant queue. That’s right, the website and my PS3 were “talking” to each other!

The interface displayed DVD covers of movies in my queue, and clicking on them opens a menu: “Resume playback”, “Watch from the beginning”, “Delete from the queue”, “Rate the movie”. Yes, I can manage the queue and rate movies from PlayStation 3 menu! Brilliant! This menu also displays synopsis of the movie/show.

Playback began within seconds, and the quality is as good as watching the movie on the computer – if you ever streamed movies through your web browser using Netflix’s ActiveX component. Actually, the quality depends mostly on the quality of the source and the resolution the movies was digitized into a stream with. For example, an old Alfred Hitchcock’s movie I saw was acceptable quality (although with noticeable pixel-blocking), and tonight I also watched an action/kung-fu movie and the quality was not worse then DVD.

There are now HD movies streaming from Netflix to XBox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. I can’t determine what resolution they actually are streamed at, but the bandwidth they use is between 1.3Mbps and 4.5Mbps, and they look great and never stutter – no buffering problems.

I’m a little happier now.

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Tags: Hardware · Home Theater · Uncategorized

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