A Netflix blog post confirms some of these details, but I’m evidently one of about 100,000 customers who will get their hands on the first batch. And an email from Netflix says mine should be showing up today, ensuring that the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox360 loses its position as the only gaming console to have access to Netflix's streaming component:
The complimentary streaming service is one of the reasons I decided to go back to Netflix after a five-year lapse… I like the value of having access to that library. Now I'll have an opportunity to watch some of those titles on the big screen without having to assemble some kluge interface that links my PC to the TV, or have to fork over more dollars for a Roku Inc. box or some other device that embeds Netflix.
Granted, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s video-on-demand (VoD) service offers plenty of content, and I like the fact that it releases some movies in the same window as the DVD release and serves up hi-def episodes of AMC's Mad Men soon after their broadcast. But the navigation system is still frustrating, making it a chore to poke around to find something good. Netflix gives me a nice complement, and does a much better job helping me find something I might like, even if Netflix's streaming component doesn't enjoy all the same release windows as cable VoD does today. In fact, Netflix has already unlocked access to the Starz premium content window. (See Netflix Bypasses Studios With Starz Deal.)
But given the size of Netflix's growing subscriber base alongside a fresh study indicating that the company's streaming service is already fairly popular, I'm guessing that Netflix should eventually be able to get its mitts on some of these more attractive release windows and start offering pay-for streaming for newer titles. It'll just have to convince the studios that it's in their best interests to do so.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News