updated 02:50 pm EST, Fri December 28, 2007
Netflix Instant Viewing
Video rental service Netflix has begun testing a feature that would combine the strengths of physical movie rentals and online streaming, claim early users receiving access to the feature. The company has given some of its users access to an unlimited version of its Watch Instantly feature that allows these customers to watch movies and TV shows they have placed in their DVD rental queue. Once unlocked, titles can be seen as often as the customer likes, Netflix says. This gives subscribers access to each movie without paying extra or worrying about whether the physical disc has been returned.
The catalog of titles that support the feature is limited but has expanded since a fall test to involve as much as 6,000 of the 90,000 titles. The service requires a Windows XP or Vista system with Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, and high-speed Internet access but is likely to be available to all of Netflix' user base sometime in 2008. The company is not expected to offer a Mac version or DVD burning due to copyright restrictions from most studios.