updated 02:30 pm EDT, Thu August 14, 2008
Netflix DVD Outage
Netflix today confirmed an outage with its rental service that has prevented the company from shipping out its signature DVDs since Tuesday. Company spokesman Steve Swasey doesn't provide a technical reason for the outage but acknowledges that Netflix hasn't been able to ship movies to about a third of its over 8.4 million subscribers for a 24-hour period, stalling their queues and creating longest outage the company has experienced to date.
The problem should now be resolved and doesn't affect inbound DVDs being returned to move up the queue, according to the official.
The outage notably doesn't include Watch Instantly or any of the company's other online movie services, which have become increasingly prominent but are still small compared to the DVD business. Netflix has increased its competition with Apple TV and other network media hubs by having its streaming Internet movies built into a new LG Blu-ray player as well as the Roku Netflix Player.
Critics have often challenged the viability of focusing attention on Internet-based video services due to tighter copyright restrictions than with DVD and the dependence on an active Internet connection. Opponents have responded by pointing out other vulnerabilities in physical distribution that are key to the most recent Netflix outage.