Netflix Should Make Streaming Trump DVDs

This past week, my wife and I wanted to watch the movie Motorcycle Diaries in preparation for a trip to Argentina later this year. We did so in three steps.

1. We’re Netflix customers, so I ordered the movie on DVD. 41 minutes into the movie, the movie froze. I couldn’t get it to work, and I can’t describe how frustrated I was when I was forced to re-watch the stupid previews that DVD’s won’t let me forward past.

We called it a night and decided to watch the rest another night.

2. I pulled down an illegal copy of the movie overnight so we’d have that ready the next day. The beauty of this is we wouldn’t have to sit through the previews once again since they’re stripped out of illegally downloaded versions. I figure my hands were clean since I made a legitimate attempt to legally watch a movie on a scratched plastic disc first.

Unfortunately, something else was stripped out of the version I downloaded: the subtitles. While my wife and I both know a bit of Spanish, we’re not at the movie immersion level yet.

3. The next, and final, tactic used to finish the film was Netflix streaming. This was also painful since y wife and I was already settled into watch the illegally downloaded version. In order to stream the movie, I had to boot Windows using Parallels on my MacBook Pro, then launch IE, navigate to Netflix, and find the movie.

Here’s the problem. Step 3 should really have been step 1. I’d much rather watch streamed movies than movies on questionably reliable plastic discs. But to do so involves launching Windows and Internet Explorer. If I’m planning a movie night that’s a few days out, I’m better off having Netflix send me the DVD.

It must be cheaper for Netflix to ship me 2 hours of bits than a disc back and forth in the mail.

My advice to Netflix: Support streaming on the Mac. It will save you money.

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