My family and I have been using the Netflix streaming service on PlayStation 3 for nearly two months now. This Instant Watch service came at a great time as I had surgery which required me to spend many hours on the sofa. Unfortunately, my rating for the service is only 5 out of 10 stars because of two major problems. The good news is that fixing both would increase my rating to 8.5 or even 9 stars.
The first significant issue is the severe limitation of movies available through the streaming service. Netflix does not own the rights to stream most movies so the selection (though large) is very limited. Generally, if it is a new movie out on DVD and it was in the movie theatres, you won’t be able to watch it instantly on Netflix. There are a few exceptions but the streaming service is best for TV series that you missed and for an opportunity to watch non-standard fare whenever you want.
For us, the real problem with this service is the actual streaming of the movie. When it works, it works reasonably well (i.e. the picture quality is reasonably good). However, the service regularly freezes and requires us to return to the PlayStation main screen and restart everything.
So, we are in the habit of stopping streamed movies every 5 minutes to make sure we don’t lose our spot when the movie freezes. (The fast-forward and rewind are cumbersome to use in this streaming service.) Our Internet and WiFi are pretty good so unless it is a specific issue with the WiFi on this PS3 or some odd problem with our connection, this issue could be a major problem for most users. Even if it is something unique to our setup, the fact that the software basically requires a reboot to resolve the issue is ridiculous.
I’ve read lots of complaints regarding the fact you have to insert and use the disk to watch the movies. Honestly, the outrage is overblown. Sure, I’d rather have the streaming capability as part of the PS3 system software but of all the issues, this is by far the most minor one.
If you have the PS3 and Netflix, I’d love to hear what your experience has been. Are the hiccups worth the convenience of instant access? Or have the hurdles of the streaming service sent you straight back to the snail mail movie queue?
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