Tuesday, 10 January 2012

NetFlix Ireland

So, NetFlix became available in Ireland today and- like the fiend I am- I signed up almost immediately. That process was relatively simple.
I tried signing up on my PS3, but it would only let me register my e-mail address and name, when I put in my credit card info it kept telling me there was an error with the system and the screen reset. So, I put in my credit card info again. Same error message.
So, I immediately went to the PC site, I logged in with the e-mail address I registered and there waiting was my credit card info (in ****************9999 format) waiting to be confirmed. With one click of a button, it was complete and I was free to log in to my PS3 account.

Far from the trendsetting service in the USA, the service is very limited over here. The selection of movies isn't very expansive and the availability of TV series is even far behind what's already available on DVD here, let alone what's showing on tv.
But, I'll have a better look at it when I get a chance, the main thing I was curious about was HOW I would view it. An application appeared on my PS3 & XBox 360 so, I immediately had to compare them.
Separately I logged in to each, browsed the selection, found 'Drive Angry' (first movie I randomly selected) and clicked 'play'.

Now, this isn't a fair assessment - I'm going to admit that straight away. I'm using a wireless connection for all devices, which have their own sensitivities and moments of lag- As well as the fact that my home internet connection isn't the best. So load times might vary for me, but the overall experience should be the same.

My preference is for the XBox 360- In general, I love it's dashboard, I love how it glides between screens, and the quaint noises it makes when you select an option.
The NetFlix application is pretty much in line with the standard XBox appearance, it's a lot of faded aisles, subtle text at the bottom of the screen, and with a smooth enough transition between titles when browsing.

It was somewhat of a slow load once I'd selected the movie- buffering took it's sweet-*ss time- I am willing to say that that was the first day performance jitters. But, the quality of the movie was pretty much excellent from the second it loaded up. No stability problems arose when I was watching the movie... Except for, you know, it was a terrible Nic Cage movie, so my personal stability was in danger throughout.

The PS3 interface on the other hand, I'm not wild about. It looks clunky. The movie descriptions take up a quarter of your tv- on the right-hand side. But, when you load a movie it plays fairly quickly, loads at the lowest resolution and gradually upscales to the best available definition- a nice choice if you know the the show/ movie starts with an extended title sequence or studio logo. A great way to just jump straight into a movie/ show. But, you know, in the grand scheme of things, not a deal-breaker.

Thing that I loved: I logged into my PS3 first, then the XBox... The XBox picked up the movie from I stopped the XBox. So, I paused it, opened back up the PS3 and it played from the paused moment of the XBox (Yes, it also gave the option to play from the beginning). This is gonna be great for picking up a long or difficult movie from the last point I stopped at.

Anyway, these are just my first impressions. I'm on the 1 month trial, so it has time to improve, get better and for me to grow more accustomed to them. Plus, you know, the service is hardly 24 hours old, so I'm not gonna condemn it at this stage- I'm fairly optimistic and very hopeful that it will do nothing but improve!

Final Note: I could be mistaken, or I might not have been looking thoroughly earlier, but I'm convinced some more movies became available after midnight.

(PS- I couldn't set up my screen capture thing fast enough for my patience today/ at this time of night, so the mobile phone pics will have to do!)

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