Robert Dwyer

Talking longer-form than Twitter and shorter-form than blogging about: Wine, Points & Miles, Deals and Family Travel @RobertDwyer on Twitter.

Aug 26

Netflix App Review: Where’s the Content?

I just downloaded the Netflix iPhone app which allows you to stream content instantly if you have an active Netflix subscription.  Seems like a great idea, and I’d look forward to an iTV that allows similar streaming directly to our TV for $99, but limited availability of the content I want makes the technology a non-starter for me.

And it’s not just a Netflix problem- I continue to see the same problems with iTunes rentals and through Amazon.

Take for example the AMC series “Breaking Bad”.  Awesome show that we’ve been watching by renting DVDs through Netflix.  It seems inefficient to be passing these 3-episodes-per DVDs through the mail, but how else can I watch this series?

Although Netflix carries the DVDs, the series isn’t available to Watch Instantly.  I can buy prior seasons through iTunes ($11.99 for the first season, $21.99 each for the second and third seasons) but I can’t rent the series.  I see it available on Amazon for $1.99 per episode, but I’d like to be able to watch through an existing subscription I’m already paying for. How many relationships do I need to form with content providers?  And how many different streaming situations do I need to navigate to easily watch the show on our TV?

The situation isn’t unique to Breaking Bad- I seem to be in the same boat when I try to find content that’s in any way outside of the mainstream new releases.  Shouldn’t that be one of the primary benefits of streaming vs. passing around DVDs?  That more obscure content can be everywhere at once and we don’t need to fight over it?

As much as I feel like a Luddite for continuing to rent DVDs through Netflix, I don’t see a better solution at the moment.  I hear about people loving their Hulu boxes and streaming Netflix through their Nintendo Wii, Xbox, or PS3- but where is the content coming from?  Where do you turn when the content you want isn’t available?

So I ask: What’s the easiest, most affordable source of instantly available content available right now?  What’s working well for you?