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NetFlix   ...   random thoughts , netflix
sun 2005-jan-02 17:21:30 pst   ...   permalink

We've decided to sign up for NetFlix. For a while, I'd been a proponent of the theory that instead of signing up for NetFlix, it would make sense to just buy one DVD each month. I figure that would cost roughly the same amount, and would gradually accumulate a nice library of movies. Of course it only actually gives you more options for things to watch (that you haven't already seen) if you don't watch very many movies each month. But I figure we kind of tend to go in and out of phases of watching a lot and not so many, so it seemed a plausible system.

In the end, the main problem with that theory is that actually buying a DVD each month is a lot more effort than having NetFlix simply send you the next thing in your queue whenever you're done with the previous... But in any case, I think NetFlix will also have the advantage of encouraging us to actually watch more movies, since we'll figure, oh, we better watch this and send it back and get the next one. Also, a lot of the DVDs we already own we haven't watched, in part because, well, there's never any reason to watch such-and-such film now -- we can always watch it another time. With NetFlix, we'll feel more pressure to just watch what we have. And if we watch movies more often, then we won't feel we have to always choose the best possible movie to watch now, we'll be free to simply choose one of the three NetFlix discs we currently have, whatever they happen to be, and just watch that.

Anyway, so we just signed up yesterday, and we already have over 120 movies in our queue -- a lot more than the total number of movies we watched in 2004! Since clearly we won't be using the NetFlix queue in a strictly FIFO fashion, there will almost certainly be discs added to the end of the queue that stay near the end as other things keep getting bumped ahead of them. But I guess there's nothing really wrong with that.

Any experienced NetFlix users out there want to share words of wisdom with the newbies?

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reader comments on this entry:

sun 2005-jan-02 18:57:58 pst
posted by

You'll love it! Your reasoning was pretty much my reasoning for signing up as well. Just remember to push anything with a longish wait to the top of the list to make sure you get it sooner. I'm still amazed at how fast they get movies back to me: I'll stick 'em in the mailbox on Monday and have replacements by Wednesday. And now with Amazon and Blockbuster entering the mail-in DVD fray we may see cheaper prices. (They already rolled back a $2 increase into a $4 discount once Amazon announced their plans.)

tue 2005-jan-04 19:34:42 pst
posted by Melanie

Hello, my name is Melanie (a friend of Matt's and an avid Netflix user). I guess the coolest tip I have for you is this...

Okay so movies come out in the movie theater, movies that I say, "oh, I want to see that", but since I never have time to actually go to the movies, I wait for it to come out on DVD. By the time that happens, I usually have forgotten I wanted to see it, missed its release and possibly even its stay on the "newly released" list. So to solve this problem, and give you my point, my suggestion is... as soon as you see a movie you want to see (i.e. coming out in the theater, on DVD, etc...), do a search by name in Netflix and add it to your queue. It will have a release unknown for the date, but as soon as it knows the date, and that date becomes present time, Netflix will automatically move it to your queue.

Cool ha!

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