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Netflix dot cee eh?

July 19, 2010

I was super excited to hear the twitterings this morning about Netflix coming to Canada. There wasn’t much actual news to report first thing, other than the Canadian site is live with a sign up option to stay in the loop.

Shacknews has offered us a few more details, including the we’re-not-announcing-anything-but-hint-hint official statements semi-confirming that streaming will be available via Xbox Live and that the service will be available in the fall.  Interestingly, there will be no disc-by-mail option.  While this is more than fine with me and my like minded geeky peers, it might deter users like my mom and certainly won’t be pulling older folks away from zip.ca.

However I am personally thrilled, we’re a digital house and have the maxed out hard drives to prove it.  We currently purchase all our programing from iTunes and use our AppleTV to play tv and movies on our television.  This is a pretty good option considering we don’t watch a lot of television, but the price per show is a steep $1.99-$2.50, regardless if it’s an hour long drama or half hour sitcom.  That adds up in a hurry if you have family members watching multiple shows, and the big expense (as we’re finding out) is that now that we own this content we have to store it and back it up.  I would love to be able to stream older shows and movies without owning them and storing them, and a subscription service is great for a larger family like ours (as the kids get old enough to watch tv).

BUT

As we have found out the hard way, the limited bandwidth included with most high speed internet packages in Canada gets eaten up fast when you’re downloading television, movies, music, games… even in seemingly small amounts.  We hit our cap frequently and the overage charges of $1.50/GB add up fast.  There are some unlimited packages available from some high speed re-sellers, but they also come with a significantly slower pipe.  Just like with mobile phones, internet subscribers pay too much for too little compared to our US counterparts.  Since our internet providers are also cable subscribers, I really can’t help but feel that it’s not a coincidence.  It’s as if the providers think that if they can’t get your money for a cable bill, then they’ll get your money through your internet bill.  They know you’re getting your entertainment somewhere else, and they want a piece of it.  So it will be interesting to see if a service like Netflix can do well in Canada.

I’m certainly keen to try it out, presuming the pricing is reasonable and there is streaming to iPad and Xbox 360 (um, we might have three of those).  Looking forward to hearing more details, and I’m certainly curious to see how the pricing compares to the US plans.  If you want to be kept informed, go to http://www.netflix.ca and sign up for their updates.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Airdom permalink
    July 19, 2010 1:45 pm

    I am also really looking forward to trying Netflix, but the big BUT is for the internet cap like you were saying. Some months i do not do anything crazy on the web and still burst my combined 30gb DL/UL limit with Videotron. They even recently increased the charge when you go over the limit.

    Now, streaming HD movies will cost you around 3-5gb of bandwith (I think)…so i have a hard time imagining that i’ll be able to use this service fully.

    I’m happy we are finally getting this in Canada,but i’m scared at what the ISP’s are going to do, and what the CRTC will do about it,since they don’t do much at all to help the actual customers out most of the time!

  2. July 19, 2010 1:51 pm

    If the service is reasonably priced and catches on, I think a lot of people will have a nasty surprise when they get their internet bill from their ISP.

    We have a 95GB cap and go over about half the time. It doesn’t seem like we download a lot, but it doesn’t take much, between Steam sales and iTunes. I feel like we get really hosed on internet access (just like mobile phones) in Canada. I wonder if Netflix has considered this at all?

  3. Airdom permalink
    July 19, 2010 8:04 pm

    I hope they considered it, i seriously do. But at the same time I really wouldn’t think they did actually think about that much.

    I’m just gonna try to keep my hopes alive ;)

  4. alabastercow permalink
    July 20, 2010 9:56 am

    conrats on it coming to canada! had no idea it wasn’t there yet!

  5. July 20, 2010 3:03 pm

    We are addicted to netflix. My girls are 3 and 5 but we love having such a variety of movies readily to watch together. You will love it if the hidden charges of the internet bandwidth usage doesn’t kill you. That stinks. Also, I wanted to thank you for sharing my guest post on the Alabaster cow. I am your newest follower!Happy Mothering!
    Debi
    http://motherhoodthetruth.blogspot.com

    • July 23, 2010 7:44 am

      Thanks Debi! I really enjoyed your post, and am going back through your blog as I have time.

      Our ISP just announced yesterday that they are lowering bandwidth caps… That’s what happens when your ISP is also the cable provider and owns the video stores. Yikes.

  6. July 28, 2010 1:43 pm

    Thanks so much for joining FMIC today! Have a good one!

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