Ever since Directv changed their Pay Per View policy to a 24 hour viewing windows (see my post) I have been searching for an alternative solution. The closest one I have come up with is the NetFlix service. I went back and calculated what we spent on PPV over the last 12 months and was surprised to find that the $8.99/month NetFlix subscription was slightly less. The only disadvantages are planning our selections ahead of time and the wait time on some new releases. My mother has NetFlix and sometimes she has waited more than 30 days to receive a popular new release. With Directv we used to record PPVs without purchasing them, then we could watch the PPV we were in the mood for. With the NetFlix $8.99 plan, you receive one DVD at time which means only one selection to watch.
With the release of the NetFlix Streaming box for $99, NetFlix now has a real alternative to delivering content. Right now the 10,000+ titles available for streaming are older titles and only in standard definition. The box will be upgraded to HD when NetFlix releases streaming HD content. The one interesting caveat on the content side, is that they have all the most popular TV series which have been released on DVD.
The combination of the new release DVDs by mail and older streaming content maybe the right combination for our viewing habit. With the prevalence of real time data around us, it is funny how technology has changed TV viewing habits from live towards recorded content which allows us to better manager our time...
Here is a good Gizmodo review of the NetFlix Streaming box.