Showing posts with label Amazon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amazon. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Downgraded Netflix Account

Netflix recently changed their account pricing for their accounts that include streaming and DVDs. Here is a snippet from the email that I received:
Your current $17.99 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs (including Blu-ray access) will be split into 2 distinct plans:

Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs (including Blu-ray), 2 out at-a-time (no streaming)
for $14.99 a month

Your price for getting both of these plans will be $22.98 a month ($7.99 + $14.99). You don't need to do anything to continue your memberships for both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs.

This got me thinking about how we have been using the Netflix service.  We love Netflix streaming, especially since we cancelled our cable television service.  Our kids can always find a kids show that they will like, and generally my wife and I can find something that we enjoy.  But we haven't been using the disc part of our service.

We have had the same two Blue-Ray discs sitting in our entertainment center for several months.  Obviously, this is the type of customer that Netflix like, as they don't have to pay for mailing costs, but are still receiving our monthly payment.

Often if we want to watch a recent movie, we will rent a movie through Amazon Video on Demand through our Roku box.  The selection through Amazon is pretty good, especially for newer releases.

With the change in plan, I have taken the opportunity to downgrade our Netflix account to streaming only.  Since we have been using Amazon Video on Demand for recent release, we won't miss the discs.  And in the cases that we want to get a movie on disc, we can always go to our nearest Redbox.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Roku XD|S

I have been interested in streaming content for a while. I have installed PlayOn and the tubeCore Windows Media Center plugin to view TV content. This is not an ideal experience.

With tubeCore, the user interface to browse the list of shows and episodes is pretty simple. For example, the meta data about the episodes is not shown. Also, I was never able to get reliable streaming though PlayOn and tubeCore.  Often, I would need to try to play a stream twice in order for it to play successfully.

The Roku XD|S looked like it would be a perfect way to watch content that is available on-line.  With the Roku, you have easy access to Netflix streaming, Amazon Video On Demand, Hulu and other content.  I like the hardware, as it is very quiet, and is small enough for me to use on any of our TVs.

The setup was pretty painless, and I was up and running with several of the content providers within 30 minutes of starting the setup process.  Where the content partners provided HD content, the picture quality was good.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Springpad

I have been using Remember the Milk and Evernote to keep track of things.  Remember the Milk is a great app to manage task lists, and Evernote is an application where notes, pictures or documents can be stored.  Both of these applications synchronize with cell phones, so you can access your data when you are not connected.

One way that I have been using these apps for is to keep track of things that I see or hear about will want to get later.  For example, when I see a video game, that I don't necessarily want to buy when it first comes out, I want to keep track of it so I can add it to my Goozex list later.  Also when interesting movies come out in the theater, I write them down, so I can remember to add them to my Netflix queue.

The problem with using Remember the Milk and Evernote is that, those entries are not typed.  So when I want to take a look at the items that I indicated some preference for, I need to remember what the item was from the name.  When I want to get one of the items, I need to manually do a search on various sites to get the item.

This post mentions Springpad, which looks like a very promising application.  I downloaded the application on my phone, and created an account, and was easily able to add items.  The best feature of Springpad, is once you add an item, it offers contextual actions.  For example, for a movie, you can purchase a ticket, purchase it from Amazon, stream it from Amazon or Netflix.  I also like the fact that I can choose to make my list public, and you can "follow" other people's list

There are a few things that I don't like, or I think could be done better.

  1. When you create an account, and add items, you start getting emails when some other Springpad user adds something that is in you list. I would want to opt-in to receiving the emails.  (You can opt out)

  2. By default, certain types of items in your list are public.  Once you add the items, you have to modify the sharing preference for each item already created

  3. I don't see why you would use Springpad for contacts or tasks.  I think that there are better tools for those data types.

  4. In the application on the phone, I would like it if it wasn't necessary to specify a data type to perform a search.






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