Netflix has offered instant streaming for quite some time now. The Xbox 360 has enjoyed Netflix instant streams since late 2008. Additionally other consumer electronics devices support the popular streaming service. It was only a matter of time and a natural fit for the jack of all media, the PlayStation 3, to support Netflix.
Netflix Instant Streaming on the PlayStation 3 represents a milestone for the PlayStation Network. Being the free network that it is, you’d think by default we wouldn’t see a lot of the fancy features from other paid services. However, it seems Sony wants to do as much as it can for its loyal consumers by making these features available.
In light of Microsoft’s exclusivity agreement with Netflix regarding streaming of content onto game consoles, Sony and Netflix were able to deliver the service using a Blu-Ray disc and BD-Live technology. This disc gives PS3 users direct access to Netflix Instant Streaming Queue and selections by category, very much like what Xbox 360 offers. The interface is simple and elegant which compliments the XMB interface. Users can add selections to their queue from their PC or the PS3.
The content selection according to Netflix is over 17,000 titles. There is a large selection available in every category. Some of the categories available are: Comedy, Drama, Foreign, Action, Horror, Children, TV Shows and more. The TV selection is very robust with large selection and a decent amount of High Definition programming. The movie selection is spotty, there are quite a few good movies but there are also many titles you have never heard of. If you are a fan of B-Movies the Netflix Instant Stream will provide you with a never ending supply of content. One thing that is noticeably missing and seems to be common place with streaming service is the lack of 5.1 audio. Most audio will be Stereo or Pro Logic Surround.
Each selection offers a description screen with a highlight of all the relevant information for that item. The description screen also supports the Netflix 5 Star Ratings as well. Content queues up fairly quickly and the stream offers fast forward and rewind via several minute blocks to chose from. If you stop before the end of a stream you can resume it later. The performance for the streams appear to be on parity with the Xbox 360.
Reports indicate that Netflix will be available directly on the XMB. In the mean time this Blu-Ray should give you all the features you want from Netflix on the PS3. Between this and the PSN Video Store the PS3 gives you access to pretty much all the film and TV content you could ever realistically desire to watch.
You can have Netflix send you a disc via www.netflix.com/PS3.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Streams great, not many hiccups or overt artifacts.
Simple elegant interface that compliments the XMB.