I haven't had much time until yesterday to actually play with some of the new features of the improved Xbox 360
interface that was released a few weeks ago. One of these improvements is the ability to now stream Netflix
movies right to your console for your viewing pleasure (once you have an account of course). Seeing as I'm on vacation, I figured it would be a decent time to check out the two week free trial.
So... I log into my Xbox 360 and search for the Netflix area. I click through a few menu options and supply my email address and password, and then end up on a screen that tells me to "go to netflix.com/xbox
to create my account". So now I have to get up off the couch, stroll over to the computer and punch in a url. I do so and go through the regular hoops of setting up one of these trial accounts, including choosing a service that I can cancel anytime over the next 2 weeks for no charge (of course), and giving them a credit card number.
But now... it sends me back to the Xbox. I go back to the couch, ready to watch a movie, press a few buttons and then my Xbox gives me an activation code and tells me to go to netflix.com/activate
to activate my streaming account. Again I get up and go back to the computer, plug in the code, and boom, I'm ready to watch movies on my Xbox, Right?
Maybe I was a little too eager, or maybe the frustration was already kicking in and I had ignored a direction somewhere, but I went back to the couch assuming I could browse through lists of movies on my Xbox, hit a button, and spend the next few hours watching something I wouldn't cough up 11 dollars for at the theaters a few months ago. What greeted me at the couch was nothing. I tried to find some way I could choose a movie on my Xbox, but the option just isn't there.
After paying attention to a few more messages, I realize I have to go back to the computer and set up a que under the "Watch Instantly" tab. Then from this que, I can go back to the Xbox and select the movies I have already selected and start the streaming.
As I browse for a movie to watch, I reach an even greater level of disappointment. In my opinion, the selection of movies for streaming stinks. You know those old Mom and Pop rental stores that used to be around before Blockbuster
, Hollywood Video
, and Tommy K's squeezed them out? Remember how they had only ONE copy of every movie no matter how popular it may be? Remember getting there late on a Friday night and having to sift through old classics because everything you wanted to rent was already spoken for? This is what I felt like looking through the list of available streaming movies.
Now don't get me wrong, I was able to find some gems. I sat down and got my sci-fi/alien fix with Close Encounters of the Third Kind
, and The Day the Earth Stood Still
(the 1951 classic, not the new one Keanu is butchering
in the theaters right now). I also have 20 Million Miles to Earth
and Forbidden Planet
waiting in the que for later this weekend, and I think I may have seen one of my child hood favorites 20000 Leagues under the Sea
(1954) available as well.
However, hardly anything remotely recent was available. Like I said, I wasn't going to pay 11 dollars at the theater to watch the 3rd installment of the Mummy series
, or Will Smith flying around in Hancock
. But, I would spend time watching them if they streamed right to my living room, especially during a free trial. Sadly that doesn't look like an option for a long time.
Unless there's some drastic improvement in what's available, I'll most likely be looking for that "cancel subscription" button before this trial is up.