Netflix on TiVo Here Now
Minutes after I got the email I had followed its simple instructions and was comfortably watching a selection from my Netflix “Watch Instantly” queue on TiVo. I’m dazzled by the technology! Over 10,000 titles are available (including a good number in HD) and the video quality is quite good. Still, there are some problems.
I can pause (but not for too long), fast forward, or rewind (but not frame-by-frame). I can’t search for new movies directly on the TiVo box (but navigating the alphabet through the TiVo remote is a clumsy chore I’m happy to do without). Movies selected through the Netflix website are synched to the TiVo virtually instantly.
The first time I left the movie on pause for a few minutes I was returned to the TiVo Central screen and could navigate back to the movie, which resumed at the same spot. The second time I paused the video I lost all Video on Demand functionality. Reconnecting to the TiVo server (3 times!) got me back to the right spot but moments later the screen went gray and the TiVo froze.
A hard restart got the unit going again but I still had to go through the network settings and manually connect to the server before I was finally able to connect to Netflix again. Once there I had the choice of starting the movie over or returning to the same spot.
CNet reports that broadcasters exercising their licensing rights to an exclusive broadcast window means that Netflix and iTunes users will likely find movies popping in and out of the services. With wider adoption it’s likely the services will negotiate their own release window – an inevitability. By then they’ll have the tech bugs worked out.
RELATED: The Netflix press release. Both Endgadget and Thomas Hawk have more detailed reviews of the Netflix (and XBox) “Watch Instantly” feature. Netflix has laid off 50 technical support people saying that its technology is so good that they won’t be needed. They keep their jobs through the end of the year.