I, for one, am sick of having to get up off my ass to get new movies to watch. Sure, it's gotten easier since the days that had me driving to the video store to rent a movie (remember video stores? How quaint.), but it's not easy enough. I still need to mail movies back to Netflix and wait a few days for the next film on my list to arrive. Bah!
And yes, there are download services available, but they all kind of suck for one reason or another. So what do I want? I want Netflix to put out a set-top equivalent of the excellent service they already provide. With these conditions:
•HD, thank you.
•I want the entire Netflix catalogue available for downloading direct to my TV.
•I want to have a queue of movies, and when I finish watching one I can delete it and start the download of the next on my list immediately.
•While that new one is downloading I want to be able to watch another movie stored on the box. No PS3-esque funny business, Netflix.
•I want to pay a flat, monthly rate for this service, not pay per download.
•I want reliable, fast servers that won't leave me high and dry on movie night. I'm not asking for HD movies to be downloaded in 15 minutes, but I don't want to wake up in the morning to an error message or 5% of a file complete.
•If my queue happens to be empty, I want a recommended movie based on my viewing habits to automatically download. I want to be able to put a "surprise me!" item in my queue to have the same thing happen.
And don't try to sell me on other download services like Vongo or even the iTunes Movie Store that just let me get movies of variable quality to my computer. I don't want to watch movies on my computer; I want to watch them on my TV. There's Akimbo and Moviebeam, but they both just have too many limitations and hassles involved to make them worthwhile.
And then there are the on-demand services from cable providers, with HBO, Showtime, et al. offering up their shows and movies for instant viewing. This is great for their original programming, but their limited selection of crappy, full-screen movies leaves quite a bit to be desired. No thanks.
Back to the Netflix box: I'm not asking for a miracle here. I don't care how much copy-protection you stick on these things, as I have no interest in burning DVDs for "backup" or sending them to my computer so I can torrent them. No, I just want my movie viewing experience to be as simple, convenient, and painless as possible. Is that so much to ask? Let's make it happen, Netflix.