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Netflix Calls HD Streaming "Underwhelming," Perfect for Wii

| 8 Feb 2010 21:12
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A Netflix executive said that 1 in 17 movies in their Watch Instantly library are true HD, so Wii owners aren't going to "miss out much."

Last month, we reported that Netflix would be streaming movies through the Wii console, as they currently do on the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Wii owners will have to run an application with a disc provided for free from Netflix, if you have at least a $9/month subscription. But because the Wii does not output video in HD, all movies streamed to the console will only be 480p. Netflix Vice President of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey thinks that HD doesn't really matter, and he is anticipating the service to be successful. The "wii-flix" service is set to roll out this Spring.

"26 million homes in America have a Wii. That's a whole lot of folks," Swasey told The Wiire. "We think that the desirability of watching movies instantly on the Wii via Netflix is a wonderful opportunity for Wii homes. And so we think it's going to be very well adopted."

But will audiences want to watch movies that aren't in HD? Swasey responded by shitting on his own service. "PS3 and Xbox users have 1 in 17 titles available in HD, and it's streamed in 720p... it's not in 1080p, and it's not in 5.1 surround sound or anything." He went on:

So, the HD experience at Netflix Instant Watching isn't that overwhelming. It's a little bit underwhelming. So the Wii folks aren't going to miss that much.

Swasey downplays the importance of HD, but does so by saying that Netflix isn't that good anyway. I guess the point stands that out of the 17,000 titles in the Netflix streaming library, Wii owners will only be watching an inferior resolution with 1,000 of them. And the downgrade is only from 720p to 480p.

Of course, what happens when Netflix adds more HD titles or *gasp* improves their streaming technology to include 1080p? Wii owners will be left with an inferior service than the other consoles, but I guess that's true of their gaming experience too.

**rimshot**

Thanks folks, I'll be here all night. Tip your waitress!

Source: The Wiire

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