Big news from Netflix today: the company that pioneered the DVD movie mail subscription service is taking it to the Net. An announcement hit this morning indicating that you’ll be able to download and view movies on your PC through your Internet connection with movies beginning to play in as little as 10 seconds after the download starts. The service will roll-out to Netflix subscribers at no additional charge over the next six months; I wonder if the timing will coincide with the SlingCatcher product announced at CES. Remember, that offering will let you take Internet content and ‘sling’ it to a television.
The initial movie catalog will be around 1,000 titles and the streaming quality appears to be dependent on the throughput of your Internet connection. Sounds to me like the company has a streaming optimization function in the software and the highest quality will be standard DVD-quality. Netflix is betting that cellular data connections will continue to rise in terms of throughput as they mention "we’ll work to get to every Internet-connected screen, from cell phones to PCs to plasma screens. The PC screen is the best Internet-connected screen today, so we are starting there."