Netflix, now in the UK

Today saw the release of Netflix in the UK.

Just download this free app and you can instantly watch TV shows & movies streaming from Netflix.

I have been somewhat interested in Netflix after listening to rave reviews about the service in the US on podcasts such as TWiT. I quite like the idea of “all you can eat” subscription video service, the key though is the content and how often it is refreshed.

I wrote over three years ago now how I subscribed to the GO!VIEW service for the PSP from Sony and Sky. This was a video subscription service (downloading for the PSP mind you, not streaming) however I only subscribed for two months, not for any technical reason, purely content, once I had watched what I wanted to see, and there was no refresh of content within those two months, I couldn’t see the point of continuing my subscription. Now of course GO!VIEW is defunct and no longer available.

When we got our new TV, which has internet services built in, I did consider getting a Lovefilm subscription, but wasn’t that impressed with the content back then.

With the Netflix announcement I have been looking at the content available, and importantly how easy it will be to access. Alas my TV does not have Netflix, though it may come in with an update later. I thought my LG Blu-Ray player would be a possibility, but alas no luck there either. Good news however the PS3 does have Netflix capability and there is an app for the iPad and the iPhone. I suspect that we may see a future update to the Apple TV that gives us Netflix on that box.

So apart from the content considerations, I am also concerned about the impact it will have on my broadband cap, I have a bandwidth limit on my fibre connection and in recent months we have got quite close to the limit. My concern will be if I start using Netflix I will (obviously) be using more bandwidth and if I have to increase my cap that will cost me more money. Not sure if I will watch Netflix instead of iPlayer, that may be a possibility so may not have such an impact after all.

So what about content? Well that has to be a serious consideration and you don’t subscribe to Netflix if you want the most recent film and TV releases. For example it only has the first four seasons of the new Doctor Who, so no Matt Smith (though some may think that is a blessing). There are a few 2010 films, but most are much older.

So not sure yet, but hey you can have a month’s free trial and that may well be the way to go.

When the GO!ng gets tough, the tough get going…

Okay, in a previous post I mentioned how I quite liked the GO!VIEW service for the PSP from Sony and Sky.

Having now used the service for two months I have unsubscribed.

I think I would have probably unsubscribed last month, but the service wouldn’t let me so I was automatically subscribed for another month.

So what’s the problem, it’s not as if I don’t watch “rented” video?

Well let’s see?

Was it easy to find what you wanted?

Basically yes, the Flash based interface was a little annoying and a little too clever for it’s own good, but for most purposes it was fine.

Were the files good quality?

Yes, as I said previously:

The quality of the Doctor Who video was quite poor, almost VHS quality, however I was more impressed with the quality of the Hustle video which was (in my opinion) as good as the quality I have managed converting EyeTV Freeview recordings.

Was it easy to move the files to the PSP?

Yes, and when you consider I was doing this on parallels on my iMac, I had added a extra layer of complexity.

So why have you unsubscribed then?

To be brutally honest, the one reason I have unsubscribed is that there is no new content.

In the last two months, there have been no additions to the content line-up. So we have Hustle season 1, but no seasons 2, 3 or even 4! We have Spooks season 1, but none of the other seasons. We have a single Doctor Who story and though you can rent the new Doctor Who, as part of the Entertainment package you only have the single Jon Pertwee Spearhead from Space.

True I could have watched other stuff, but I didn’t want to watch Desperate Housewives or badly made TV movies. I wanted more of the stuff I had watched.

So though it was only costing £5 per month, I’d rather not pay £5 per month for re-watching the same content again and again…

If they bring in new content, I may subscribe, but for now I’m going…

When the GO!ng gets tough…

Okay despite my earlier problems and upgrade issues I am quite pleased with the GO!VIEW service.

I have downloaded a few bits and pieces.


The quality of the Doctor Who video was quite poor, almost VHS quality, however I was more impressed with the quality of the Hustle video which was (in my opinion) as good as the quality I have managed converting EyeTV Freeview recordings.

Now I suppose there are some downsides.

According to the GO!VIEW interface, I only have access to the recordings for 29 days, however this could be just because of the “free” month, but I somehow don’t think so.

Also once transferred to the PSP, I only have 14 days in which to view the video.

The major big downside is the choice, the library of content on GO!VIEW is very limited. If it wasn’t for Hustle and Spooks I probably wouldn’t subscribe and if I watch the lot by the end of the month and there is no new content then I will certainly be cancelling my subscription.

Lets wait and see.

Still someway to GO!

Has some computer downtime, so I took the opportunity to download some television programmes from GO!VIEW to watch on my PSP.

Downloaded an episode of Doctor Who, formatted a new Memory Stick (as the one I had on the PSP was full) and clicked transfer…


I now need to update the firmware on the PSP (and I thought I had the latest on there, well obviously I don’t).

So now downloading a 25MB firmware 4.05 update…

Ho hum!


I have been playing about with video on my iPod and have downloaded video from the iTunes Store including television shows and movies. It has been relatively simple and painfree (for me). So I was intrigued when I got an e-mail from Sony (or was it Sky) about the new GO!VIEW service for the PSP.


I was interested less so in the free month’s trial, but more in the fact that season one of both Hustle and Spooks were available, as was some classic Doctor Who. They aren’t available (yet) on the iTunes store.

Now yes I could go out and buy the DVD box sets, but GO!VIEW looked really interesting as (yes a free month) and the Entertainment package was only £5 ($10) per month.

Now that struck me as much better value than the £1.89 ($4) per episode I have to pay at iTunes… and I know I get to “keep” the episodes at iTunes, but sometimes you don’t want to pay a huge amount to see an old series.

So was the process going to be as easy as iTunes was?

Well no it wasn’t.

Firstly you have to be running Windows, so there was no way I was going to do this on my Mac except through Parallels.

To be honest I should have kind of expected that especially as they were probably going to use some form of Windows Media DRM.

So went through Parallels and ensured that I could connect to my PSP through the USB port as the process did require you to do this.


So according to the website GO!VIEW is “so simple to use”, well let’s put that to the test!

I then tried to sign up and found I was required to download a GO!VIEW application, well I can’t complain about that if I download iTunes can I?

Once I downloaded I tried to get the free trial, but it would seem you have to subscribe first and then that gets you the free trial. You do need to give a credit or debit card however this is quite normal with any subscription service that I have seen.

Everytime though I filled in the registration data, it found an error and then “wiped” out a fair few of the fields, so after three attempts at pressing the submit button I was getting annoyed.

Eventually I was registered, so you can guess that I got even more annoyed when I clicked the download button for the episode I wanted to watch and I got an error message. Nothing about it in the FAQ or even in a Google search.

Hmm. One of the FAQs did mention Firewall issues, so I checked my Firewall settings in Windows and actually made it more restrictive, but this seemed to do the trick!

So now I could download.


Well it’s slow so I haven’t yet managed to download an episode without impacting on my internet connection as GO!VIEW uses a peer-to-peer download manager based on the same Kontiki software that powers Channel 4’s 4oD and the BBC’s  iPlayer download service.

Unlike those two services though, GO!VIEW programmes can only actually be watched once transferred to a PSP.

I’ll let you know how I get on.