About three months ago, I was able to switch from the Netflix DVDs-by-mail plan to Streaming Only. This saved me a few bucks a month, and it freed me up from having to constantly travel to and from the post office. (I live in a rural area, and do not have mail delivery to my home.)
I also enjoyed not having to plan ahead. Previously, I would have to go through all those mental gymnastics: "OK, it's Wednesday night. I have watched two of the three disks I have on hand. If I watch the third one tonight, and get them to the post office to go out with Thursday's mail, they will be received on Friday, shipped back Friday afternoon, and I should get new disks in Saturday's mail. This means I won't have anything to watch on Thursday or Friday… I wonder what's on television… or maybe I can rent a Redbox to get by…"
But there is a slight down side to the Streaming service: THEY DON'T HAVE ANY CONTENT.
It seems like Netflix Streaming is better at stocking television shows than movies. Which sucks for me, because I have cable, and have already seen most of the television shows I'm interested in. TLC's line-up is surprisingly well covered on the Streaming services. Hope you like "Toddlers & Tiaras."
I would guess that they only have about 1 out of every 20 things I want to watch. This is pretty annoying. Here is a list of things I have recently searched for, which Netflix Streaming does not have:
- The Gilmore Girls
- I Am Legend
- Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies (a PBS special)
- War of the Worlds (the 2005 Spielberg remake)
- Northern Exposure
- Due South
- The Last Unicorn
- The Royal Tenenbaums
- Bottle Rocket
- The Squid and the Whale
- Ladyhawke (they used to have this one!)
And that's just from the past few weeks. I know there have been many, many more.
And it's made worse by the way they handle it: if they don't have what you want to watch, their search box pretends that it doesn't exist. This always leaves me wondering if I hallucinated the existence of "I Am Legend," or if perhaps I spelled it wrong.
With the DVD-by-mail version of the site, if they don't have the DVD, you can still SEE THAT IT EXISTS. And you can save it to your queue, and when the disk becomes available, they push it onto your queue. This was a great feature, because when a new movie came out that I wanted to see, I would save it to my Netflix queue. Six months or a year later when it came out on disk: boom, there it was. Netflix Streaming prefers to just throw stuff down the Memory Hole if they don't have it.