Netflix on Playstation 3 Goes Disc-Free, Adds 1080p and 5.1 Surround Sound
Big news out of the Sony camp on the PS3/Netflix integration, which is already pretty good: starting this coming Monday (Oct 18), Netflix will become a native application on the PS3, meaning Playstation users will no longer have to insert a disc to watch Netflix's Watch Instantly content. On top of this, the new app will offer select content in full 1080p with 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound. These upgrades could make the PS3 the best Netflix machine under the sun (for now). Here's the official word and a sneak peak at the new interface:
Starting Monday, October 18 you’ll be able to instantly watch movies and TV shows without inserting an instant streaming disc into your console. In addition to eliminating the disc, there is a new user interface that brings a much richer and faster browsing experience, content search directly on the device, and dramatic improvements in how fast playback starts... There is even more good news for PS3 owners: starting on Monday you’ll be able to instantly watch some movies and TV shows in 1080p high definition, listen to Dolby 5.1 channel surround sound, and view an increasing portion of our content library with subtitles.
A look at the new interface in action:
This interface looks worlds better than some of the Netflix implementations out there, as some interfaces only allow you to watch what's already in your Watch Instantly queue (requiring you to use the nearest computer to browse and add content). Other interfaces (like the current disc-based one on my PS3) offer pretty extensive browsing, searching, and rating capabilities. Here's a comparison between the Netflix interface on the Apple TV, Roku, and Google TV (with the gTV presumably in line for an upgrade after launch):
Something to keep in mind if you're currently looking at getting a set-top box touting Netflix as a feature: all Netflixes are not created equal. Anyone have any devices that offer a sub-par Netflix experience?