If I held Netflix
Why should the Netflix crowd be mirthful? Because the nature of the challenge and the subsequent headlines prove that people still don't get it. Video-on-demand (VOD) technology hasn't caught up with Netflix, no matter what the talking heads predict. That goes for TV-centered offerings as well as computer-based newcomers.
"Hold on there," you say. "Won't the new generations of media PCs and wireless home networks make it simple to get this content out of the den and into the living room?"
Don't bet on it. First off, we're talking about a limited selection of movies and a 20-minute download minimum. Next, keep in mind that home networks are still a pain for many users -- networking equipment suffers from very high return rates -- and most wireless gear doesn't have sufficient data throughput to rival the sound and video resolution you get from an actual DVD. Moreover, no computerized solution can rival the one-button simplicity of a DVD disc player.
I'm a total computer geek, the kind who builds his own multimedia PCs from scratch and runs a wired network throughout the house, and even I have no interest in Real's new service. On the other hand, I won't even bat an eyelash at the upcoming price increase from Netflix. Why? Simplicity: Netflix has it. Multimedia computers do not.
If there is an upcoming market shift to downloadable, on-demand movies, Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick TiVo
The latter company's subscriber expansion has left slow-moving competitors like Wal-Mart
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