Netflix Streaming Arrives on Playstation 3


I have been a Netflix subscriber for a few years - sometimes very active and other times 'pausing' my account. I was excited to have Netflix (finally) arrive on Playstation 3 because it is a potential solution to what many Netflix subscribers suffer from (including me): laziness and hassle. All things being equal, on-demand streaming certainly provides a better experience than mail rentals (which is why Comcast On-Demand is so great). So I was interested in three things about the Netflix / PS3 integration:

1. Activation and Netflix.com integration 2. User experience on the PS3 system 3. Picture quality

#1 and #3 were terrific - Netflix walked subscribers through the activation process clearly and easily. And the picture quality and movie controls are excellent. For starters, a disc arrives that has thorough instructions on the envelope, sleeve and disc:

netflix ps3 disk

Once you insert the disc into the system, you are asked to activate the unique code on Netflix.com. When you visit the site, you are immediately prompted to do the same:

netflix ps3 activation

A couple seconds later, the system activates and you arrive at a slick UI with movies from your online queue (which seems to be the best way to manage content):

netflix on tv

The picture quality is crisp and the streaming was quick, uninterrupted and only required a slight delay before the movie started. A few hours after the movie's competition, Netflix follows up via email to ask about the picture quality and experience - a surprising but welcome email (excellent customer communication):

netflix email follow up

So what needs improvement? The finding experience (recognize a theme in usability issues across the web? iTunes, eBay, Facebook, etc all suffer these issues) is nearly unusable. The best way to find (search isn't even an option) and manage content is through Netflix.com - which historically is a leader in UI.

With full online support clearly available on the PS3, there is an opportunity to merge the two experiences with a Netflix-lite module that users can opt to browse through.

Very promising start that certainly makes my subscription more valuable / productive.