The Future Perspective is Happening Now

Patrick Rhone has written a wonderful story about watching Television with his daughter. It’s really fascinating to think about how quickly things in the technology front are changing and how that effects future generations. When you work in technology, change is a given fact of life. I suspect that might even be why people are driven to different fields relating to technology. I know that a big part of my interest in web design and development along with IT stems from the fact that it’s an incredibly dynamic field. It’s downright challenging to keep up with things. That sense of newness and challenge is what keep the field exciting.

Rhone’s article put this in a slightly different light for me. I think of how things have changed…and might change in the future. It’s actually pretty fascinating to hear something from someone who doesn’t know the past. Even the very recent past. In this case…’old fashioned’ TV watching isn’t the past yet, it’s something that is on its way out. But let’s be honest, regular cable TV and network TV will be around for a while yet to come. The writing on the wall has been there for print newspapers for years, but they’re still hanging on.

Netflix Watch Instantly

I finally got around to trying out Netflix’s (no longer) new Watch Instantly feature. It’s a pretty cool setup considering I’ve already had Netflix for several years. With my current plan of three DVDs at a time for $16.99 a month, I get an unlimited number of hours of Watch Instantly movies. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

The only problem…It’s Windows only. Even worse, It’s IE only. That has pretty much been a deal breaker for me so far. I have a PC at home, but I don’t ever want to sit at my desk to watch a movie. My laptop is a MacBook Pro. I do have Boot Camp, but the whole rebooting thing has kind of turned me off in the past.

Earlier this week I installed VMware Fusion, which works with my previously installed Boot Camp Windows partition. I finally decided to try out the Netflix Watch Instantly. After spending about 15 minutes jumping through an unbelievable number on installations, run anyway dialogues, yes I really do want to do that thing I just told you to do, one restart, and one unexpected Internet Explorer error later, I was up and running.

I have to say, it looks really good. The interface is very nice (very Mac-lke actually) and the quality is excellent. I was able to put the show into fullscreen and it still looked good. One concern that I do have though is that I’m actually at work running this over their ridiculously fast internet connection. So, good quality with no buffering issues isn’t saying much. I’ll have to reserve further judgement to see how it works on the wireless connection to my DSL modem I have at home.

One niggling criticism I have is over this somewhat disconcerting dialogue:

Netflix Watch Instantly Dialogue

The dialogue shows up at the beginning of every single movie or show you watch. Considering I’m using an entirely legal and paid for service, I kind of resent being presented with a dialogue box that starts with the sentence “You do not have the rights to play this file.”