Netflix Streaming on the PS3 First Impressions

So naturally when Netflix announced that they were going to be bringing their streaming video service to the Playstation 3 I was intrigued. I already own an Xbox 360 and an Insignia Blu-Ray player, both of which I use to stream Netflix movies to my TV’s, but there’s no harm in having 3 Netflix enabled devices. The difference between the Xbox 360’s ability to stream and the Playstation 3’s ability to stream is that Microsoft and Netflix have some sort of exclusive agreement that allows for the 360 to be the only console to natively support Netflix streaming from the dashboard. In other words the Xbox 360 has the software to stream Netflx built into the system software where as the PS3 requires a disc in order to be able to stream.

When they first announced the PS3 streaming you needed to request a disc from Netflix, nobody was really sure how long it would be after the request that you would actually see the disc, but I’m happy to say that it only took a week or so to receive my disc. Obviously Netflix does not want you to send this disc back as they require with normal movie rentals and there are ample warnings on the sleeve to let you know that you can keep the disc, it doesn’t even come with a return envelope so it should be pretty obvious, but I figured I’d throw that in there just in case those of you that were still waiting for your disc were curious.

When you first insert the disc into the system you’ll have to link it to your Netflix account via the activation processes. Basically you’ll have to go to a website and input an activation code in order for the PS3 to recognize your Netflix account. After you get through the activation process, which takes only a few minutes, you will be presented with your instant queue. The instant queue are the movies that you’ve added on the Netflix website, but this isn’t your only option for finding movies to watch. Besides the instant queue you can also browse by things like new streaming arrivals, different genres of movies as well as different TV shows, the only thing you can’t do is search by title so you’ll be browsing through a lot of movies if you have a specific one in mind, but if that’s the case you’re better off just jumping on the website and adding it to your instant queue.

The quality of the movies isn’t terrible, not every movie is in HD so don’t expect HD quality from every title, and the quality also depends on your internet connection. I haven’t had any problems with the quality of streaming whether it’s on the PS3, Xbox 360 or my Insignia Blu-Ray player, but friends of mine that live in downtown Chicago have complained that they quality of their streaming was absolutely terrible, unwatchable. So just make sure your connection is decent if you plan on streaming these movies. My only other complaint is the software itself is pretty simple. I understand that the use of a disc is necessary to get around the exclusivity that Microsoft has with Netflix for the time being, but I can only hope that once the software is integrated into the PS3 dashboard, that it is a little more seamless. The software on the PS3 disc is actually the exact same software that is on my Insignia Blu-Ray player which I was not too impressed with when I got it. I know the functionality between this software and the built in software on the 360 is almost the same, but the navigation and execution on the 360 just seems much smoother and faster. So if I had to choose which hardware to use to stream Netflix I would still have to choose the Xbox 360, but only for now, we’ll see what happens when Sony can build it into the software natively. The other downfall of the service is the movie selection, it’s gotten better since earlier this year, but it’s still not the greatest.

Have you guys tried this out yet? What do you think?