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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The latest flick on YouTube? Watts up with that Netflix?

Netflix has been losing subscribers at a rapid pace, and with how everyone is gunning for them, seems like a takeover is imminent and Hastings would let out that sigh of relief whenever that happens. Our Netflix membership, that we have had for a couple years now, has not been used much at all for the past year - and I have been meaning to cancel these guys. Their selections look very thakaylaa. Someone suggested AMAZON and remarked "They both have the same crap" - so why not just pay for the AmazonPrime membership, and get Amazon's collection of 6000 movies for free. But, Amazon's inhibitor in this space is their limited content. Amazon's lure is with their loyal shopping base - who love the AmazonPrime membership; getting free movies is a bonus (but not exactly the value proposition). Over the last couple years, we have converged upon Amazon for a lot of our needs that include, electronics, video games, vitamins - you name it. If Amazon has what we are looking for, it will be added to our shopping cart - and the reviews are phenomenal by the user community.  Amazon has an incredible model (that includes a quick selling process, that we have leveraged extensively), but sadly, loyal as we are, still don't view Amazon as go-to-guys for movies, TV shows etc. They have their work cutout for sure - if they intend to play in this space.

That brings me to YouTube. They have the infrastructure that is primed to help them dominate this market. Check out this scenario, we were @ Pismo Beach over Thanksgiving with friends. As we considered options for a relaxing evening after an adventurous day of ATV riding, someone suggested watching the latest Bollywood flick (mind you, we had a specific choice that we were trying to cater to). We looked that up on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/movies/bollywood. Yes they had it, yeah! And after a quick $4.99 transaction fee, we had it streaming in our hotel room - absolutely On-Demand. Granted, we had some challenges with the hotel network bandwidth that was constantly being throttled  but hey, YouTube had the movie we were looking for. Not on Netflix! There are many free movies available on YouTube too - with ads. But if you download the movies, using the Firefox download extension from here , you avoid the ads. This extension creates a radio-button on your YouTube page that will provides you various download options - I tend to use the 1080p and mp3 option the most. (Installing the latest RealPlayer can help you with the download as well). BTW the paid YouTube content is protected, and you will not be able to download them.

Here is what brings us all this Bollywood content on YouTube - Google India has teamed up with the content providers in India, and thus much of the content that was seemingly gathering dust on the shelves, is now proudly posted on YouTube. The producers are making some additional revenue - from content that was seemingly dead- and they have gotten a world-wide reach now to all the NRIs that are stuck in a time-freeze, and lapping up such content readily. Google benefits and so do you and me. What about Netflix, the ubiquitous streamer and sender of movies? That was responsible for Netflix's early success and traction, and that model has been readily adopted by YouTube as well. Have you tried YouTube on your PS3 today. With enlarged text and simplified navigation, it makes watching YouTube on your TV as easy and intuitive as possible. Lots of free content, and quality is as good as Netflix. Search for the following YouTube channels: MuktaArtsMovies, rajshri, UltraMovieParlour, UTVGroup, UTVMotionPictures, VenusMoviesCHannels 3rentertainmentsHD, BollywoodNirvana, BoxOffice, erosentertainment,  shemaroomovies, tseriesChannel,
You can see their content by going to the url - http://www.youtube.com/user/
My preference is to download the movie - and just watch them via the NAS. 

BTW YouTube is also great to check out the music videos and promos of upcoming flicks. For example, the Ra.One ChammakChallon track had been downloaded to my PS3 a few months prior to the movies launch. If you subscribe to some of these providers, you will get email notification on their latest uploads. Thus, the music from Don2, the action promos has been playing on the PS3 these past few weeks- that looks just splendid (can't wait for it).

So next time you feel like watching the latest movie, and not in the mood to get to the theater,  make sure you give YouTube a try.

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