Tools Toys and Technology

About the Tools You Use and the Toys That Make Life Interesting

Tools Toys and Technology - About the Tools You Use and the Toys That Make Life Interesting

Sad Day for Netflix

Netflix lost all the Starz Play movies and TV shows today. It’s been coming for months, the result of failed contract negotiations between Netflix and Starz. But now that it’s here, I feel like I lost a friend.

On the personal side, I’m a big fan of westerns. Two classic old western series, Gunsmoke and Wagon Train, made up a large part of my Netflix watching. They were owned by Starz. So they’re gone now.

Probably more significant to most Netflix viewers, all the Starz Disney films are history. Toy Story 3, Scarface, Young Frankenstein — all in all a very large part of what used to be available on Netflix has vanished.

Last year, Netflix made a serious of policy and public relations gaffes that ended up losing them countless subscribers. Well not countless — if you can count to 800,000 in one month. Now they’ve lost a valuable source of content, which gives customers another reason to hightail it.

Netflix will hopefully fill the gap with other quality content. But as of today, they are less of a value than they were yesterday.


Amazon Kindle Color Screen Rumor

Rumor has it that the ubiquitous Kindle will soon have a color screen. I’m not talking about the Kindle Fire tablet, which has been color since its introduction. The rumor says that color is coming to the classical E-ink Kindle display.

The advantage of the E-ink display is that it can be read outside in the bright sun. The Fire and other color tablet displays are too reflective to be easily seen in a bright environment.

The rumor has it that the new color Kindle will be introduced in March, so we won’t have to wait too long to find out if it’s true.

Netflix Gets a New Competitor … Sort Of

A series of potential competitors for Netflix have surfaced recently. Each of these offers an add-on Internet TV option to their existing traditional cable or satellite TV businesses. The intent is obvious … to slow the bleeding of customers off to the much lower cost Internet options like Netflix. Quoting from “Today @ PCWorld”:

“My problem with all these services from pay TV providers is that, unlike Netflix, they have little incentive to change the status quo. Their goal is to retain subscribers, so their strategy is simple: Undercut Netflix as a cable supplement.”

Read the original report on the blog, “Today @ PCWorld” here:
Comcast Steampix Joins Attack on Netflix .



Coming March 1st

My Favorite Roku Channels

Of all the Internet TV hardware options discussed in my January article, my favorite by far is Roku. Why? Because, Roku has the biggest selection of streaming channels: 328 at last count.

In my March 1 Tools, Toys & Technology, I’ll compare and contrast some of those selections when I reveal my favorite Roku channels.

Netflix, Hulu and Hulu Plus

Copyright © 2012 Richard Beaty

In last month’s Tools, Toys & Technology, I started a series on Internet TV. That article discussed the hardware and infrastructure you need to stream TV programming to your big screen. This month, we start discussing programming sources, starting with an online “one-two punch” to your expensive, traditional cable/satellite provider. The combination of Netflix and Hulu will have you giving serious consideration to “cutting the cord,” firing your cable or satellite company and saving $100 a month.

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