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Netflix Price Rise Is Bad News For Rest Of Us

The news that Netflix has canned its combined DVD & streaming video offer went down very badly with many of its customers and observers in the US.

There are many reasons why Netflix's move is so unpopular and could prove to be counter productive. First, many see it as a stealth way of increasing the monthly outgoings charged by the video-on-demand company.

The $9.99 covering unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs combined will now be split into unlimited streaming for $7.99, or unlimited DVDs also costing $7.99 a month, or $15.98 if you plan to take both together.

Unfortunately, doing so means that users will have to choose between getting a much wider range of movies, but having to wait for at least 24 hours before receiving one DVD only, OR being able to watch any movie at any time without limits on the streaming content but from a much smaller catalogue.

Then there's the fact that better-than-dvd streaming won't be available for some time because of bandwidth constraints, which means that those wanting Blu-ray quality playback will have to stick with receiving physical discs or pay around $20 per month to get both streaming and the discs.

Finally, Netflix's move may encourage the few remaining competitors - including Blockbuster - to up their prices as well. In the UK, Amazon-owned Lovefilm might also be enticed to push up its prices to mirror Netflix's rise.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.