Welcome to the Discussions & Ideas page for November 2016!
(and spilling into December)


This page is an open forum and catchall for discussing anything about Netflix, this blog, and/or other related topics. Feel free to ask questions, make suggestions, share information, offer opinions, even rant if something is bugging you.

The body of this page will be used to keep everyone updated when there is blog news, and to ask for feedback about improvements/changes/additions, etc. Of course, your participation is always optional and voluntary.

When a particular topic generates a lot of discussion, it will be spun off to its own specific Discussion page. Links to open Discussion pages follow. Please feel free to add comments to any of these. If your comments do not fit any of these topics, then please add them here, in the comments section below. 

Netflix "My List" - Problems/Questions/Changes/Updates
All Things Related to the Netflix-Disney Deal
Issues Around Netflix's Policies Regarding Expiration Notices


                                                                                                                                                                             
My goal: A blog that looks polished and feels complete (not giving up on this!), and that offers helpful content for all, without detracting from the sacred mission of giving followers as much lead time as possible to watch expiring titles.

Thanks to the many contributors who share their time, knowledge and expertise to keep the blog interesting, informative, and fresh in a variety of ways. It is truly a collaborative effort, and I'm honored to be part of it.

87 comments:

  1. FilmStruck has gone live effective Thursday 11/3/2016. I have not signed up yet, but today is my last day with Hulu. FilmStruck has a 14 day free trial offer which they say will remain available.

    My initial impressions from looking at the web site:

    Lack of available devices, only PCs, Amazon fireTV, Android 4.4 or higher and iPad/iPhone at start. Next AppleTV 4 gen. Then Roku, chromecast. No smart TV brands.

    Content looks amazing for art house film lovers. Even the basic version has a huge amount to choose from, including some that expired on Netflix before I was able to view then, e.g. Bicycle Thieves. I don't know that the Criterion channel upgrade has absolutly everything that was on Hulu, but there are many hundreds of titles including films that were not previously available on Hulu.

    Price seems reasonable to me $7 for the basic version, $11 with Criterion, $99/yesr with Criterion.

    I don't see an advanced search option, but the basic search seems to work reasonably well. I tried searching by year and by director. A few extra hits come up now and then, but it is managable.

    Since I haven't tried the service, I don't know about performance. I do know that some services that stream high def can go into buffering mode on my gear. (I only have 6 megabit.) If anyone has tried it please leave comments with regard to this.

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    1. Thanks Achernar. I looked at the site yesterday, and was also impressed. It's calling to me. Not a big deal for me that they don't have an app on smart TVs. That's what an HDMI cable is for.

      I did notice they said they are still testing closed captioning, and that it is currently limited, but expected to be on most films by the end of the year. Because so many of their titles are foreign, surely they must have the English subtitles, but I think I'll wait until closed captioning is widespread. My hearing is okay, but without subtitles I have a hard time catching all the dialogue.

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  2. As of this morning (11/6) Amazon seems to have removed all expiration notices from their website. The orange notices now no longer appear when you hover over a title. I don't believe the explanation is that they've renewed 40+ titles...I think they've done away with the notices for good. Why, Amazon? First Netflix, now you - how does this help anyone?

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    1. This sounds just awful, Anonymous. Shana? Larry G? - what say you?

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    2. Really that's bad. First they get rid of the Prime banner on the Fire TV devices now they get rid of expired dates. They most likely want to trick you into buying episodes at there rip off prices.

      Sorry but Amazon Prime is becoming a joke they too only care about adult originals like Netflix and many things expire from there too. Also Amazon Prime add-on subscriptions are becoming a joke. If you got every one of them you would be paying over a $100 and to have to keep Prime to get them is pathetic. The worst insult is that they have the nerve to charge Prime members $8 for there Amazon Music just $2 off normally $10 for non-Prime members. Amazon Music should be included with Prime no extra charge.

      I can't believe I am watching Hulu more than any other service now.

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    3. Good news! It's fixed today!

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    4. What we were seeing then was not the removal of the Orange Expiration Date Notices, but rather the website was not recognizing our Prime membership Active Status when it displayed the hover-over Pop-Up Info Windows in the Your Watchlist and elsewhere on the website.

      Instead we saw the same Pop-Up Info Windows that non-Prime members see when hovering their mouse over a movie poster on the Amazon Video website. They cannot see the Orange Expiration Date Notices.

      Fortunately, this glitch in the system has been fixed for now, and hopefully we won't see it again.

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  3. Hi Carol! I have chatted with amazon customer service. I don't have a straight answer as to what is going on. The csr told me it was a "short glitch" and thanked me for my business. A second csr emailed me and pretty much acted like "these things happen"... "expiration dates just disappear sometimes"... yeah right. I just want someone to be honest. :)

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    1. Thanks Shana. Hope it gets fixed soon. Sounds like amazon's customer service reps are of the same ilk as Netflix's - clueless.

      For all Amazon Prime subscribers: If you haven't already, be sure to check out Shana's website: Expiring Titles on Amazon Prime. There's a link in the last section of the sidebar.

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  4. The Scripps Network is ending its streaming deal with Netflix and will be removing all its shows from Netflix on December 31. These include shows from HGTV, The Cooking Channel, the Food Network, The Travel Channel and DIY. The stated reason was there were were better (unspecified) ways to monetize the Scripps content.

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    1. Thanks, Wellesley72 - great heads-up info. With just a quick search, I'm seeing in the neighborhood of 50 shows - some with several seasons. I'll work on putting together a list, so we'll have as much time as possible to catch what we want.

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    2. Lets see where Scripps goes to next, Amazon, Hulu or worse there own paywall streaming service.

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    3. I suspect that Scripps might do their own streaming service. We'll find out as we get closer to the end of December.

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  5. As of this morning I can no longer get to a 'Details' tab to get a fuller list of actors, director, expiry date... Clicking on the title from 'My Activity' or via 'Search' now causes it to try and play immediately.
    Expiry date still shows up in 'My List'.
    Anyone else experiencing this or is it just a temporary glitch for me?

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    1. Hi Eric, sorry I didn't see this earlier. Is it still malfunctioning? Everything is working as usual on my computer. If you're still having problems, let us know what device/app/browser, etc., you are using.

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    2. Hey, guys. I noticed this last week while using my GF's account and was (once again) extremely annoyed by Netflix's UI tampering. It seems to be a Chrome issue, though, since I just tried Firefox and everything works as normal there. Why oh why does NF feel the need to keep f*cking with usability? Grr.

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    3. If this is just a Chrome issue, it might not be Netflix's "fault" (I hate to defend Netflix, but). If Chrome upgraded its software, it could have become partially incompatible with the Netflix app or with how the Netflix Internet site is displayed. Netflix then has to adjust to the new Chrome format. This may then present display problems on Safari or I.E. More adjustments, etc.

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    4. Thanks guys, I was away for the weekend, but downloaded Firefox last night and Netflix appears to be working as normal again this morning. So it may have been a Microsoft Edge browser software change.

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    5. I suspect if what I read on various sites is the case, then Netflix is messing with its UI once again. They're doing it to make it more like you're surfing TV than letting you choose out of a vending machine. But it's mainly for TVs right now as they're working on a disabling option for laptops and portable devices.

      Article: https://www.fastcompany.com/3066166/innovation-agents/netflix-launches-video-previews-how-the-company-landed-on-its-biggest-rede

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    6. A bit of good news on the new UI. It apparently showed up on the Roku late this week and instead of immediately playing the film, it plays more like what they do with Sandler/Kevin James films which is about 30-60 seconds of footage to make you decide whether you want to see it. After a couple of runs, it goes back to the one static picture.

      I feared this was going to go the way of Crackle, but fortunately it's not as bad as I thought it'd be.

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  6. With Netflix lack of content shrinking everyday I am watching more documentary's about space exploration and about the universe than actually sitcoms and movies.

    Also this Discussions an Idea's page is much better now as before there was a load of text before the comments even showed up.

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  7. Good news: For those who missed the Eagles documentary The History of the Eagles, it is streaming again. The film left sometime last month.

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  8. as far as titles like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) expiring, it's always puzzled me a little how netflix doesn't wise up and self-distribute public domain content rather than rely on an outside distributor that charges and sets a contract with an eventual expiration of the license for content it doesn't even own. anything before 1923 is automatically in the public domain in the U.S., and a lot from then onward is public domain as well. by taking control of public domain movies and serials, netflix could keep a higher number (to say nothing of the artistic quality) of titles in their library. i would think they would want to keep their catalog of available titles inflated, what with the miramax and epix exoduses, etc. even if they can't stamp "netflix original" on this content they permanently control, there's no good reason something in the public domain should ever expire on netflix. that's just bad business.

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    1. Although an original film may be the public domain, the musical score or the "restoration" may be under copyright, which means buying the right to stream from the copyright holder.

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    2. Also, subtitles, or new intertitle cards in English or in a new translation, may be copywrited.

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    3. The version on Netflix was a recent restoration as are several others of the few silents on Netflix. Netflix had a previous version of Caligari that I never managed to see, so I was glad when the added this new version. This version has been on Netflix for a fair amount of time so I am not too disappointed to see it go. I just wish that there was more classic content overall.

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  9. you're right about the soundtrack to silent films, but netflix could commission a new score, license an existing one, use music that is public domain or under creative commons, or just remain silent. about the restoration, i'm not sure that is covered under copyright. netflix could buy this service retroactively rather than license or redo the work, no? subtitles that aren't a translation from another language i don't think would be protected by copyright, but a new translation/s might be necessary. intertitle cards can be easily redone if not from the original print (pre-1923).

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  10. For anyone who might not know about it, archive.org has all kinds of stuff that is in the public domain, including lots of movies. If you like silent movies, check out:
    https://archive.org/details/silenthalloffame

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  11. Okay just like go to your local library junk. Tired of Netflix removing stuff all the time. Years ago before all this original garbage took over the service they had way more old content now you have to go to different services to get what you use to get with one. I really hope Disney buys Netflix and fires the current CEO.

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  12. I mentioned a bit ago that I've not seen a play button in.my DVD queue in over a year. Today, when I went to move one of my films up in the queue, by accident I found a play button hidden on the side where I can hover over a circle and, normally, get the "move to top", "move to", and "remove" buttons. Checking all 506 films in the queue, I found nine with play buttons, and one play button among the 228 in the saved list. Another step in separating the DVD and streaming departments.

    By the way, Tony, if Disney buys Netflix, the speculation is that Reed Hastings will be slated as the next CEO of Disney--see the article in Exstreamist.

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    1. Then maybe Apple should by them. I hate the current CEO he thinks every Netflix subscriber only likes original content and the heck with anything else.

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    2. Can you give me an example of a movie like that? I found a play button recently, but they've been very scarce in the last few months.

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    3. These are the 10 films that I found in my DVD queue that had hidden play buttons. Some were already in my streaming MyList but, when I added them there, I didn't notice to remove them from the DVD queue so that I could add more:

      Chevalier (2015)
      Ghost Town (2008)
      Lost in America (1985)
      The Measure of a Man (2015)
      My Golden Days (2015)
      She's Beautiful When She's Angry (2014)
      Sunset Song (2015)
      We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011)
      Winter in Wartime (2008)
      The Witness (2015)

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    4. Huh. Must be a browser thing. I just tried all of those and the 'Play' button was visible. I use Firefox. Also, I highly recommend 'We Need to Talk About Kevin.' Great movie, and the book was great too. It's disturbing and haunting, the kind of story that sticks with you.

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    5. I put "Kevin" back in my Queue as a test, and there was no blue play button. "Play" is hidden with the various move buttons. This is both on my iPad with the Safari browser and on my desktop Mac with Firefox. So, I'm not sure what's happening.

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  13. I didn't have a single title expiring for 11/30. This seems a little weird.

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    1. Wait the month is not over you most likely will.

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  14. Sorry to bring up Amazon here, but does anybody know about the mass expiration/disappearance of Vanguard Cinema titles from Prime? They aren't even available for purchase, just gone.

    Pshoes

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    1. The independent movie distributor and producer Vanguard Cinema filed for bankruptcy liquidation in July 2016. See my full comment on Shana's Amazon Prime Video November webpage.

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  15. After about a month away, Kevin Hart: I'm a Grown Little Man is streaming again on Netflix.

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  16. FINALLY, Netflix is allowing most content to be downloaded and watched off-line on iOS and Android devices! So we can finally watch what we want to when we want to.

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    1. Article to go along with that.

      http://decider.com/2016/11/30/netflix-announces-download-option/

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    2. Good move for once Netflix. I was expecting only original content being able to be downloaded for offline viewing not licensed content. Too bad you can't download anything offline but it is better it is not just original's.

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    3. This is great news. I can see the new download button on my phone but not on my Kindle Fire, which is an android (I'm told). Does anyone else use a Kindle? Any tips?

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    4. Kudos for Netflix for a great move. This was well overdue and puts them in striking distance of Amazon Prime. Now if they can only allow us to see expiration dates again without all the runaround...

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    5. Good to hear but until they make that option available on Amazon Fire it is completely worthless. I don't have enough memory on my iPhone to download even one movie and the screen is too small. I guess I'll stick with downloading Amazon Prime movies for now.

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    6. This was before I found out that I couldn't download it on my Fire either. For some reason can't get any film to download from Prime (and if I can, it disappears before I can watch it). Oh well, maybe they'll eventually convert.

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  17. Netflix sunk a new low. They are taking off Quantum leap and i am still watching it. Also many other classic TV shows are going away. Really they are going to have nothing come the new year. Whatever I was watching is going away.

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  18. Any chance of moving comments to this page--or maybe starting yet another page--for what other services might be streaming shows that are expiring on Netflix? I know that information is of great interest to some, but it ends up being quite a lot to scroll through on the main page. Thanks for considering this.

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    1. I hear you, Linklisa. I think you and I are like-minded in most things, but I learned in October that others have different views about what they prefer. There are a lot of variables that come into play - length of comment, number of similar comments, number of replies, etc., not to mention ease and/or forethought involved in choosing a different page for one's comment.

      I think people are generally considerate when it comes to comments that obviously belong somewhere else besides the main page, but there are a number of ambiguous areas that can lead to the kind of over-abundance not everyone finds helpful.

      I don't want to squelch anyone's impulse to share their thoughts or information. Also, not keen on moving comments, especially when one brief comment of a particular nature seems justified, but an in-depth comment - with replies - in the same vein feels excessive. It makes for some tough calls that not everyone will agree with.

      Perhaps we need some guidelines, so that readers (and me) know what's appropriate for main page comments, and what needs to be submitted (or moved) somewhere else. I think we all do better when we have a firmer grasp of "the rules." If you - or anyone else - has ideas about such guidelines, please feel free to share them. If another dedicated page or 2 would help solve the problem, you know I love to create new pages. :D

      Thanks for your concern, Linklisa. I'm sure others share your feelings.

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    2. Linklisa - your comment with a list of excellent and well-thought-out observations about comments on the main page evaporated from here. I just re-posted it, and it evaporated again. Arrrgghhh! I'll find a way to make it available for everyone to think about. In the meantime, I do have a question for you. In your "number 6," you say, "I understand that this site is probably also one of the most likely places to find community with others who are frustrated about what Netflix is losing. There should be a place for this on the site, and I think it works reasonably well for the comments page to be that place, if contributors can make a habit of posting such comments there." By "the comments page," do you mean this page (Discussions)?

      More on all of this tomorrow.

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    3. Linklisa's "evaporated" comment is now entered a couple of comments down from here. I have left the page, and come back, and so far it is still showing. I will have some additional comments about this topic later.

      If anyone else has thoughts about this, I'd love to hear them. Since the "titles only" thread didn't work for a number of people, we still need to find a way to accommodate those of us who want to be able to move through the main page comments quickly, in order to find the most recently added titles. Having some guidelines about which kinds of comments belong on the main page, and what would be more appropriate elsewhere would assist in this goal. Thanks for your time.

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  19. Please no more pages to post comments. I liked it when comments were posted on the expired topic.

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  20. For Murder, She Wrote fansDecember 5, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    The following comment was on the main page. Since there's now a new main page, I thought it would be good to have it here, for anyone interested. --Carol

    Jill Anderson December 3, 2016 at 4:21 AM

    I'm attempting to petition Netflix not to pull MSW (they've done it before and brought it back):

    https://www.change.org/p/netflix-netflix-don-t-pull-murder-she-wrote-from-streaming?recruiter=9408217&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-no_msg

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  21. The following is Linklisa's comment that we've had a heck of a time making stick. It is a follow-up to comments that were initiated by her on December 4, above.

    Linklisa December 5, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    Following up from brief post on December 2 thread on main page: I do think it helps for the main page to be primarily informational. [That page is now the November Expired Titles page, but the comment referenced is still there. -- Carol]

    1) I imagine most of us would agree that the main page should include titles and dates of upcoming expirations, and details that contributors have found about which seasons of a series do and don't appear on Netflix.

    2) Problems with specific titles not streaming before the stated information date make sense to me on the main page, with some practical conjecture about what technical problems could be causing this.

    3) I also find it helpful, when a big batch of titles from a single distributor are expiring at once, for people to share links to news about Netflix deals with that distributor. And that kind of information often includes whether that distributor is launching a deal with another streaming service.

    4) Alternate streaming services are sometimes mentioned for individual titles, which can seem fine on the main page, but I think are often the most conducive to further opinion-type comments. This might be the area where opinions would differ most.

    5) I find this site unique as a resource for people who are still trying to get the most they can out of what Netflix *does* offer. I expect people can find information about other streaming services elsewhere on the Internet, and that contributors here can share links to those via the Resources page.

    6) I understand that this site is probably also one of the most likely places to find community with others who are frustrated about what Netflix is losing. There should be a place for this on the site, and I think it works reasonably well for the Discussions & Ideas page to be that place, if contributors can make a habit of posting such comments there. I can definitely understand Tony's request above for "no more pages to post comments".

    7) In addition, I really like the "we recommend/or not" page for personal opinions about particular titles. I find it really useful in choosing what to watch when a lot is expiring at once. It's a bit underused, and could probably absorb more of the extended comments about specific titles. Contributors seem to use it more for movie titles than series, but it could also be a great place to comment on which series you will miss, or the characteristics of different seasons of a series.

    8) I think it's natural that many contributors occasionally mention wondering whether to drop Netflix, especially when Netflix drops a big distributor.

    9) I don't see a benefit for the community as a whole to see frequent comments on the main page about personal watching of particular titles, or about wanting to drop Netflix because they're dropping a particular title. I'd love to see us find a good place for those kinds of comments, so that the need I describe in 6) above can flourish on this site at the same time as the desire to keep the main page informational.

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  22. I agree with LinkLisa but also think that the main page is working fairly well as is. Many of us are now shifting our non-expiration related comments to this page. A gentle nudge from Carol to those who don't seems to help. A few random, and short, comments on the main page don't distract the flow by much and, if a topic starts a discussion, you, Carol, are prompt in moving it over to this page. Tony is right that we don't need a lot of separate pages. Only if a topic looks as if it'll be around for days and involve many people should it get a separate page. But perhaps a "rants" or a "why I'm thinking of ending it with Netflix" page would be a useful place to move comments of that sort. Old discussions get archived. I don't think 60 comments per month on the discussion page is too many to handle. What makes this system work well is our extremely efficient administrator.

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  23. Something else I've learned from reading interviews from Ted Sarandos (and there's been a few of late) is that there's a reason why we've been losing so many films. On average, only 33 percent on a consistent basis are watching them; the majority spend their time watching TV series or whatever else is available. He also stated that by the time a film is out, if interest was there, we'd have already seen it. In my case with a limited budget, that's not quite true having seen Minions, Tangerine, and Nightcrawler in the last few months which would not have been possible renting from a video store or seeing in a theater.

    Not the best reason why we're losing them (wondering if there's some sort of "But there's no good movies on, so I guess I'll watch Parks and Rec or Friends again" leading us into a point of diminishing returns), but there you go.

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  24. Quote:
    Not the best reason why we're losing them (wondering if there's some sort of "But there's no good movies on, so I guess I'll watch Parks and Rec or Friends again" leading us into a point of diminishing returns), but there you go.
    ____________________________

    I agree. I done that. One time looking nearly a half hour to find a movie and it is a stupid dubbed in english foreign snooze fest so I ended up watching a sitcom.

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    1. I added a few Netflix tips/hacks to the "FAQ/Resources" page. Hope these are of use in finding better things to watch.

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    2. Again, I've added more details to the "FAQ/Resources" page, about how I get Netflix to recommend things I actually like. One that might save you time with your searches is this: scroll down the rows on your browse page until you see a genre or group of titles you know you like. Click on the title of that row to bring up a page of just that category.

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    3. i was also going to link him to set his "Taste Preferences" just now, but it appears that is only available on the discs side, not streaming.

      not to undermine your valiant efforts here, but i've never found my streaming recommendations and especially predicted ratings to be too well matched, and according to netflix (discs side) i've rated 4267 titles and long ago set the aforementioned Taste Preferences. for one, netflix streaming has totally tipped the scales in favor of their originals, where it's a running joke for me that they are all going to be 5 stars. even the non-originals have funhouse mirror ratings for me. i rarely ever rate anything 5 stars, yet so much of My List is in the 4.5- to 5-star range, many of them nearly all the way up to 5. this is especially true for tv shows. i also have well-known movies with predicted ratings in the 0.5- to 2.25-star range, and i almost never rate anything a 1 (it's probably been 10 years) and rarely ever a 2 either. i've brought this up on the phone with the kids working the phone line and got one to admit the predicted ratings were pretty high and seeming to suggest there was a way for them to change that, which i should probably pursue. my theory is, despite being the same company, streaming doesn't borrow data from discs for its prediction algorithms, and i've somewhat confirmed that by seeing different predicted ratings for the same titles depending on which side of the site i am on.

      regardless, i have never had a shortage of movies and tv shows i want to stream (i kind of envy those who do because you aren't facing the regular crisis of what to watch before it expires that so many of us are), but it's not through netflix recommending them to me. i did used to enjoy the recommended and similar titles on the discs side, but that's because the library is so much wider that it was fun to explore. i'm really glad i did because most of it was never added to streaming and i'm guessing never will be. right now i'm trying to watch as much as i can before it shutters or is sold off (see below). these mass departures of entire series i wanted to stream don't help.

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    4. About 80% of what I watch is going away next year. There is no way I can finish it as I am not in the mood my cat died on Friday and I have no interest binging on any show right now. Thank for nothing Notflix. You suck.

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    5. I use to say the same thing until everything except the CW and Futurama is going away Jan 1st. Really everyting I was watching or going to watch except those CW shows the only saving grace.

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    6. i mostly use streaming for movies, so it was funny to me to read the recent comments from them about how little value they and their customers place on movies, explaining the high turnaround and the relatively few major new or recent releases. i can't really argue, i'm usually the outlier when it comes to entertainment. while other people are binge watching their favorite shows over and over, i really took series for granted and put off watching them just so i could concentrate on movies, a much more modest time investment, that and i'm not as impressed with the current age of tv as most seem to be. obviously i'm doing it wrong. if it seems possible i sometimes try to watch a show before it expires, like i did with tron uprising, which i was really glad about, but when netflix gives just a month of notice for a show with 200+ episodes, it stings even though there was nothing really stopping me from watching before it was slated for expiration.

      the good news, i think, for these tv shows that have already appeared on streaming services is some (most?) should bounce around, like you're seeing with hulu and others have pointed out with amazon prime. for some other shows i think the networks and studios are going to try to trap them behind a paywall in their own proprietary service, which is annoying but better than nothing. i think my dreams of one service to rule them all have been dashed at this point.

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    7. Travis, I recommend using 1 star if you never want to see anything like that again, 2 if you think something is objectionable or just plain bad. That should have more impact on your ratings than just using 4 or 5 stars. (More on the FAQ/Resources page.)

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    8. thanks, Linklisa. you are right, that would give pretty clear direction to netflix, and i will second your recommendation to anyone wanting very specific suggestions and more polarized predicted ratings.

      (my case is a little different. i rarely ever rate anything a 5. 5 is what netflix thinks i want to give everything, based on their predicted ratings for me. i rate using their original system of 1 being hated, 2 didn't like, 3 liked, 4 really liked, and 5 loved. about 75% of the time my rating is a 3, ~24% a 4, and ~1% a 5 or 2, with a 1 being a statistical 0% because i haven't used that rating in so long. to me a 1 means no redeeming value or truly repulsive. very few movies and no shows i would ever watch would seem to earn such scorn. i'm not willing to throw away my rating habits of 11 1/2 years over the possibility of getting improved recommendations and predicted ratings from netflix streaming. i would feel like a hypocrite because my original theory was that people were rating everything either a 1 or 5, which was also partially confirmed by netflix, and to me it's all about nuance and accuracy. a 5 should be reserved for when really deserved, likewise a 1. the real problem seems to be that netflix is only using ratings i gave from my streaming device, which are almost always to titles very soon removed from their library, as opposed to the over 4,000 ratings i've made cumulatively on netflix, because i do rate everything i watch for this very reason. the recommendations and predicted ratings are good on the discs side, just not on streaming.)

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    9. Netflix got rid of the not interested rating. You can only rate 1 to 5 stars. I use to rate many of there originals not interested which worked better but now rating them 1 star they still show up all the time when new original recommendations come up so I just removed all the 1 star ratings and ignore them as long as they don't start playing those episodes without my permission.

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  25. this may be of interest to those of you with a discs plan. after noticing my last several ship from several states away, i called and had confirmed that the local and next nearest distribution centers all recently closed. for reference, i am outside of a major city. even though by their own admission they remain profitable, it seems they are trying to lose their last customers through attrition. i'm not pleased by the extra time it now takes to receive and return a disc, especially when the post office doesn't bother to scan the barcode i left up for them.

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    1. I haven't noticed any changes in my distribution center, but between my classes and stuff on streaming expiring, I haven't been getting very many discs (I've had my last two for about a month). I did notice at least one of my discs came from the next state over, but I don't think travel time was impacted more than normal. Also, I think this particular disc (Jeff Dunham: Minding the Monsters) may have limited availability, so I didn't really think much of it. I should be receiving a new disc tomorrow or so and will see then where it came from. If they are closing centers or preparing to sell, that does worry me, as my DVD queue is HUGE.

      I do wonder, though, if perhaps they closed their centers because people in cities just aren't using discs as much. I seem to recall reading somewhere (maybe on here or a different blog) that most younger people aren't even aware Netflix offers DVD plans, much less use them, and that some rural areas have internet speeds that don't really support streaming, so people in more rural areas still tend to use the DVD plans. So, while Netflix as a whole may still be profitable, perhaps they decided that those particular distribution centers did not serve their customers very well due to demographics?

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    2. They did close a bunch of distribution centers. I am surprised Netflix even still has a disc plan which is only in the US. I was sure they were going to get rid of it by last year.

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    3. Nica, i noticed the change for me last month, so you may start seeing your discs ship from that out of state center. at first i thought it was a coincidence because i, too, rent discs with limited availability, almost exclusively, but they all started coming from the same place as opposed to the usual variety of states (i've had them from across the country). there were a couple times it took extra time to get to me, but the real issue now is if the post office doesn't scan the return then it could be days. i returned a disc last monday morning to 2 states away, and because it wasn't scanned by the PO for reasons unknown netflix didn't receive it until friday. the old shipping center was in the same county where i live so they would at least get it the next business day even if it didn't get scanned by the PO. that's a big difference for me.

      my queue is at 500 with a lot more to be added. that's why i put at the top everything with a "Very Long Wait." i know i'm not going to get to everything. i'm trying to think now in terms of what is the least likely to get digital distribution.

      your theory about cities is a good one. i'm sure there is a lot of merit to that, and i hope as long as people in suburbs and rural areas are giving them business we will be safe.

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    4. I did receive a new disc on the 21st and it came from the next state over. I guess that means they closed my nearest distribution center. That also sort of blows my theory of rural vs cities out of the water, since my nearest center was what I would consider to be the more rural one. I am, however, near the East coast, so the decision could have come down to that particular center being geographically situated to better serve their customers. It didn't seem to change the amount of time that it takes to receive discs, so that part at least makes me happy. Of course, even if it had, given how slowly I go through discs at times, I'm not really sure my complaints would have made a difference to Netflix.

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    5. i sent one back yesterday, and they got it 2 states away (my new distribution center) midafternoon... so i have a queue at 500 with 0 discs at home. presumably the PO did not scan the envelope again yesterday as NF would have started preparing my next disc in the wee hours of the morning. like i said, this is going to annoy enough people they are going to start losing even more customers, maybe by design. it's frustrating, not because i have some sort of physical object fixation like they seem to with all of the "dvd.com," "favorite dvd," and "#dvdme" stuff (they have one of the most powerful brand names in the world and don't want to use it, instead positioning themselves as an alternative service for plastic disc fetishists), but because i know the clock is ticking.

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    6. I'm late to this discussion because I'm in proses of moving from NY to NC. I've not had this problem getting DVDs. My local center, Rochester first and now Greenville, sends out a new DVD as soon as it gets confirmation from the USPS that a return is on the way. I move all of the "very long wait" titles to the top of my queue and, from time to time get this email from Netflix: "[title] was unavailable at your local shipping center, but is available from a shipping center in another part of the country. It’s on its way to you and should arrive within 3 to 5 days
      To keep you entertained while [title] makes it way to you, we’ve sent out the next available DVD from your Queue, which now shows this free extra DVD rental. Enjoy!" So I have two DVDs at a time. When I return the one from the local center, the next one ships, even if I've still not returned the extra from the distant center. I've no complaints about this.

      BTW, I've can't find a way to change my "Reply as" name, either on google or blogger. I know how much Carol prizes accuracy on her blog, and am distressed at the thought of her discovering my geographic inaccuracy and spending hours trying to correct it. But I don't see what I can do.

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    7. yeah, i'm getting serious netflix vibes here from your dishonesty! ;)

      i, too, get extra discs pretty often simply because i have the VLWs at top. the difference is my PO is now less consistent about scanning the barcode on the envelope to signal the return to NF. i'm guessing they are disgruntled postal workers mad about the loss of income from NF because of how many less customers they have now by mail. that has more of an impact now that my local center is multiple states away. it's been 2 1/2 years now since i have been renting discs with a "Long Wait" or "Very Long Wait." when my center was in state, i could get 3 discs a week sometimes with a 1-at-a-time plan if i watched them right away and got the extra rental fairly quickly (sometimes it would arrive on monday the following week from across the country). by putting the shipping center farther away and by the PO not scanning my return, that average is way down.

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    8. Well, CanandaiguaNY, I'm thinkin' you'll just have to move back to NY, you know, for the sake of blog accuracy. We must all make sacrifices. ;-)

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  26. I moved this to the complaints section.
    https://expiringonnetflix.blogspot.com/p/discussion-complaining-on-this-blog.html?showComment=1482244347286

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  27. The thing with Netflix having all those titles leaving on January 1 (or December 31) is not new. They normally have a "refresh" at the end of the year.

    What makes this year worse is that the Scripps Company decided not to renew its deal with Netflix (presumably it's them that pulled the plug, not Netflix).

    My fingers are crossed for the 30 on 30 renewals, but if Hulu is going to get those titles, you'd think we'd get a date for the three newest ones that Hulu hasn't picked up yet (Phi Slama Jamma, Hit It Hard, Catholics vs Convicts). But having seen Hulu's January highlights, no sign of them.

    As for the TV titles expiring on January 1, fingers crossed that they save some of them. My hopes are guarded but higher for Murder, She Wrote, Quantum Leap, and other series with multiple seasons than for older shows with just one season. My feeling is that Netflix will remember that we helped to fund their international efforts and try to keep some of it to keep us around.

    For films, generally the newer titles will probably be one and done while the older ones should come around again sometime in 2017.

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    1. Good summary, Brian, thanks. Hope some of your crossed fingers work. :-)
      Here's how the numbers look, for anyone interested:
      Leaving after 12/31:
      Movies/single shows (so far): 159
      30 for 30 shows: 69
      Traditional TV series: 32
      Scripps Networks shows: 55
      ------------------------------------
      Total: 315

      No wonder that scroll seems so long!

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    2. 32 TV series too bad 90% are the ones I watched or was going to watch.

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  28. Don't bother with new Hulu highlights. They add shows without any fan-fair or announcement. There was squat about them adding Smallville which I only found out from a banner ad on my Roku Player.

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  29. Some small news today. Perhaps a Christmas gift or a distraction for all the titles leaving on January 1? You decide:

    Amores Perros
    The Graduate
    Hard Candy
    Requiem for a Dream

    And some of the animated Marvel movies that expired a month or two ago are back.

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    1. Oh, and I forgot Downfall (2004) with Bruno Ganz.

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  30. Disney has apparently cut a deal with Hulu that gives Hulu exclusive streaming rights to over 50 Disney "family" movies, like Mulan. The deal does not include the 2016 Disney films that are exclusive to Netflix nor does it appear to cover the Disney/Marvel/Pixar films still streaming on Starz.

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  31. There is a NEW Discussions & Ideas page for January - link is at top of sidebar.
    Please put comments there, now. Thanks!

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    1. Then it should be also at the bottom and this should be archived. I too missed it otherwise.

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