Welcome to the Discussions & Ideas page for January - May 2017



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 (although we now have a very nice "Complaining" page that is especially good for that).

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
Complain About Netflix: Vent, Kvetch, Whine, Grouse - Get It Off Your Chest!


                                                                                                                                                                             
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.

93 comments:

  1. copied from main pageJanuary 1, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    (I thought this comment would be good to have on the D&I page, and since it was posted only yesterday, am putting it here rather than on the Nov-Dec Discussions. -Carol)

    Anonymous December 31, 2016 at 3:02 AM

    I might have found a breakthrough or at least a useful tool. I have an Android smartphone running 6.0 and I downloaded the upflix app and it has two categories. One for what's newly added for the day and another category that shows expiring the day off and it allows you to look at past days but unfortunately not the future. It's nice to check it out once a day just to make sure I'm getting the most out of my Netflix account. Although I used a friend's iPhone andthe EXPIRING category was not available I assume it varies based on device and version. Hope this helps out the blog or at least one person I love this blog I check it everyday. It's a shame we have to do all of this work though just to find out what's leaving a service we pay for monthly. But nothing in life is perfect.. unfortunately

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  2. copied from main pageJanuary 1, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    Anonymous January 1, 2017 at 8:06 PM
    Has anyone happened to download a movie and see if they can still watch it after it expires on netflix site. I was going to do that when we got screwed by 12/31 movies but forgot to do it.

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    Replies
    1. I just tested it out and they are unplayable when they expire (same thing happens with Amazon Prime titles).

      Delete
  3. I downloaded some episodes of World Without End for a trip out of the country, and the download showed an expiration date of January 2. I removed the episodes from the downloaded format when I returned to the US but my guess is that the download expires when the streaming content expires. I believe that is also the case on other streaming sites that allow downloads.

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    1. I downloaded two expiring films on 12/31 and, the next day, they were deleted from MyQueue as usual. They were still on the My Downloads list, marked as "expired" and would not play. But they were still there, taking up about 1G of space on my iPad. I deleted them. I suspect that someone who knows how to hack or unlock or other such could have gotten them to play, because they were there. Such technological manipulation is beyond me.

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    2. What is the point of even offering it download if it is going to expire anyway.

      Delete
  4. Netflix has launched a new DVD Netflix app. I have not downloaded it (and honestly probably won't [space issues on my phone]). According to the email they sent about it, you can add movies and manage your queue through the app. The app makes me feel somewhat more confident that they don't plan to unload the DVD service anytime soon. After all, why go through the process of creating an app and then get rid of that service? The fact that this isn't just a part of the original app seems to point to an even bigger internal split between the two services, though.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I've read the reviews for the DVD app and think I'll wait at least for the next upgrade to download it. Users say it's not designed for the iPad, which is what I use; a very slow scroll for a long queue, and mine is at 500; no access to reviews of films; and new titles are added at the bottom and there is no way to move titles up or down. The website works better.

      I'm expecting the streaming and DVD sides to split with a sale, or soon thereafter. A buyer of the streaming side probably won't want to mail out DVDs, which is a different sort of business. Netflix's parts are worth more separately than as a whole. Most likely bidders for the DVD side would be Amazon (which likely can't buy the streaming side for antitrust reasons) and Wal-Mart, the two companies who are competing to dominate the to-home delivery business.

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    2. clicking through from their latest email promotional newsletter, i spent a few minutes just now on "dvd.com" netflix's twitter and facebook accounts and blog, and they have really low user engagement. the few comments they do get on facebook they diligently reward with a "like" (the only one per comment), and it seems they trawl through twitter for keywords and reply and retweet even when it's disparaging toward them. it's weird to consider how big this company was, or still is depending on how you look at it, because by its public engagement it's as if it never existed in its classic form. i'm sure morale over there is scraping the bottom.

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  5. The Netflix download feature now works for the Kindle Fire. Not sure when it became available, but it wasn't there at first, when downloading was available for the iPhone. I haven't tried it yet, though.

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    1. Unfortunately I have been unable to make it work. Maybe it depends on which Fire you have?

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  6. i use imdb a lot to help me determine what to watch on netflix or get more perspective on what i just did watch, and that includes browsing the message boards there. a couple days ago imdb announced it is removing its message boards later this month.

    http://www.imdb.com/board/announcement

    if you've ever gotten something out of the boards over the years or just think this isn't a good decision, feel free to comment:
    https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition-to-keep-the-imdb-messageboards-going
    https://www.change.org/p/imdb-stop-imdb-from-disabling-the-message-boards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Thanks Travis. I'm sorry to hear this news. I enjoy reading the message boards, and have often found answers to questions I had. I'll sign the petitions, and keep my fingers crossed.

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  7. Well, Netflix continues to slim down at a rapid pace, but on the bright side, this site will be a lot less work in terms of expiring titles the smaller the catalog becomes. I still remember the halcyon days when they were the only game in town circa 2009 and they had tons of Criterion titles, music related titles and boasted a catalog of like 10,000+ movies and shows compared to around 4,000 and dropping now.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the great work on here. I don't know how I'm going to sit through like 70+ episodes of Clone Wars over the next few weeks, but I'll figure it out.

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    1. I would pay double for the old Netflix circa 2009-2013? At least we have more choices like Hulu and Amazon Prime though.

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    2. and to think, that was when it was free (as part of a discs subscription anyway). now we pay more for less. i guess that's one key to a successful business.

      i used to love all of the music content on netflix streaming, especially the classic album series and live at montreux. i believe the main distributor of music programming was eagle rock.

      i also saw quite a few good old movies, even stone cold classic films in those earlier years of netflix streaming. i wish this were more of a priority for netflix now. it doesn't even seem to be a priority for prime (not sure about hulu, but that did have the 007 movies during my brief trial recently). i suppose filmstruck and fandor have that online market cornered now.

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    3. I remember I use to pay about $15 a month with the disk plan back then as I had the Blu-Ray upgrade. I even remember getting Blu-Ray movies from them too.

      I guess one positive thing is that the service streams much better than back in 2010 however I think it is because of loss of subscribers but don't let any shill paid tech site say so. They always say they are gaining subscribers but I think they are losing more or the ones that do have NF like me just don't watch it as much as they use to.

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    4. it streams like a dream. i think it's a combination of the net neutrality ruling (which will likely be undone under the current administration) increasing cooperation between ISPs and netflix and my uninstalling a browser addon that unknowingly was siphoning my bandwidth. on top of that, some of the early netflix content wasn't in HD, i think including all of the original starz content (i remember it was cropped in "full screen" 4:3 aspect ratio for tube TVs as well). nearly everything is in HD now with notable exceptions being some old TV series (not that there are many left) and movies that apparently aren't popular enough to get a new HD transfer.

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  8. moved from main pageFebruary 10, 2017 at 11:11 AM


    Tony Ramirez February 8, 2017 at 2:24 PM
    LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu and H2O: Just Add Water is back.

    Replies:

    Brian Clarkson February 8, 2017 at 7:11 PM
    So is Thunder in the House of Magic, Jack the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, and Yu-Gi-Oh!

    Anonymous February 9, 2017 at 12:53 PM
    Sigh. Nice that they come back, but painful to see after you've rushed to watch before it expires. 0:(

    Tony Ramirez February 10, 2017 at 5:53 AM
    Thanks to Instantwatcher I know when things come back that interest me. If I relied on other sites (not here though) I would find nothing.

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  9. For everyone who did not get to see all the episodes of Brain Games that they were hoping to: I found full episodes for free at www.dailymotion.com/us
    When you get there, use the search box, and enter Brain Games followed by the title of the episode you want to watch. Episodes are all listed on IMDb. For example, according to IMDb, the last five episodes of season 2 are: Seeing Is Believing, You Decide, Use It or Lose It, Illusion Confusion, and Liar, Liar. (I checked Netflix against IMDb for seasons 3 and 4, and the episodes match exactly, so I think it's likely that was also true for seasons 1 and 2.)

    If you put brain games you decide in the search box, that episode will come up. The episode number on dailymotion doesn't always match with IMDb, so go by the episode title. Also, sometimes the video is less than ideal, but there is usually more than one of each title, so try others until you find one that works for you.

    I also found free episodes on youtube, but they were in a smaller box inside the video, probably because youtube has the episodes available for pay.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For anyone interested, I've used dailymotion, using the same search rubric, to find old episodes of Dr. Who, going back to 1964 and up to series 9 of the new version. The titles of each episode in the new version, and of each story (4 to 8 episodes long) in the classic version, can be found on Wikipedia, article tile "Dr Who episodes."

      Dailymotion is, I believe a French site that operates very similarly to YouTube. So what is on it is what individual persons have uploaded to it.

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    2. Actually, the first episode of the first Dr Who story, An Unearthly Child, was broadcast on the BBC on
      23 November 1963, the weekend of the Kennedy assassination. It's on dailymotion.

      Delete
  10. Thank you. I am happy I can watch the other 5 episodes now. I don't know much about the internet so I am glad you explained it step by step.

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    Replies

    1. You're welcome; glad I could help.

      Delete
  11. I don't know how much any of you use hulu, but I thought I should let people know (in case you didn't already) about the great Viacom purge of '17. Viacom owns Comedy Central, TVLand, Spike, Logo, MTV, and VH1 and they have decided to pull their content from hulu. As far as I can tell, this is only being implemented in about half the shows I have come across (so far), so if you have any shows you watch on any of those channels, I would go check on them now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I did see that I am not pleased but not suprised. First Viacom pulled everthing from NF years ago. Then Amazon boasted that they were going to be exclusive to Viacom shows which only lasted about a year until Viacom did a big purge. Got tired of it so I bought some older Nick shows on disk. Now they are doing the same thing with Hulu. I don't trust Viacom at all.

      They love pulling things and even threatening to pull from Dish Network and they already pulled all the channels from PSVue. I think they want to do there own streaming service which would be a waste paying for ad ridden junk.

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  12. Interesting thing today: I finished up my list for February 22 and thought I was done. I checked on Twitter and apparently Netflix just got The Mind of a Chef (I caught that one), The Great British Baking Show, and three Ken Burns series: Prohibition, The Civil War, and the Roosevelts one. Perhaps, Netflix isn't quite as done with PBS as we all thought?

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    1. I believe Netflix periodically rotates their PBS content. They have had several purges followed a few weeks later by a large number of new PBS shows being added to the service. This has been happening for at least a couple of years.

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    2. Outside of a few selected Independent Lens (Norman Lear, Best of Enemies, Accidental Courtesy), it had been a while since new or old programming showed up since the last purge. I kinda thought that Netflix had pushed the programming to the side due to its push for original content or Amazon Prime had gotten exclusive rights.

      Glad to see that's no longer the case particularly with the return of the Ken Burns documentaries. Others might be happier with the several new seasons of The Great British Baking Show. Anyway, it's still some good news to share.

      Delete
  13. After looking at the list of expirations for March, it appears that I need to make a move to catch both The Discoverers and Love at First Fight before they expire.

    Otherwise, the movies/shows coming ins seem to be better than the titles leaving. Will have to make time to catch the Carmichael Show which I've heard good things about.

    New films are a bit thin, but another chance to catch Jurassic Park, Chicago, and Million Dollar Baby are A-OK in my book.

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    Replies
    1. i really like the carmichael show. enjoy.

      when it comes to content (supposedly) coming to netflix, i'm like sean connery on celebrity jeopardy!: "surprise me, you..."

      Delete
  14. Hi, I've been using this site for a long time; it's great. I have a suggestion. On the site http://expiringtitlesonamazonprime.blogspot.com/ after you click a link, the link changes color. Knowing that you already looked at the entry would be very helpful, especially for those long lists at the end of the month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Thanks for writing, Anonymous. I can see how this could be helpful. Because of the tools used to create the list, I'm not able to just go in and make this change. However, I will look into the feasibility of your suggestion, and let you know what I find out.

      Delete

    2. Hi again, Anonymous. Just want to let you know that, after an initial inquiry, I need to table your suggestion until I have more time. It would involve additional programming of the list tools and/or possibly require some re-design of the list, color-wise. Your suggestion is simple and straightforward, but implementation could be complicated and troublesome, possibly more than I would want to do. It will probably be several weeks before I can spend more time researching this, but I promise not to forget about it, and to give it my best shot.

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    3. Hi again. Thanks for including this color change feature I suggested. I am finding it very helpful. I saw your message when you introduced it. You said you picked purple after much thought. I will say that I sometimes confuse purple and non-bold black. A lighter shade of purple could help. Regardless, thank you and everyone who helps collect all the data.

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    4. Hi Anonymous, glad to hear the title link color change is useful for you. Thanks for letting me know. The hardest thing about choosing a color was to find something that was dark enough not to fade into the background, but not so dark that it was too close to black. The lighter shade of purple tended to fall into the first category. I'm sorry the darker one is in the second category for you. Unfortunately, we don't all see exactly the same color - there will be some variation between browsers, types of screen, and just individual eyesight. So no matter which color/shade I choose, it probably won't work perfectly for everyone.

      Delete
  15. while you are considering this and possibly updating the coding and design, would you consider the common blog feature of listing recent comments in the side bar? especially for those of us who do not subscribe to replies, it would be very handy and probably draw attention beyond the main page of updates to pages like this one. thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Travis, I don't see this option for me to add when I go into Blogger layout. Do you know any blogspot.com pages that have this feature? If no, can you give me a couple of other sites that do? I'll query Blogger Help to see what would be involved, and if it's not too complicated, I'll be happy to set it up. If it involves writing my own html code into the Blogger template, I probably won't want to tackle that. :-)

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    2. i always assumed it was a native feature of blogs but now see that it isn't. http://www.mybloggerlab.com/2014/07/how-to-display-recent-comments-in-blogger.html seems to be an up to date widget; http://helplogger.blogspot.com/2012/03/recent-comments-widget-for-blogger.html and http://helplogger.blogspot.com/2012/03/add-recent-comments-widget-with-avatar.html may not be but were highly regarded when they were, if they aren't still valid. this may be more time consuming than it's worth; sorry, i always assumed it was like turning on a switch.

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    3. Having to write your own HTML code is a pain if you don't know how. I would not do it. Trying to get help online is also a pain as you have to know what you are doing so it is useless.

      As for the site it looks great I would just change the very top main low res picture to something high res.

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    4. agreed. she may not want to fiddle with the code. also agreed about the top picture. it could be saved as a higher-resolution JPG so it doesn't blur; PNG files also are crisper and are what i use if i have to make a screencapture. as long as she's replacing the picture, it also would be helpful to add in there that this is an unofficial/unaffiliated blog and not run by netflix.

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    5. Thanks for the suggestions, Tony and Travis. I agree that both ideas are good ones, and have had sharpening up the blog banner on my mind for quite a while. Heaven only knows when I will get to this project. I'm already working on two other projects (in the background, TBA), have a long list of more, and spend a lot of time looking for expiring titles.

      I always appreciate suggestions, and am happy to add to the list of projects, no matter how long it gets. Anything that can be done quickly and easily - like adding a link - I will do right away. More time-consuming projects will be prioritzed according to importance, and, frankly, what I feel like doing. I'm not a high-energy person, so it's slow-going. Most of my time/energy goes to maintaining the integrity of the information on the blog, which for me, is the most important thing.

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    6. and you are doing a terrific job. absolutely.

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  16. NF is getting rid of there star ratings.
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=newssearch&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjTnuHW1t3SAhUKqlQKHUMeC_wQu4gBCB0oATAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2Fentry%2Fnetflix-changes-rating-system-because-five-stars-feels-very-yesterday_us_58cb6302e4b0be71dcf35078&usg=AFQjCNEtTBBeqgZyHULpeRJnAmIw2bPi5g&sig2=-WfoJHyDGQppaSurKXAO5w

    I am actually happy about this. I can thumb's down most of there original mature content maybe they will stop shoving it down my throat since 1 star ratings never work.

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    Replies
    1. I am not in favor of that. To me, there is a big difference between 3 stars (liked but not really enough to watch again) and 5 stars (loved, want to own, would recommend to friends). I would much rather have seen Netflix add the ability to give half-star ratings than this garbage.

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    2. agreed w/ Nica. i totally adopted netflix's rating system when i subscribed 12 years ago. my ratings mean what netflix originally said they were for, and they are enormously more helpful to me looking at what i've seen and rated already than would be a thumbs up or down. on the other hand, ever since they first floated this idea, i've been meaning to save all of my ratings somehow and add them instead to IMDB, where the scale of 10 effectively provides the half star capability missing in netflix's metric. unfortunately, i've never found a script or web site that does this, and i guess my only choice is to save a copy of every page of my thousands of ratings and manually add them to IMDB to help me keep track of what i've seen and thought about it before netflix irrevocably changes all of my ratings. (and i thought it was bad when they averaged my ratings per season of a tv show to apply to the entire series, even when i haven't seen every season.)

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    3. i'm having a fresh look at this because i dread having to save all of those pages. this at least saves the ratings; i doubt there is a script for exporting to IMDB, but i figured that part would have to be manual anyway. https://github.com/m5n/netflix-ratings-extractor

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    4. Actually they were testing it with the spotlight items on the website and it did not work. I thumbs down that mature series Luke Cage yet they still shove it down my through and I even get it on the TV spotlight sometimes.

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    5. it is a netflix original, after all. they gotta. i talked to an unusually "with it" netflix rep the other week and mentioned that they must have their thumb on the scales when it comes to my predicted rating because nearly all of their original series have 5 stars, but i never give out 5 stars. i told him they are that high as early as the day of release, and true to form iron fist yesterday was already in 4 1/2 to 5 stars territory. as a former programmer, he tried to blame the various devices that connect to netflix and the need for some kind of baseline or equalization to make sense of it all, but i didn't buy it. he pretty much admitted even though he works for them he doesn't understand their decisions or exactly how their ratings and other parts of their service/web site work. i let him know that not only are my predicted ratings straight out of clown school, the same content will have a more grounded rating on the discs side of the web site, much closer to what i actually rate titles and would take seriously when deciding whether to watch.

      anyway, i used the script to save my ratings, but it has a couple drawbacks, one of which i knew and another i can't quite make sense of. i've seen the page (http://www.netflix.com/MoviesYouveSeen) many times before and noticed that a whole lot of what i rate through the discs side is listed under the unhelpful title of "MOVIE" or "SHOW" on the streaming side (but correctly listed at https://dvd.netflix.com/MoviesYouveSeen). the good news is the script also saves the movie ID number so i can piece together every "MOVIE" or "SHOW" by changing a URL. the bad news is that it's missing nearly 200 ratings according to the number the discs side says i've provided. at this point i do not trust netflix not to remove the star ratings as they've brought up this idea before and are well known to all of us not to care what customers want because they think they know better. that leaves me in the same position of having to save over 200 pages of my ratings from the discs side to get the ones missing from the script. not really a fun project but worth it in the long run because i see IMDB ratings lasting longer than netflix ratings. it is, unfortunately, a lot less convenient to check IMDB because as far as i know there is no way to click on a director or actor and see what i've rated (and by extension not rated because i haven't seen), but someone please correct me if i'm wrong.

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    6. I agree with Nica. I'm not a fan of the simple thumb up or down concept at all. It's too basic.

      Instead of differentiating between hating something, not liking it, liking it, really liking it or loving it, there are now only two options which is unhelpful. Just as there's a big difference between liking a movie and loving it, there's also as big a difference between disliking a movie and hating it.

      This is going to affect suggested ratings terribly because common sense should have told them that someone might rate a movie as liking it if it's okay (nothing special, nothing terrible) but now it suddenly has equal weight with a movie you loved. So now, somehow, something great like, say, Goodfellas which you might want to watch over and over again is now equal to an amusing time filler like, say, American Reunion which you're glad you watched but don't feel a need to watch a second time.

      I've rated just shy of 5,000 movies/series on Netflix since I joined and now it's all pretty much for nought as it'll be largely meaningless with a simple thumb up or down rating system.

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  17. Has anyone else noticed that Netflix has removed the country of origin from their movies and series? It used to be that, if a movie was from France, it would say so in the details section. Now it doesn't. Very annoying if you're in the mood to watch, say, a Spanish movie and not a Mexican movie as actor names are Spanish either way. There are a number of other countries where the actor names are no help when trying to figure out where the movie or series is from too. So now one has to look up the title on IMDB to find out its country of origin. More work for the user.

    Add this to the annoying recent removals such as expiration dates (without having to switch to Manual Ordering) and the running count of how many titles are in My List at any given time.

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    Replies
    1. Actually it is worse than that. Not only the country of origin but also what language the movie is in is gone. A lot of times if I was on the edge of if I wanted to watch it or not and saw that it was not in english then I would decide it wasn't worth reading so I wouldn't watch it. Now I would have to start the movie to see if it is in english or not instead of just seeing it on the details.

      Does netflix actively see what would piss people off the most and then do it. How do they always find what would piss people off the most and then change to that. I would bet thousands of dollars that their design team does not have netflix accounts because anyone who has an account wouldn't do these stupid designs.

      Also that missing language is just a minor thing but losing 5 star rating system. Sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!! A lot of times I don't remember if I saw movie and I look, oh 2 stars I really hated it, or oh 3 stars I just thought it was ok. Now thumbs up and thumbs down isn't going to tell me anything. I have prime because I buy a lot of things from amazon. I think I am just going to exclusively watch them now and leave netflix. If I want to watch their original content I can just steal it since their service sucks so much they don't deserve my money.

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    2. What I find so frustrating is that their changes always seem to involve REMOVING things they always had. It's like like I want them to come up with new things. I just want them to stop removing things that I relied upon for years since I signed up to the site.

      It's difficult to look some of the movies and series up on IMDB to find more information about them too because Netflix doesn't always use the original title that it's listed under on IMDB (especially with Korean drama series). For example the series Bulyaseong is commonly known under its English title Night Light but Netflix calls it White Nights.

      I've complained in the past about the running count of how many movies/series are in My List vanishing a few months ago and the expiration dates becoming a state secret. One customer service guy hilariously tried to insist to me that they hid the expiration dates because "nobody cares when things expire."

      I doubt there's even any point in complaining to them about anything anymore because they never reverse things.

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    3. Yeah, I find the removal of things to be annoying, especially when you then call customer service to complain, and they insist that feature never existed. I'm not stupid, and I've had the service longer than some of those reps have probably even been aware of it.

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    4. the last rep i referenced tried to tell me that expiration dates on the discs side was a test or trial feature only, and i had to correct him and say it was a basic feature from the beginning that was repealed without any public acknowledgment. he also kept saying how valuable my input was because i've had the service for so long (streaming from the beginning), and i told him that everything i was saying he was telling me was so great i've already told netflix multiple times over the last couple years to absolutely no avail. i'm not sure what's worse, netflix pretending to value my input as if they will do anything with it or netflix denying indisputable facts about their own service, even if they have covered their tracks by not announcing the changes. everything about how they conduct business is pretty insulting.

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    5. the only way netflix would listen to us is if we could get 10 to 20 million people organized to all cancel their netflix until our demands were met. Now a days you probably could organize it with social media and everything but would enough people care to help. They could save money for a few months while we made netflix cave to our demands. That is the only way netflix would ever listen to anyone is if you could organize a major hit to their cash flow.

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    6. Oh, Anonymous, I like your revolutionary thinking. I wish an online publication - or a print one, for that matter - would publish an article about Netflix’s duplicitous and secretive policies around the whole issue of expiring content. But they all seem perfectly happy to go along with the “isn’t Netflix the most wonderful thing in the world” state of mind.

      Travis - I have a favor to ask of you, since you have had the streaming service from the beginning. I’m composing a letter to send to Netflix headquarters, laying out why the current expiration notification policies are not customer-friendly. I’m thinking of including some history of how they have communicated this info to customers over the years.

      I think you, or someone else, said they used to have a “What’s going away” page, or something along those lines. Would you mind listing the evolution (or de-evolution) of Netflix’s disclosure of what’s expiring? It doesn’t have to be perfect; I just don’t want to say something that isn’t true, and I’m even starting to forget how things were when I first joined - several years after you.

      What would be helpful is to know the type of display (page, pop-up window, My List column, etc.), how much notice was given, and approximately when things changed. I’m not expecting dates, just “a few years later” or “not long after” kind of thing, so I can get some perspective. As far as I know, the only improvement has been a longer lead time for series, everything else has been a gradual decline of access to information.

      Is that something you would be willing to do? If not, no problem. I’m just trying to get my ducks in a row so I can take my best shot at sending something that might actually get read, and seen as credible. Sorry this is so long - thanks for reading.

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    7. i really don't recall a "What’s going away" page. it's quite possible it was there and i just wasn't savvy enough to notice it, but that would have to be someone else who mentioned it.

      to my recollection, the timeline for the devolution of netflix's disclosure of what's expiring is as follows:
      -they used to have a public API that when accessed would have a longer (possibly indefinite, but i don't know; a commenter here said years) lead time for expirations. you can search and get the exact month and year for when they shuttered it. you probably don't want to mention this in your letter, but FYI, unogs essentially hacks netflix using access to the old public API to extract the data, but it's limited now to 2 weeks for expiration, as you know, just like it is for the commercial developers (your rokus and sonys, etc.). http://unogs.com/forum/category/5/netflix-api-details
      -last year they removed the notices on the "http://dvd.netflix.com/" side of their web site what was leaving (and coming, but that's straying from your point). it used to display as a popup with the poster and other info when you hovered the mouse over the title, and earlier than that the expy date would also display as text in a column within the discs queue and on the page for a movie or show on this side of the site. all of this was within the last month of availability.
      -this year (just recently) they removed the availability date/data from the more info page (on the streaming side of the site).
      -also more content in the last year seems to be expiring without notice, especially single seasons of shows, notably alphas last year. as you are probably the most aware, there is no indication of this anywhere on their site (outside of a press release if they are feeling generous).

      it may or may not be worth mentioning that when they started streaming, there actually was a "saved" section for the watch instantly queue (before it was renamed My List), just like a discs queue. when i've brought this up to netflix reps, they can't believe it, but it is true. that doesn't help with what is expiring but does show you what did expire because only content that was once available and on your list got moved there.

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    8. i forgot to mention that the homepage in the scroll for My List also used to display expiration dates below the poster. i would regularly tab through these because even though the list would max out and not display beyond a certain number of titles, there was an earlier notice for expiration. it was an extra few days, but in hindsight it was probably the same 2 weeks we're used to from the various apps. netflix did away with this feature a couple years ago.

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    9. I've had streaming from the beginning, too, and Travis has the timeline pretty accurate. I didn't know about the public API (my queue was much smaller back then, so I didn't have too many things expiring before I watched them), but I remember when they lost the History Channel shows and I only had one week's notice to try to get through 5 shows. Let's just say, I'm still not caught up on Ice Road Truckers.

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    10. Travis, thank you so much for taking the time to do that - I really appreciate it. You, too, Nica. Your info will help me make a stronger case. Whether anyone at Netflix will care. . .

      I probably got mixed up about the "what's leaving" page. Interesting about the "saved" list. Anything that might be helpful seems doomed for the chopping block.

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    11. I do seem to remember a "leaving soon" category on one of the apps, but I don't remember if it was for all of them, or just specific ones. I was using a Wii to stream Netflix for a time, and have no idea if it was exclusive to that or not.

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    12. For what it's worth, I too remember the streaming "saved list" to which deleted titles were moved.

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    13. Count me in I will cancel NF for your purpose. I have Hulu now which is getting better.

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    14. it's a minor detail, but i also forgot to mention that the search results pages on the "dvd.netflix.com" side of the site would also show those expiration dates within a month of the last day. they nixed that last year.

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    15. The InstantWatcher.com website used to list expiration dates for all titles, even if they were months or years away. You could sort by expiration date. That went away (maybe 3-4 years ago?) even before Netflix pulled the API that used to be available to app developers.

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  18. The change in Reed Hasting's thinking over the years might be explained as a shift from a "long tail" to a "short tail" strategy. This, roughly speaking, is that 80% of the customers are interested in only 20% of the product. Therefore, 80% of the inventory (i.e., titles) aren't worth keeping. The problem is knowing which 20% to keep. This article from 2009 came at just before Hasting shifted strategy.
    http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/rethinking-the-long-tail-theory-how-to-define-hits-and-niches/

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    1. Reed Hasting needs to be fired. I hate his smug face. He is ruining the service for those who don't like most of the originals. For him to not open his wallet because such "name of show" is too expensive for new seasons but they rather waste more money producing that new turd Marvel "Iron Fist" that even the paid tech bloggers who love mature originals are tearing it a new one saying it sucks and the newer originals coming are hot garbage.

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  19. Good read here.
    http://uproxx.com/tv/hulu-vs-netflix/
    Because of this I have been watching Hulu as much as I use to watch NF which is maybe one hour a day NF viewing but 3 to 4 hours on Hulu.

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  20. The shows in the video referenced below are: Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Roswell, and The X-Files. You can also read the comments people left. -Carol


    Steve Farbota March 26, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    This is the video that Netflix posted on their Facebook page announcing the removal of these shows: https://www.facebook.com/netflixus/videos/10154429464863870/

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    1. Wow reading those comments I am not the only one hating NF. Some people like me actually said MA rated garbage. I though I was the only one that said that.

      Here are some of the quotes I agree.
      Abbey Martin M rated garbage. Just garbage.
      MY REPLY.
      Hugo Ramirez Abbey Martin I agree. I hate all the MA rated garbage that NF or notflix is replacing the service with. There are on thin ice already. I barely watch them now as my prime time viewing is more Hulu and Amazon and after the summer I am most likely going to be canceling them for good.

      Will Floyd Right in the middle of season 5 of Xfiles. Real nice Netflix. Glad we have Hulu at least they're reliable. Stop screwing your customers. But hey I understand, you're too busy replacing these with more bargain bin half a star made for tv trash titles.

      Chelsea Robare Not cool Netflix. Keep the good oldies on. Keeping the trash like Amy schumer and trash shows that you only have one season is just wrong. It is bad enough you stopped Doctor Who. What's next the office or that 70's show?

      Carin Nelson Gogocha Seems like many of the shows Netflix is showing are all rated M. Well some of us want to watch shows without that type of content.

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    2. I think Netflix is running a primer in how not to run a company. Certainly, they could use some help in learning how to treat its customers with respect. I get that Netflix Originals are cheaper than keeping X Files and Buffy. But they need to stop this "We know better than our customers what they want" nonsense if they don't want to go the way of Blockbuster.

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    3. I agree. This keeps up NF will become the next Blockbuster.

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  21. So, Netflix has added a ton of new content from the BBC today along with various other movies and shows. I just added 15 shows to my list. I am never going to watch everything on that list. But, if that's the biggest problem I ever have I'll take it.

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    1. I agree. Thanks for letting us know that there's some good that came on to balance the good that's leaving. I always find it reassuring when they add BBC stuff (PBS, too). There will be even more movies and shows added tomorrow. Hope some of them are list-worthy, too.

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    2. Yeah, every time I think about trying to finish up what's streaming-only on my list and go disc-only, they add a whole new batch of streaming-only titles that I'm really interested in. Granted, some of that isn't everyone's cup of tea (Asian dramas), but they do know how to get some people to stay.

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    3. I use to think that too but with more things expiring and they just keep adding hot garbage originals I am running out of things to watch. I only have one or two shows that have not expired yet and there is nothing left to watch.

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  22. Thumb rating rolled out to my account today... without even translating my 11 years of faithful ratings to *any* kind of positive/negative information about the movies. I've called Netflix to try to report this as a real problem- it's one thing to force me to accept a new way of rating movies (which I don't like), but to at the same time strip out all my historical data and make me start fresh in their recommendation engine??? According to the person I talked to, my only recourse is to go back into my history (ratings history is still archived on the profile page) and convert everything from stars to thumbs. Thousands of movies from over a decade of use. I am Not Happy.

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    1. i came here to post about this as well, having received the email:

      "Your stars will still shine.
      Your previous star ratings will be used to personalize your Netflix experience."

      as you say, the front page no longer shows star ratings but instead a "match" percentage and the ability to rate it thumbs up or down. thankfully, both versions of the "MoviesYouveSeen" page are still showing my star ratings, and the discs side hasn't dumbed down yet. i could continue to rate stars on "dvd.netflix.com" and hope they never change, but i have no faith in that so i still need to transfer my ratings to IMDB, just like netflix is now expecting us to translate our years of careful and nuanced star ratings to some silly thumbs.

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    2. I use, well used, ratings for more than simply ratings. In MyList, they would indicate which series I've started and which movies I've completely watched. This made flipping through MyList more useful. NetFlix keeps taking away features that made them stand out from the ever increasing competition. 10+ years of ratings, reduced to some binary facebook tool. Another stupid move on NetFlix's part. Remember when NetFlix's proprietary rating system was one of their advertised selling points?

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    3. Oh, good tip about the DVD side, Travis! I guess I'll be flipping back and forth between the two a lot more now D: D:

      I called again this morning and got a really sympathetic rep who admitted he also doesn't like the new thumb system haha. I asked that they at least return to showing recommendation information about *every* movie- if there's only a 5% chance I'll like something, I want to know that too, so I don't waste my time!! As it is, there's a small minority of movies and shows with percentages, and everything else is one big blank.

      I went through some of my ratings last night to convert to thumbs, and found some things that I had given 1 or 2 stars in the past recommended as "75%," so I'm pretty pessimistic on the historical data actually being used to drive this new system >:(

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    4. Lee K, i totally agree with you. it's confounding and truly catering to the lowest common denominator and basest impulse. unfortunately, it seems when we (people who read and run this blog) call customer service we get dismissed as superusers. it will take more of the average joes and janes calling and complaining that they don't like the new system for it to be reversed, if that's even possible.

      incidentally and thankfully, i have my manually ordered My List organized for movies i've seen and shows i've started, but if i didn't, and had a different system that was just as good or even better, i would be really annoyed by the change. even as it stands, i can't just skim through and see what i've already rated so those titles jump out more. netflix keeps finding ways to make the user experience worse, even if it's visually slicker.

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    5. Another utterly stupid move on Netflix's part. I've also noticed, in addition to the many movies without any % rating, many are rated as 'new'. So, apparently if something is new, they can't tell if a person would enjoy it or not. Wouldn't new movies be the ones which would benefit the most from having the rating so someone could see something new was added and could make an informed decision about whether to watch or add it to their 'My List' queue? I fail to follow 'Netflix's logic in their reasoning for many of the changes they make. I have always rated the movies and shows that I have watched on Netflix. However, I will not do so going forward since the majority of the movies I watch are in between something I really love and something I really hate.

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    6. I have created a page for the Thumbs Up or Down discussion. It has the combined comments from both this and the Complaints page. Please post additional comments at:
      http://expiringonnetflix.blogspot.com/p/discussion-thumbs-updown.html

      Thanks!

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  23. Here is an interesting article on Netflix's challenges and moves in Asia.

    http://decider.com/2017/04/27/netflix-acquires-600-hours-content-south-korean-cable-network/

    It would be nice to get more content from Asia. I personally would love to see more Japanese options as these are much harder to gain access to than Korean dramas for example.

    I appreciate the option to view series and movies from other countries without having to jump through 100 hoops.

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    1. I would love more non-anime Japanese shows as well. I know Crunchyroll has some Japanese dramas streaming, though I haven't watched any of them yet (too busy with stuff expiring on Netflix and other life things).

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    2. Unfortunately not all of the Japanese dramas on Crunchyroll are free. I've found a website that has a decent selection of shows from across Asia. However, it's online only.

      I've become a bit spoiled. I'm so use to streaming things via my TV now that I find trying to stream anything over my computer to be rather annoying.

      I have enjoyed some of Japanese Netflix originals that I've watched. Midnight diner definitely had its moments.

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  24. It seems a hacker is holding a new season of one of the Netflix originals hostage. Should be interesting to see how this turns out for them.

    http://decider.com/2017/04/28/netflix-hacker-orange-is-the-new-black/

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    1. The studio where the master reels were located and Netflix were both asked to,pay a ransom. Both declined, and the new season of OITNB was released to an internet private site. There were some rumors that Netflix might release the season earlier to blunt any piracy, but Netflix appears to be sticking to its announced release date in June.

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  25. While I welcome back the Smithsonian Channel documentaries that were removed at the end of April, I note that the last date of any documentary is 2014? Have there been no documentaries since?

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    1. Sure. Maybe not on Netflix, but you can catch 2016's Dragon Island for free at:
      http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/shows/dragon-island/0/3435534

      I didn't even have to work for that one, so I'm guessing there are more there. And, of course, Netflix has plenty of recent non-Smithsonian docs.

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  26. Next month seems to be bringing some decent titles (or at least titles that I am interested in). I hope this trend continues. I was getting worried when I saw them touting they had gotten new titles in and a good bit of them were Korean titles that had already been on Netflix (one of which I had to squeeze in before it expired rather recently).

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    1. I've also noticed expirations of titles that I, vaguely, remember as having expired some time in the past. It may well be that Netflix is buying titles to stream on short-term contracts. It seems to me that there'd be an advantage to it to advertise this: "now, for a limited engagement, we have ..." This is what movie theaters used to do back in their glory days, 1930s to 1960s. They thought it helped bring people to the theater, and it could help Netflix add or keep the subscribers which its investors prize. I, certainly would like to know if a title is available for only a limited run, but this doesn't fit Netflix's business model.

      The archives of this blog hold this information, but it isn't worth my time, or anyone else's, to hunt through the archives to find out if a title, listed for upcoming expiration, had expired in the past. I wonder if one of Carol's house elves could write a program or macro (or whatever such things are called nowadays) that, regularly or at the touch of a button, could scour the archives and put up a note on a title on the current list that it had previously expired and come back.

      On a related note, on my DVD queue, I'm seeing the play button show up more frequently. For more than a year none of the 700-800 titles in my queue came up on streaming. Now I see about 3 or 4 per month, including, today, "Christine" (2016) from my saved queue, meaning that Netflix doesn't even have the DVD yet.


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