Netflix is the culmination of all those advancements brought about by broadband Internet access. When the company launched as a by-mail DVD rental service, it quickly rose to dominance over traditional competitors like Blockbuster. But Netflix really changed everything when it launched Instant Streaming; with the same monthly subscription used to rent DVDs, subscribers could stream select movies to their computers (and eventually game consoles, TVs, media streamers, and more).
Netflix Streaming's popularity grew so quickly that in 2010 it accounted for 20 percent of all downstream Internet traffic in the U.S. during peak usage hours [source: ReadWriteWeb]. That's a lot! But how does that affect the movie industry? Again, it's all about availability. For less than the price of a single movie ticket, Netflix offers instant access to hundreds of movies and television programs, and the available content is always expanding as Netflix secures new licensing deals. In the fourth quarter of 2010 alone, Netflix made $47 million in profits out of a total revenue of $596 million [source: DMNews]. Blockbuster, on the other hand, filed for bankruptcy in September 2010 with almost $1 billion in debt [source: LA Times].
More than any other content provider, Netflix has changed the way we watch movies. And it's changed our habits remarkably quickly: Instant streaming wasn't a major focus for the company until 2008 [source: LA Times]. As Netflix continues to offer subscribers more content for their entertainment dollar, movie theaters ask for more money to see a single movie.
Netflix and the other home-theater innovations we've discussed in this article demonstrate the best conveniences of all the modern technologies making theaters obsolete. In the coming years, theaters will have to work hard to find new ways to be relevant as tech marches on.
- 10 Ways to Make Your Home Theater More Like a Real Theater
- 10 Ways DVDs Have Changed the Film Industry
- 10 Ways Television Has Changed Sports
- Quiz: Home Theater Lingo
- How Television Works
- How Surround Sound Works
- How Blu-ray Discs Work
- How Movie Projectors Work
- Are big-screen TVs killing the film industry?
- How have DVDs changed the lifespan of TV shows?
- Apple.com. "Apple TV." (April 1, 2011)http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipod/family/apple_tv?mco=MTM3NTM1Nzk
- Best-3-DTVs.com. "Best 3-D Glasses - Passive Polarized vs Active Shutter 3-D technology." (March 31, 2011) http://www.best-3-Dtvs.com/guides/3-D-glasses-active-vs-passive/
- Blu-ray.com. "What is Blu-ray?" (April 2, 2011) http://www.blu-ray.com/info/
- BoxOfficeMojo.com. "Yearly Box Office." (March 30, 2011) http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/
- Boycott, Rosie. "Small Screen Hits and Misses." Dec. 14, 2005. (April 2, 2011) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/review/4526564.stm
- Chmielewski, Dawn. "More mainstream movies for Netflix online." Oct. 1, 2008. (April 5, 2011) http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2008/10/more-mainstream.html
- Corliss, Richard. "Snow Job for the Avatar Opening?" Dec. 21, 2009. (April 10, 2011) http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1949044,00.html
- Davies, Chris. "Samsung: Glasses-free 3-D TV "within the next 10 years will be difficult." March 23, 2011. (April 1, 2011)http://www.slashgear.com/samsung-glasses-free-3-D-tv-within-the-next-10-years-will-be-difficult-23141986/
- Discovery Communications. "Introducing 3net -- The 3D Joint Venture of Sony, Discovery Communications and IMAX Officially Announces Network Brand." January 5, 2011. (April 14, 2011) http://corporate.discovery.com/discovery-news/introducing-3net-the-3d-joint-venture-of-sony-disc/
- FilmSchoolOnline. "HD vs 35mm FILM." (April 1, 2011)http://filmschoolonline.com/sample_lessons/sample_lesson_HD_vs_35mm.htm
- Fritz, Ben. "Blockbuster files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, sets plan to reorganize." Sept. 23, 2011. (April 5, 2011) http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/09/blockbuster-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy-sets-plan-to-reorganize.html
- Gregory, Sean and James Osborne. "Ultimate Fighting's Cold War Getting Hotter." July 19, 2009. (April 2, 2011) http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1909703,00.html
- Martinez, Juan. "Netflix Q4 2010 revenue jumps 34% despite marketing cut." Jan. 26, 2011. (April 4, 2011) http://www.dmnews.com/netflix-q4-2010-revenue-jumps-34-despite-marketing-cut/article/195063/
- Montgomery, Lisa. "Hawaiian Home With a Galactic Theater." March 7, 2011. (April 12, 2011) http://www.electronichouse.com/article/hawaiian_home_with_a_galactic_theater
- Moskovciak, Matthew. "Best Blu-ray Home Theater Systems (Blu-ray HTIBs)." March 7, 2011. (April 2, 2011) http://reviews.cnet.com/best-home-theater-systems/
- Powell, Evan. "The Difference Between HDTV, EDTV, and SDTV." Oct. 2, 2003. (April 2, 2011) http://www.projectorcentral.com/video_signals.htm
- ProjectorCentral.com. "Top 10 Home Theater Projectors." (March 29, 2011) http://www.projectorcentral.com/home-theater-multimedia-projectors.htm
- Red.com. "EPIC." (April 3, 2011) http://www.red.com/products/epic
- Samsung.com. "NEW! 55" Class (54.6" Diag.) LED 8000 Series Smart TV." (April 3, 2011) http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN55D8000YFXZA-features
- Shilov, Anton. "Ultra High-Definition Television Due in 2017 - 2022 Timeframe, Say Analysts." Nov. 3, 2009. (April 4, 2011)http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/monitors/display/20091103112819_Ultra_High_Definition_Television_Due_in_2017_2022_Timeframe_Say_Analysts.html
- TaranFX.com. "Internet Broadband Trends, Rankings Worldwide." Jan. 8, 2011. (April 7, 2011) http://www.taranfx.com/internet-broadband-trends-rankings-worldwide#axzz1Itqo40In
- TiVo.com. "TiVo Premiere Product Information." (March 31, 2011) http://www.tivo.com/products/tivo-premiere/index.html
- Verizon.com. "FIOS Internet." (April 7, 2011) http://www22.verizon.com/Residential/Fiosinternet/#plans
- Watters, Audrey. "Netflix Streaming Accounts for 20% of Peak Internet Traffic." ReadWriteWeb. October 21, 2010. (April 7, 2011)http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/netflix_streaming_accounts_for_20_of_peak_internet.php
- Yamamoto, Mike. "For this final frontier, you need space." Crave-CNET. November 21, 2007. (April 12, 2011)http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9821898-1.html
- Yamamoto, Mike. "Where Batman goes to watch Blu-ray." Crave-CNET. January 17, 2008. (April 12, 2011) http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9852407-1.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave
Susan Bennett never knew she would become one of the world's most famous voices until Siri debuted on iPhones in 2011. HowStuffWorks tells her story.