A new player is about to enter the arena: Netflix itself, who intends to bring "Watch Instantly" video streaming to the iPhone/iPod touch and the Nintendo Wii. At present Netflix streams over 12,000 movies and TV shows over a large variety of devices including Intel-based Macs.
Todd Spangler of Mutichannel.com speculates, and I agree with him totally, that when released, streaming will be limited to Wi-Fi only. This is not because there's any technical reason not to stream over the AT&T 3G network, but like the SlingPlayer Mobile app, streaming will probably be hobbled to prevent massive data overloading of the AT&T network. This being the case, I wonder why Apple/AT&T allowed streaming of full baseball games using the MLB.com At Bat 2009 app over 3G as well as Wi-Fi?
It also brings up the question of why AT&T has been concerned about the issue of video streaming while Verizon, Sprint, Nextel and T-Mobile don't seem to have any problem with it. Perhaps AT&T is having seller remorse over their $30 all-you-can-eat data plan for the iPhone.
Putting corporate technological politics aside, I really look forward to the Netflix app. Even if limited to Wi-Fi streaming it will be a welcome addition to the stable of useful iPhone/iPod touch applications.
Note: Netflix only does business in the United States, so whether you are looking for a red envelope or streaming media, if you don't have a US zip code...never mind.
[via Ars Technica]