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Netflix expected to release a Watch Instantly video streaming app

David Winograd

There are at least 27 Netflix related iPhone apps according to Macworld. Their purposes differ but most of them are designed to let you manage your movie queue.

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 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 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]

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