Rejoice, PS3 owners, your Netflix streaming experience just got vastly better than anything else on the market. Starting October 18 Netflix on the PS3 will no longer require a disc, and it'll stream some content with
1080p resolution and / or 5.1-channel surround audio, while everyone else will be stuck with a max of 720p stereo for the time being. Oh, and you'll get subtitles on some content as well. Netflix is partnering with Dolby on the audio side, and the surround format will be Dolby Digital Plus, which is the same codec used by the VUDU HDX streaming service -- we're guessing it'll require a tiny bit more bandwidth but the results should sound pretty great. Netflix says 5.1 will come to other platforms
"over time," so we'll see how long that takes -- and given that the PS3 is now disc-free and the company's eschewed the SRS surround features
baked into its Silverlight-based platform, we're guessing Microsoft's exclusivity period
has now completely run its course. Video and PR after the break.
Though the official PlayStation Blog originally reported the service would display streaming video at 1080i resolution, they've since struck that out -- they say it'll do 1080p now. Much better.