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NetFlix: Get Online Movies with NetFlix, Part 2

Updated on March 15, 2011

NetFlix: Get Online Movies with NetFlix

As we learned in Part 1, NetFlix online movies would soon be available, but not quite yet. Movie theaters had become very popular. Large viewing screens, comfortable chairs, coming attractions, and virtually endless supplies of popcorn and Dr. Pepper nourished hungry moviegoers. Unfortunately, popcorn and soda pop drained the wallets of too many Americans. While folks still enjoyed a trip to the movies, they longed for less-expensive alternatives.

Industrious scientists recognized the need for in-home movie viewing. Early attempts at solving the problem included an ingenious attempt to combine the modern movie house with suburban living. Scientific architects and carpenters fitted theaters with living rooms, bedrooms, powder rooms, kitchens, garages, and front porches. Movie patrons were invited to literally move in. Lucky ticket holders had the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, daily life proved problematic because someone always forgot to turn off their cell phone, making a good nights sleep almost impossible. Someone else might burn popcorn in the kitchen or forget to put the dog out. NetFlix would solve all these problems, but not for a few more years.

Movies Become Available in the Home, Finally

Smarter scientists observed that instead of building homes around movie theaters, they might solve society's problems by putting movie theaters into existing homes. These theaters are referred to as televisions sets. Tiny glowing boxes soon proliferated across the United States. Families gathered 'round their TVs to be entertained by Ed Sullivan and informed by Ed Murrow. Popcorn and Dr Pepper sales hit all-time highs.

Unfortunately, not all was well in suburbia. TV viewers were well fed, but they felt something was missing. Movies came across their television sets with alarming regularity, but scheduling was beyond their control. The burden of having to be settled in front of the TV at a specific time and date became simply too much to bear. Popcorn did not pop reliably; many times it was not ready at the same time the movie started on the television. TV Guide magazine ameliorated some of the problem by providing much needed lead time. Families knew what was going to be "on TV" up to several weeks in advance. NetFlix was getting closer, but technology still had some catching up to do.

NetFlix Makes the Internet Worthwhile

Modern American families enjoyed movies delivered through TV sets, but craved more flexibility and personal freedom. They felt chained to their TV Guide. They felt burdened by programs that started on the hour. They felt great pressure to watch movies for the second or third time simply because they were "on TV".

Inspiration arose from seemingly impossible circumstances. Researchers cannot point to a specific instance, but really smart social scientists speculate that some adult noticed some teenager surfing YouTube while making a trip from the kitchen to the couch. Perhaps popcorn was spilled. Perhaps Dr. Pepper was placed on to the coffee table without a coaster. We can only speculate as to the precise circumstances, but we do know what the possibility of uniting the Internet with movies was born. NetFlix was germinating.

Early Attempts at NetFlix were Problematic

The concept was in place; folks could order movies like they order pizza and Dr. Pepper. It could work. The NetFlix corporation would create a huge cache of movies. Thousands of highly skilled girls on roller skates would zoom up and down row upon row of DVD racks. Each time a NetFlix customer ordered a movie, it would be retrieved and inserted into a specially designed DVD player piped into to their Internet connection. Employment would skyrocket and the roller skate industry would experience a tremendous boon.

Unfortunately, Internet connections could only keep up with the necessary bandwidth if the screen size approximated a postage stamp. Disappointed families huddled around massive computer monitors, straining their collective eyes. Sure, the sound was pretty good, but NetFlix had a long way to go before becoming the household name that it is today.

It's not NetFlix, yet. Stay tuned!


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    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      I'm staying tuned. In the meantime, have you considered there might be a very large market for drugs over the Net. Building on the popularity of NetFlix, how about Net Fix??? :)