Streaming Netflix to a PS3

Willscary's picture
New London

I am considering Netflix now that Sony has given PS3 support to streaming from Netflix. Does anyone out there use there PS3 in this way?

If so, how much does it cost you for the Netflix? I am thinking $8.99/ month for unlimited movies, but I seem to be finding contradictions on the Netflix site.

How is the picture quality on a full size display?

Are there problems with dropouts?

Can you stream HD content such as TV programs?

Can you stream Blu-ray movies?

Thanks for any info you can give. I have spent an hour on their site and seem to go in circles with no real answers.


Posted November 20, 2009 8:34pm in
FoxCitiesTV's picture

I don't have a PS3, but I

I don't have a PS3, but I stream Netflix on both my Xbox 360 and Insignia Blu-ray player, so I can clarify some of your questions. I believe ALL Netflix plans include streaming, but the $8.99 and up unlimited plans include unlimited streaming on your computer or "Netflix-ready devices" (ie. PS3, Xbox 360, Blu-ray players, etc).

(The "1-Out-At-A-Time" plan for $4.99 gives you 2 hours of streaming per month but only on a PC. There is also a $7.99 plan for unlimited streaming of only "Starz Play" titles to your PC, not to a device.)

I would highly recommend at least the 1-Out Unlimited Plan or higher. That's what I have. We stream a lot of movies and I use the 1-Out to get Blu-ray movies.

Picture quality is excellent. HD movies are 720p as far as I can tell but they look fantastic. I have a 26" 1080p Vizio and have watched several movies in HD from Netflix over my Blu-ray player and they look fantastic. In their "Instant" tab, they have a "genre" for HD movies and shows, but there are many more available than are listed. It seems like there's a great deal of HD movies from Universal and Sony. We've been watching "Star Trek" season 1, which is in HD and it looks great.

Good news is even non-HD movies look fantastic. We watched "Vertigo" yesterday which wasn't in HD, but it was very clean with no digital artifacts. Looks just as good as it would if you had a DVD in the player. The only movies that seem to be somewhat hit-or-miss are some of the Starz Play titles. Watched the first 20 minutes of "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" the other day and it seemed washed out with some motion weirdness.

I have both my Xbox 360 and Blu-ray player connected via ethernet so I can't attest to wireless performance. I would go wired if you're able to, but I've heard others' experiences over wireless are good, so long as your wireless hardware is good.

As for your question about streaming Blu-ray movies, it doesn't seem that there's any correlation between what movies are available for streaming and which are available on DVD and/or Blu-ray. It has to do with whether Netflix has the rights to stream a particular title or not. The good news is their selection has gotten much better than it did a few years ago. Not only has their movie selection gotten better (especially with the inclusion of Starz movies), but also the TV selection. They have deals with CBS, ABC and some other networks, so you can catch some shows like "Numb3rs" the day after their TV broadcast, and I think in HD.

We keep our $8.99 Netflix 1-Out Unlimited plan as a supplement to cable, as my wife and I usually can find a lot to watch via streaming, even when we can't on cable. I'd recommend trying it for a month to see if you like it and if it works good for you.

(One side note: I'm sure you'll smile at this being a PS3 owner, but I don't think there's any separate charge from Sony to access the Netflix streaming. Us Xbox 360 owners are forced to be paying Xbox Live Gold members to access Netflix... something I'm hoping Microsoft will change now that PS3 and seemingly every other home appliance can also stream Netflix too)

SeanM402's picture

I have a PS3, Xbox 360 and

I have a PS3, Xbox 360 and Netflix. We have the 3 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited) plan with Blu-ray (it does cost slightly more to have access to Blu-ray) for $21 a month. When it comes to the plans I think you need to look at how much you spend renting at brick and mortar stores each month and your own needs.

With the PS3 you don't have to pay extra to use the Netflix streaming but you do have to have a "PS3 Netflix Streaming Disc" in the drive to access the movie streaming. They will mail this to you free of charge upon request.

I don't remember ever having any quality issues with the streaming service. All of our gaming systems have been used on wireless up till about a week ago. Now they are wired.

I also wouldn't expect to find every movie available through Netflix on the streaming service. When we first got Netflix I wasn't very impressed with the movies available for streaming but over the last year or so I would say it has gotten much better.

I remember when we first got Netflix and I had the same response that I did when we switched to DVD "Why didn't we do this sooner?"

Willscary's picture

My disc came today and we

My disc came today and we immediately watched a streamed movie via wireless connection while each of the kids was also on a laptop. Fantastic! No dropouts or glitches of any kind. I wish the sound was Dolby Digital instead of stereo. Perhaps in the future.

I could find nothing about Blu-ray streaming. Do I pay extra for their so-called HD streams?

Thanks for the responses!


FoxCitiesTV's picture

If a movie is available in HD

If a movie is available in HD and you have sufficient Internet bandwidth, it should stream in HD. Don't know if the PS3 tells you if it's streaming in HD. The Xbox 360 does, but my Blu-ray player doesn't. It's not an extra charge or anything.

I've streamed HD on Netflix with both Road Runner's 2 Mbps and standard 7 Mbps service.


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