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Netflix and the Playstation 3

Netflix fans can rejoice - the Playstation 3 now supports streaming movies via your PS3 and internet connection! You can watch thousands of movies instantly, for free, as part of your Netflix account.

Unlike the XBox, where you do not need anything at all on the XBox side, with the PS3 you need a special disc. Luckily Netflix will send you that disc - to keep - for free. So just log into your Netflix account and go to the "Your Account" area. In there, under "Your Netflix ready devices and computers", you'll have an entry for your PS3 (and for your XBox if you have one of each). Have Netflix send you the free disc.

When you get the disc, put it into your PS3 and turn it on. You'll be shown an activation code on your TV screen. When you then go to Netflix.com, you'll be asked to enter that activation code. That will connect your PS3 with your Netflix account.

Now you're all set! On your Netflix.com account, browse through their thousands of movies and TV shows. Select the ones you want to put into your online watching queue. You can search and sort, read reviews. Fill your online queue with whatever you're interested in.

Then, on the PS3 side, you can instantly see that queue with images of the DVD covers and with star ratings. Select a given entry to play it. If you have a multi-item DVD - like "season 1 of xxxxxx" of a TV series - you'll get to choose which episode to watch.

I do have one gripe with this. On the XBox version, it shows very nicely what items you've watched and what you haven't watched. So if you're working your way through a DVD which has 8 episodes of a TV show on it you don't have to keep track of which you've seen. It shows you exactly which items you've watched.

On the PS3 side, all it does is show the ones you've watched in a light grey number - and the ones you haven't watched in a dark black number. That's not exactly helpful! Surely they could have put a "watched" or "not watched" or something beneath them. I don't like mysterious interfaces.

Also, I'm curious why on the XBox side it tells you the "quality level" of your feed, whether it's going to be fuzzy or sharp - but on the PS3 you don't get that indication. Does that mean the PS3 is always top quality? Or does it mean that on the PS3 you're not told what quality level you are getting?

Still, the PS3 unit is MUCH quieter than the XBox unit so given the choice we'll always watch items through the PS3. This is a great way to get access to instant movies. Well recommended if you have a PS3 and a Netflix account. After all, it's free!

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Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Shea. All rights reserved.
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