Netflix streaming coming to Canada "this fall"


netflix.caAll we have at the moment is a fairly vauge press press release from the company saying:

Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), the leading Internet movie subscription service, today announced it will expand into Canada this fall offering unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed instantly to TVs and computers for one low monthly fee. The Canadian launch will mark the first availability of Netflix outside the United States.

Unlike Netflix in the U.S., the Canadian version appears to  be streaming-only, which means that if you were hoping for some disc-based competition for Zip.ca, you’re going to have to keep waiting at least for now.

While the company has yet to announce an actual date for the service to begin, you can sign-up at netflix.ca to be notified as soon as one is released.

The service will initially be English-only but the company expects to have a French version in the future.

In the U.S., Netflix streaming is available on several devices including all three major gaming consoles, net-connected Blu-ray players, connected TVs, PCs and even Apple’s iPad.

No word yet on which of these devices will be supported here in Canada, but let’s hope they’re able to extend all of these relationships.

In case you’re not familiar with Netflix’s service, they offer a subscription-based video streaming platform which gives members the ability to watch an unlimited number of TV shows and movies, in up to 1080p HD, for one flat fee which, in the U.S. is $8.99/month.

When they launch up here in Canada, they won’t be the first service to offer streaming video, since Xbox Live and Apple’s iTunes already let people do this, but they will be the first to offer a subscription based system that is available on more than one hardware platform, making them nearly ubiquitous.

Readers, if Netflix maintains the same price point here as in the U.S., will you be signing up with them once they launch?

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25 comments

  1. Will Robertson

    The real question here is what content will the actually bring up to Canada. With the complexity of territorial rights to content, they won’t be able to just show all the same shows/movies in Canada as they do in the US.

    I fear, as usual, that we will get a significantly less desirable collection of content to view on Netflix. If that is the case, wonder what the price will be..

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  2. Rob H.

    Mr. Robertson makes a great point. There is also the matter of disc rentals – which are still very important if you want Blu-ray quality or if you want access to all of the many movies and TV shows that will not be available via streaming. I would not be particularly eager to pay Netflix however-much-per-month solely for streaming content and then also have to still pay $25 per month to Zip.ca for discs. I would prefer a single price of around $25 per month that would give me access to both discs and streaming – much the way it is with Netflix in the States.

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  3. François

    Being french I do not want english subtitled shows or movies, Québec does a very bad job of dubbing voice overs, subtitles are better.

    If the content is not fully open I will keep my money in the pocket. To paid $300 a year then streaming cost even if unlimited there is a cap from the Bell Bitch.

    Direct cup and paste quote from Netflix site:

    Canadian Netflix members will be able to instantly watch a broad array of movies and TV episodes right on their TVs via a range of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming from Netflix, as well as watching on PCs and Macs.

    The first line it say “…a broad array…” meaning they can limit the US content.

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    • Simon Cohen

      Hey Francois, I wouldn’t read too much into the wording. Their U.S. site says something very similar: “Members can select from a growing library of titles that can be watched instantly and a vast array of titles on DVD.”
      I think that in this instance “broad array” is simply their way of saying “a lot”.

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      • Blake

        Broad – adjective – Of great extent, large

        Vast – adjective – immense, huge, enormous

        I am going to agree with Francois. I believe his english is just fine. Broad has great potential for limitations.

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      • Simon Cohen

        Not that I want to split hairs, but since the Canadian service is streaming-only, whereas the U.S. service is disc-based as well, it’s normal for the selection to be smaller on a streaming service. The “vast” in this case was a reference to selection of disc-based material. They would probably describe their streaming content in the U.S. as “broad” too. I really don’t think this language is designed to provide them with a loophole for offering a diminished product. Especially when the words “vast” and “broad” can’t be tied to specific numbers.

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    • Michel

      There are still unlimied Internet available from a few ISPs (TekSavvy for example). I enjoy unlimted music listening on MusicMe.com, unelimited download on Tou.tv and other streaming sites without having to pay extra.

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  4. Jtan

    Knowing how it goes, we’ll be paying at least 2-3 times more in Canada, compared to what people pay in US, and then add the layer of Whipped cream called HST.

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  5. Bilzac

    Really excited about this but with Telecom companies putting harsh limits on bandwidth, no one will be able to use Netflix to its full capacity.

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  6. Kraven

    I am currently subscribed to Netflix via creative means and all I can say is unlimited streaming for 9$ a month is a great deal. If the content library mirrors that of the US, I’m switching no doubt, however, I doubt this will be the case due to copyrights, licenses or some other CRTC imposed rules.

    The major issue Canadians will face regarding this is the bandwith involves. Unlike the US, Canadian ISPs have bandwidth limits. 2 1080p movies is enough to break the 25gb mark.

    Considering Bell, Videotron, Rogers offer internet services and PPVs/Premium movies via their television division, I doubt we’ll be seeing any easing of the bandwidth caps anytime soon.

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  8. Rick Martin

    Given the broadcast regulations here, we are unable to view sites like VH1 and others online. I believe the current Cancon requirement is 45%. Will we be getting the dregs of the kegs, so to speak, when it comes to programming, because there has to be a certain Canadian content level? I am in agreement with others about the price structure, as anything over about $15 a month would not really be worthwhile, unless you are a large volume movie watcher.

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  9. Chris

    Wondering when it does come to canada….Do you have to have a IPS here in canada..or can I get the streaming from my ps3 overseas??

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  10. Ivan

    It would be nice to have some services like this, I see moree and more online versions of this all the time. NHLinsider.com

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  11. Vern Myers

    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what limitations there will be. Que sera sera!!

    vjem

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  12. Blake

    I wouldn’t subscribe because my bell internet is un reliable at 1080p HD. I would rather see the Red Box in Canada.

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    • Amall

      I’m getting great HD quality via bell connection when using netflix. That’s not an issue. I get unlimited internet for $35, works out perfect for netflix as I can watch as much as I want without worrying about cost. Let me know if you want more details.

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  13. bob mitchell

    yes, i would like very much to have netflix, but only for receiving and sending movies as is done in the U.S. using the postal service for movies is quite convenient and i know many americans who use such and enjoy it a lot. it is about time canada received this plan. thanx

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  14. Cyrus

    I agree with Bob. I do like netflix but only as receiving and sending through mailing I used to be a member with zip.ca ,their movie collection is not as large as netflix, thats why I cancelled my membership with them. Netflix are only good for their rare movie collection and their classic movie collection otherwise ppl can just go rent a movie at a dvd rental place.

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  15. bob

    Unlimited streaming is already out there for free for anyone that wants it.You have to pay for your bandwidth though and you will have to pay for it with Netflix.

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  16. Justin

    If you are looking for an online dvd rental along with game rental online, then look no further more. DVDLink.ca is one of the best option for you. DVDLink.ca has a big collection of movies and games for PS3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and it has got the finest variety of blu ray movies. Plus, they are continously increasing the collection each and every day.

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  18. Leo

    Netflix Canada is here… Except there are very old movies and shows.
    US Netflix has 10 times more movies and there are plenty of new releases.
    I am using usvideo.ca to watch US Netflix from Canada. Works on my AppleTV too.

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