If you thought that Netflix might one day enable you to watch content offline, I’m afraid you’re sorely mistaken. The company has officially shot down the notion that this will ever be offered.
Some content providers offer such a feature. Amazon is one of them.
“We want our customers to be able to watch their digital videos on all devices, anywhere they are—that’s why Prime Instant Video is the only U.S. video subscription service that enables offline viewing—on a plane, in a car, anywhere you want to go,” said Michael Paull, Vice President, Amazon Digital Video. “Offline viewing is already available on Fire tablets and we’ll continue to roll out this functionality to other devices in the future.”
In the UK, channels like BBC iPlayer and Channel 4’s 4oD let you download content to watch without an Internet connection. Don’t expect Netflix to follow suit. TechRadar reports:
Speaking to TechRadar, Cliff Edwards, Netflix’s director of corporate communications and technology, said “It’s never going to happen”.
According to Edwards, Netflix’s position on the matter is that offline downloads are a “short term fix for a bigger problem”, that problem being Wi-Fi access and quality. The service has made a similar argument in the past. In years to come, Netflix expects Wi-Fi coverage to improve significantly, particularly on transport.
According to the report, Edwards doesn’t even think this will be a topic of discussion in five years time. I guess that would be good news.
Netflix is expanding its availability to pay-TV customers in the meantime. Today, Dish announced that it’s rolling out the Netflix app on some of its boxes. That’s a major step in this direction for the U.S.
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