Netflix to eliminate mail-order service?


Call me traditional, but I like flipping through pages to get to the climax of my novels. I enjoy reading the newspaper in the morning while sipping on tea and eating Belgian waffles. And I definitely cannot get enough of watching movies on my 42-inch-screen television, curled under a blanket with a bowl of buttered popcorn in hand. After working all day on the computer, I want to pop in a DVD and have a little romantic-comedy time.

But Netflix -- my beloved movie-rental service -- might not think that's a profitable idea anymore.

Recently, reported that Netflix is planning to do away with its overnight mail-order service, possibly only offering Internet-streaming movies and shows for a monthly fee of $9.99. But company spokesman Steve Swasey says, "It's all speculative at this point. Netflix is always testing and researching and investigating ways to improve its service for members."

Netflix has been trying out Internet-streaming service with its "Play" option for selected films in a member's queue, and I'm going to confess: I have used that option on multiple occasions when my desire for instant gratification kicked into high gear. However, waiting for movies to finish buffering and for the picture to stop scrambling is not my idea of relaxation. And I'm sure I won't find many movie-buffs who'd rather watch their anticipated releases on a 15-inch computer screen than a 30-inch flat-screen TV.

Yes, I know; "for only $99.99" I could purchase Roku, a digital video player that streams movies from Netflix over the Internet to my television. Also, I could buy an Xbox 360 for $200 and stream the films over Xbox Live. But I don't have extra cash laying around, and besides, why do I have to buy new technology to use the Netflix service? There are obvious reasons why I am a faithful Netflix subscriber: plentiful movie selection, speedy delivery -- but mainly, a super cheap monthly subscription fee!