After 20 years at the University of Oregon, I have retired. So, I will begin posting about my new experiences here and hope you find them interesting.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Star Trek comes to Netflix Instant Streaming but may switch to VuDu for new releases and drop DVDs by mail

The U.S.S. Enterprise at Star Trek: The Experience, an
exhibit that was once the featured attraction at the Las Vegas
Hilton.  Photo by Mary Harrsch.
Wow!  Today I went up to Netflix to rank a DVD series we just completed and noticed that Netflix must have reached an awesome agreement with Paramount as I see that Start Trek and most of its spinoffs are now popping up on my suggested TV shows list for instant streaming.  Classic Trek, STNG, Voyager and Enterprise are now available to download instantly!  I'm so excited - especially about Enterprise as I never had the chance to watch more than one or two of the episodes.

For some reason Deep Space Nine is only available on Disc but I'm sure it will be added before too long.

Yes, I'm afraid all of you who thought I was this serious classical scholar will be disillusioned to discover that I'm an original Trekker going clear back to the first 1966 airing of the Star Trek episode "The Man Trap".  I've even dressed up in a Star Fleet captain's uniform that I fashioned myself (circa "The Wrath of Khan") and attended a number of Star Trek conventions.  I've had the thrill of meeting Worf (Michael Dorn), Sulu (George Takei), Chakotay (Robert Beltran), Quark (Armin Shimerman) and even Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew).  I've
Quark's business associates welcome me to
Quark's Bar at Star Trek: The Experience.
also been accosted by a Klingon down at Quark's Bar in Star Trek: The Experience that was once a featured attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton and I've sat in Captain Picard's command chair and "Made it so" down at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. (That was when the museum was first open and had only a handful of visitors.  I doubt if they let people do that now)  I even beamed myself down to an alien planet at the Star Trek: Federation Science exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. (Actually you stepped onto a "transporter" and watched yourself shimmer and disappear on a video screen in front of you then reappear in front of a backdrop of an alien world.  My husband and I stood in line for almost two hours to do it and my husband said afterward he can't believe we waited so long to only do that!  At that same exhibit I stepped up to a wax figure of Spock dressed in his Star fleet uniform that was protected by a cylindrical glass shield and pressed my hand formed into a Vulcan salute against the glass where his hand was positioned in the Vulcan salute and my husband asked me what on earth I was doing.  I told him it would probably be as close to Spock as I would ever get!

At one point Star Trek even inspired me to consider majoring in biochemistry so I could work at the Ames Research Center and search for extraterrestrial life.  But that was a lifetime ago.  Now I'm content to let my computer do the searching with the SETI at home software and just revisit the worlds of Star Trek via Netflix, especially since most of my Star Trek videos are old VHS tapes.  (Although two weeks ago I ordered the original collection of Star Trek movies on Blu-Ray that came up on Amazon as a Gold Box special for 60% off.)
The bust of a Cardassian at Star Trek:
The Experience

Today, though, I discovered this walk down memory lane was going to cost me twice as much as I thought.  I received an email from Netflix that informed me they were DOUBLING their subscription rates for people who subscribe to both streaming and DVDs by mail.

I watch far more movies via streaming than on DVD but I subscribe to both services (for $9.95/mo) because most new film releases don't make it to instant streaming for years.   Of course I must admit I have other choices.  Vudu only charges $2 per movie and have most new releases the day the DVD comes out.  With the pathetically few movies being produced that I find interesting nowdays, it would probably be far cheaper for me to just occasionally rent a new release from Vudu than to pay Netflix an additional $7.99 per month.  Dish Network also offered some new titles on PPV for only 99 cents this month.  If that is not just a flash in the pan but a regular new product offering, that could be another viable option as well.  I suppose I could also scale back my satellite channel package too since I hardly watch much on broadcast television anymore after the nightly news is over.

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