The PS3 has picked up a lot of momentum as of late (thanks to price cuts, PS3 Slim, Uncharted 2), and the addition of Netflix streaming is the most recent blow in the feature-war against the Xbox 360. While Netflix streaming is nearly identical on most devices that support it, there are some significant differences with the PS3 that make it worth testing.
Unlike Netflix streaming on other devices, the PS3 requires the Netflix Streaming Disc for PS3. That means you'll need to request a disc from Netflix and it will come in the mail like a standard Netflix movie. It doesn't count against your allotment of movies allowed out and you never need to return the disc. The disc uses Blu-ray's BD-Live functionality to enable streaming, and this is by far the best use of BD-Live we've seen so far.
Once you insert the Netflix Streaming Disc, it shows up in the XMB in the video section. Select Netflix from the XMB and the experience is largely identical to streaming Netflix on other devices, with a few new features.
The main interface shows you the cover art of the movies in your instant queue, arranged horizontally. If you select a movie, it will show a screen with more detailed information, a summary of the plot, and a star rating. You're also able to scroll horizontally within the more detailed view, without having to return to the main screen. If you stop watching a movie, you're able to resume where you left off or start again from the beginning.
The step-up over standard streaming Netflix devices are the tabs at the top of the interface. With other devices, like the Roku Digital Video Player, you're only able to access movies that you've added to your Instant Queue using a PC. On the PS3, you're given some additional tabs that allow you to browse new arrivals, movies Netflix thinks you'll like, and categories you use often. That's not quite as good as the Xbox 360's Netflix interface, which allows you to add new titles to your instant queue without using a PC, but it's a welcome addition to the basic Netflix streaming available on other devices.
While we've seen some reports that the image quality of streaming Netflix isn't quite as good as it is on the Xbox 360, we didn't notice any significant quality drop-offs in our testing. In our experience, the image quality of streaming Netflix movies is basically identical across devices.… Read more