STREAMING SATURDAY: Netflix Gives Three Holiday Gifts

For all the hits Netflix has taken on this blog, viewers can expect three holiday gifts from the streaming giant.

Netflix must want its viewers to have a happy holiday season. The streaming service recently announced that its streaming will use less data, which is great news for anyone with a data cap. In other news, Netflix recently announced a second season for its smash, runaway hit series Luke Cage. If that weren’t enough, Netflix also announced a special, two-hour Christmas episode of its sci-fi thriller series Sense8.

Netflix Pops its Data Cap
The streaming giant recently adapted an encoding method called VP9. A vast improvement over its current H.264/AVC encoding system, VP9 uses 36 percent less data. For Netflix customers with data caps, this is great news. The VP9 system will adjust its data used based upon what’s happening on the show. For example, action scenes could contain more visual info than scenes featuring still skyline views, etc. With its VP9 efforts, Netflix hopes to deliver better picture quality while reducing data usage by up to 20 percent. The new standard is supported by Google Chrome and Android but cannot be support by iPhones and Apple products. For those products, Netflix has rolled out a newer version of H.264 which is about 19 percent more efficient.

The Return of Luke Cage
The first season of Luke Cage was so popular that many believe its debut caused the outage experience by Netflix at that time. Whether or not it caused Netflix to go down, Luke Cage has been a favorite with fans and critics alike. If you’re one of the many who’ve been on pins on needles while you waited for news of a second season, Netflix is about to make your day. The streaming service and leading original content provider announced Monday that it has renewed Luke Cage for another season. Let’s just hope Netflix prepares for the demand this series will cause when its second season premieres!

Merry Christmas from Sense8 and Netflix
Sense8: A Christmas Special debuts at 12:01AM (PST) on Friday, December 23. This is scheduled to be a special two-hour long episode. This should be good news for anyone who’s a fan of this dark yet popular sci-fi thriller series. Here’s even more good news for Sense8 fans – Netflix also announced the launch date for the second season of Sense8. That date is 12:01AM (PST) on Friday, May 5, 2017. The second season is supposed to pick up where season one left off, with the cast of characters being pursued Whispers.

Happy Holidays from Netflix?
Lately, Netflix has taken a beating here on the Solid Signal Blog. A few weeks ago, I asked the question, “Is Netflix Slipping?” In that piece, I listed the streaming service’s biggest problem – a glaring lack of new content to stream – along with its problems. My colleague Stuart Sweet has been even more critical of the streaming giant. Considering the somewhat anti-Netflix climate over here, the streaming service’s three big December announcements couldn’t have come at a better time. Whether this is enough to prevent its current trajectory remains to be seen.