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Netflix Gets Early Streaming Access to Disney Movies in the U.K., Ireland

13 May, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix May 13 said it has made for the first time Disney and Pixar catalog titles Ratatouille, Wall-E, The Chronicles of Narnia and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, as well as classics such as Dumbo and The Aristocats, available to stream in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Netflix and Disney last year signed a landmark pay-TV window distribution deal, which is slated to begin in the United States and Canada in 2016. Disney titles are currently distributed in the pay-TV window by Starz Entertainment.

However, subscribers in the U.K. and Ireland, in the coming months, will also have streaming access to select Marvel, Dreamworks SKG and Disney titles, including The Help, War Horse, People Like Us and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Starting in 2014, titles will include Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, John Carter and The Muppets.

“We are delighted to be able to offer our members an incredible variety of fantastic family films, from recent hits like Marvel’s Avengers Assemble to classics like Mary Poppins,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “We aim to make Netflix better all the time and hope members enjoy the rich offering of films we are making available from the Disney studios.”

Separately, Netflix said it has improved select streaming features on the Sony PlayStation 3, including audio, subtitles, forward and reverse, as well as the option to not share content history on Facebook. The improved functionality of remote control features is also coming to select connected Blu-ray Disc players and TVs.

Specifically, PS3 users can now search, fast-forward and reverse title selections with a click or two, compared with previous manual searching.

The key feature in this update is the ability to manage audio and subtitles selections more easily, according to a blog post by Chris Jaffe, director of product innovation at Netflix. Users can now do that directly in the player on the PS3, without having to return to the browser.

When selecting “audio & subtitles,” all options for that title are presented. Subscribers who use the accessory Sony PS3 Blu-ray remote control can access “audio & subtitles” directly from the remote control by pressing “subtitles.”

Netflix also improved the design and performance of its “trickplay” mode when scanning forward or reverse in play mode. The images supposedly load faster, in addition to enabling a 10-second reverse option simply by pressing the left arrow button once on the controller or remote control.

Jaffe said the improved functionality will soon be available on select smart TVs and connected Blu-ray Disc players.


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