Netflix Stops Letting You Add To DVD Queue From Streaming Devices

For years, Netflix steadily made its service more user-friendly by adding devices on which it let you stream films and improving the apps that let you do so. But now the company has taken a step backward in functionality by removing the ability to add DVDs to your queue from everything but the Netflix site.

The Netflix Blog reports the move was made to improve the streaming service:

We’re doing this so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly. Further, providing the option to add a DVD to your Queue from a streaming device complicates the instant watching experience and ties up resources that are better used to improve the overall streaming functionality.

Netflix users, do you buy the explanation? If so, are you cool with losing the ability to add DVDs in exchange for more reliable streaming?

Removing “Add to DVD Queue” from Streaming Devices [Netflix Blog]
(Thanks, Todd!)

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  1. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Meh. I have always accessed netflix from a dedicated Media Center Computer. Many services block functionality of stand alone devices, but not computers.

    • nbs2 says:

      Probably the biggest reason to use a HTPC instead of a stand alone system.

      The problem for us is that until I get around to deciding if I want to build a heavy duty media server to store in our wire closet or just something simple for the living room, we rely on our Wii for our Netflix streaming. It isn’t a huge deal to not be able to add discs via the Wii with a deluge of computing resources in the house, but it was convenient to search for something, see it was DVD only, and add it to the queue.

  2. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    Eh, it does not impact me, we stream things through a computer hooked up to the TV.

    But I think it really would streamline the process of watching streaming content; when we did use a console to stream, doing a search and getting hits that we couldn’t actually stream was irritating. Though in situations where a TV series is available for streaming, except for like 3 episodes on one disc, it would help to be able to just directly add-to-queue from the device.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Exactly. When I’m browsing titles to stream, I don’t really want to see the DVD-only titles. That is just more information to slog through! It’s separated on the Netflix site, why not when accessing the app through a console.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        I have never used this feature on my Roku. I can’t imagine when I’d need to. No biggie, in my opinion.

    • common_sense84 says:

      There is no reason why they could not filter out the dvd titles when selecting movies on the xbox.

      It is a very very simple change.

      This change is complete hog wash. They must be trying to show you ads or something. My guess is that they are having legal/financial issues by trying to display ads on some streaming devices. So they just pulled the ability from all devices so you go to the webpage and view their ads.

      • coren says:

        They did filter out the dvds, in a fashion. You just can’t add them at all now, instead of being able to add them to the dvd queue.

  3. Quibbs0 says:

    yeah I guess that seems ok. I was looking to see which “Saw” movies were available the other night and I was suprised to see all six (or 7?)!!! Oh wait, they are Add to DVD Queue only?

    Let down.

  4. iggy21 says:

    i find that adding movies through streaming devices too cumbersome anyway. This wont affect me.

    • apple420 says:

      Cumbersome? If I was looking for something to stream and it wasn’t available online, I would hit add to DVD queue. This is the only way I have ever added movies to my DVD queue, but I mostly signed up for Netflix to stream.
      I have enough movies queued up that I probably don’t have to bother with their web site for a while anyway.

    • sqlrob says:

      Dr. Who Season 4 Episode 1 is “Disc Only”, all the others from that season are available streaming. Why shouldn’t I be able to add from that screen?

      • wastedlife says:

        I am looking at the Doctor Who Season 4 on Netflix right now and all episodes are on streaming. Only Disc 6 is not on streaming and that is special features only. It is the same for seasons 2 and 3 as well.

        I do agree with your point though, since I have run into TV series where episodes are missing and on DVD only.

        • sqlrob says:

          Hmm. Maybe that was season 5 then, or even better, they fixed it and it is streaming now.

          I’ve see some weird “not streaming” things that have been errors, they screwed up on Red Dwarf making it look like an episode wasn’t streaming but it was an alternate one that was on the special features.

  5. SoDev says:

    Not a good thing, but not a big deal either.

  6. mtwmtw says:

    I have no issue at all with this, I use Netflix almost exclusively for streaming but still have 1 DVD out at a time option for when I want that. I can’t remember the last time I watched a physical disk that way though.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Me either, except I don’t have a Roku (yet) so I’m already on the site while streaming anyway. After I’m done I go back to browsing. I still have the DVD thing, although I haven’t watched my month-old DVD yet.

      Doctor Who Season 5 is all on disc, not streaming. After I finished Season 4 I was heartbroken that I couldn’t just dive in! Since I’ve downgraded my DTV I lost BBC America :'(

      • Kitten Mittens says:

        I’ve had the same disc since last March. Maybe I should just get around to sending it back…pretty clear I don’t want to watch the movie, huh?

  7. jvanbrecht says:

    It bothers me a little bit.. but its not really a huge issue. I have netflix on 2 tivos, built into a TV, on my xbox360 and ps3. I really only use the 360 (it performs much better then the tivos), and when I am on it, I am generally looking for streaming movies, but occasionally I would come across something I want to add to the queue (for when I go over to friends or my neighbours).

    But I will survive

  8. MPD01605 says:

    You could add DVDs to your queue on streaming devices before?
    Honestly did not know that. So….ok, Netflix.

    • kathygnome says:

      That was my reaction. I have a Roku and it only returns streaming titles from search.

      • Sunflower1970 says:

        My reaction, too. I also have a Roku box and only see streaming..I thought it made some sense to do it that way…

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Ah, maybe that’s why I didn’t know about it, if Roku didn’t offer it. Even if it had, if I’m watching TV, I’m no more than 10 steps from more than one computer, so it’s easy enough to add something if I suddenly need it added.

  9. theblackdog says:

    Meh, I never knew it even existed. I was always adding to streaming from my DVD queue.

  10. c!tizen says:

    I don’t buy the reasoning, but whatever… I haven’t gotten an actual DVD from Netflix in almost a year.

  11. anime_runs_my_life says:

    I noticed that the other day on my iPod Touch app. I found it annoying, but then remembered I have Opera on my Touch and just added that way. It is annoying because it’s an extra step vs just tapping the app and searching that way. I wouldn’t say I’m cool with it. I can deal with it as long as I have a way to get to the site if I can’t add it the app way.

    • Mom says:

      I didn’t really use the computer for putting DVDs into my queue, because I don’t use the computer for streaming. I use a Tivo to stream, and my iPhone to add stuff to the queue. If they had a decent iPhone app for adding movies to my DVD queue, then I’d use that. Oh. Wait. They did. The Netflix app was actually a pretty nice, seamless interface that allowed me to put whatever I wanted into whatever queue I wanted. But they just disabled it for some reason. Big step backwards.

  12. mbz32190 says:

    Not a big deal to me…always added DVD’s through the PC.

  13. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    I only add DVDs to my queue from my computer, so it won’t affect me. I stream Netflix from both my computer and my Blu-ray player.

    I think maybe it’s because of the internet age and not having a reason to become immersed in one topic for more that a few minutes, but I no longer enjoy watching movies very much. I get excited about getting a movie that I think I’ll really like, and then it just sits around forever before I get around to watching it.

  14. rev_matt_y says:

    I use a Roku and simply don’t care. I don’t think I’ve ever added anything to my queue from the roku, I find what I want and watch it in that moment.

  15. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Unless someone can tell me why it would be beneficial to see non-streaming DVD in a streaming device, I guess I’m not upset.

    • PunditGuy says:

      You search for a movie on a streaming device, only to find out that it’s not available to stream — however, Netflix has it available on DVD and/or Blu-ray. Click a button, it’s added to your queue. I’ve done that about a half dozen times in the last couple of months on my Xbox.

    • palfas says:

      The point is to be able to add a DVD to your queue (to be mailed to you) from your streaming device. Say you are browsing on your xbox and you found a movie that was only available on DVD and not streaming. You now have to go to the website on your PC to get it added to your queue instead of adding it right then and there.

      Huge step backwards IMO

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        It seems more like you won’t be able to see the non-streaming options at all, which is something I’d find preferable. It felt very bait-and-switch when I used an Xbox to stream Netflix; I’d find a movie I wanted to see only to find out that it was DVD-only. Since browsing the streaming is usually a “I want to watch something right now” sort of process, getting dvd-only results while looking over the offerings was annoying and sometimes disappointing.

  16. D0rk says:

    Not happy about this. I watch Netflix from my PS3 (DVD and streaming) or stream to my iPhone. The last time I was on the Netflix website was when I reactivated my account months ago.

    I regularly search for things on either streaming device, and i’ll add it to the respective queue. I’m not going to be happy when I find something that’s DVD Only, and have to remember it, boot up my computer or mess with the mediocre mobile website to add it to my queue. Sorry Netflix, I know you’re pushing streaming so you can eventually kill your DVD business, but you need to get more recent content streaming first, right now you’re just upsetting people.

    • wootbot says:

      This is annoying – and here’s why. Not everything is available via streaming, so when I search for something and find it’s not instantly available, it’s helpful to be able to add it to the DVD queue right there and then – without having to go to a computer. They should hold-off on removing this feature until 100% of their content is available via streaming.

  17. MikeVx says:

    I’d never have noticed. They don’t have streaming for Linux, and I’ve never been able to use any video streaming reliably, on any device or operating system. I can’t even watch YouTube videos longer than about 7 minutes without jumping through hoops. Anything over 10 minutes just isn’t happening. I can’t figure out how streaming can be so popular when I’ve never seen it work well. (Special video streaming arrangement at a public event + video streaming is a broken concept = fail at your event.)

    Remember, they have been trying to drive people off DVDs for years now, they seem to think the ISP caps are not going to appear, and want the shipping of discs to go away. Removing DVD queue control from all streaming interfaces is not surprising. Given how clear they make it that they want discs to vanish, I’m amazed that you could ever load your queue from a streaming interface.

    • Whtthfgg says:

      Streaming works great for most people. Id say its more a fail on your particular computer setup or internet connection.

    • PsiCop says:

      I’ve done streaming on Linux. It can most certainly be done. I have to wonder if you have some kind of problem … e.g. a slow or unreliable Internet connection, a bad cable or NIC, some other hardware fault, or something else going on. I have no idea what, just saying it should work for you if everything is in working order.

      As for driving people off discs … maybe Netflix is doing that, but they still have a ton of “disc-only” titles, and there doesn’t seem to be much effort underway to get them all online. So if this is their intention, they haven’t done a good job of getting there. Also, I’m not aware that Netflix can stream Blueray quality video yet, so anyone who wants that will have to get it in that form.

      • JeremieNX says:

        NF streaming on linux? Would you mind pointing me to an article that explains how?

        • PsiCop says:

          Not Netflix streaming, just streaming in general. The commenter mentioned he couldn’t view Youtube videos longer than a few minutes (in addition to the problem of no Netflix on Linux). When I said Linux systems should be able to stream media, that’s what I was referring to. Not Netflix specifically.

          As for Netflix on Linux … I suppose one could use a virtual machine or emulator like Wine to do it. Not sure if this works since I’ve never tried it myself, but it would seem a possibility.

    • Mom says:

      “I can’t figure out how streaming can be so popular when I’ve never seen it work well.”

      Ummm….Netflix streaming works well. But not on Linux. So I think you’re saying that you’ve never seen streaming work well on Linux. That’s a very different statement.

  18. kewpie says:

    This has no impact on me. I’m not sure I even knew it was possible to do that. I’ve never felt it was an inconvenience to do it from a computer.

  19. GMFish says:

    Netflix users, do you buy the explanation?

    No, It makes no sense.

  20. skwigger says:

    This makes sense. I can confuse the less tech savvy users when they add something to their queue, but then don’t see it in their instant watch queue on the device they are using.

  21. Hi_Hello says:

    i use it once in awhile. if it improve streaming, im all for it.

  22. MeOhMy says:

    Here’s a crazy idea: You could have this box in the UI that says “Also show titles that are not available for streaming?” and you could put some sort of mark in that box a “check” or “tick” if you will to indicate whether or not you want to see DVD-only titles on your streaming gadget.

    I should patent that….

  23. Dan T. says:

    Totally bogus… sounds like mealy-mouthed managementspeak when they have some secret reason for wanting something; the stated reasons make no sense at all. Managing the queue takes hardly any bandwidth or server resources compared to streaming videos.

  24. shamone says:

    It makes sense to me. I always hated that they would display the movies I couldn’t watch. I never understood the point of them listing the DVD only movies in my PS3 for streaming.

  25. reishka says:

    There’s so many times when I’m out and about, at a lunch date with friends, spending an evening at someone’s house, or whatever have you and I use the Netflix app to add movies to my queue. If they’ve removed the ability to do that I’m not going to be very happy…

  26. aloria says:

    99% of the movies I want to watch are DVD only, so I end up searching for a zillion titles and adding the non-streaming ones to my queue until I find one I can watch immediately.

    I wouldn’t be annoyed by this if Netflix had a good selection of movies I wanted to see available in streaming, but they don’t, so this sucks.

    • MMD says:

      Sounds like you only watch new releases. There’s a *huge* library of films if you are willing to explore other genres.

  27. danmac says:

    I don’t buy the explanation, but we do our physical DVD rentals online anyway, so it won’t affect me. I’m sure it’s a nuisance to some people, but not to me.

  28. LightningUsagi says:

    I don’t understand the explaination. I use my PS3, and when I search for something to watch and find out that it’s DVD only, I add it to my DVD queue and move on to the next search. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve gotten on Netflix from my computer…however, since the computer is always on, I don’t see it being a huge hassle to have to log in and add it to my queue that way.

    I somehow see the next announcement from Netflix being that they have too much traffic on the website all of a sudden and need to increase prices to pay for new servers. LOL

  29. common_sense84 says:

    This cannot create more reliable streaming. There is nothing an add to queue on a streaming device can do to harm streaming.

    This sets back streaming by years. What good is a netflix subscription on an xbox if you cannot pick movies you want to watch on the xbox itself?

    Requiring a web browser is complete bullshit. The wii which has a web browser will of course be unaffected by this since people can just surf to netflix.com on the wii to add to queue.

    • coren says:

      It sounds like you think they are taking away the ability to add things to your STREAMING queue on your streaming device.

      They aren’t.

      They’re taking away the ability to add things to your “mail me a dvd” on your streaming device.

  30. RevancheRM says:

    I approve.

    While my DVD rentals have plummeted since last spring, my streaming has increased. Their offerings for streaming, however, are a minor percentage of what they offer (so far) and when I’m trying to find something on my iphone or wii, its a bit of a letdown to -at first- see they have it and then see that its not available for streaming.

    I’m fine with their segregating the DVDs-only from the streaming menus. Its a refinement, not a backwards step.

  31. PsiCop says:

    From Netflix: “… providing the option to add a DVD to your Queue from a streaming device complicates the instant watching experience …”

    Huh? How is that, exactly? I didn’t find it “complicated” or laborious at all. I guess I missed something.

    • coren says:

      I’m betting that at least part of what they really wanted to say (but couldn’t) is:

      Some of our users aren’t very bright and kept complaining that things they added to their watch instant queue weren’t showing up. Because these idiots requested them as dvds. Now they can’t do that, so hopefully they stop whining about not being able to understand a simple process.

      ..I may have a slight bias from having seen someone complain about what I just described on the internet, and wanting to reach through the screen and smack them in the face

  32. nopirates says:

    translation: we don’t want to spend development effort and money to make this work correctly on a whole bunch of different platforms, so we’re just not going to do it at all.

  33. framitz says:

    I’m ok with this change. I stopped the the DVD/Bluray option immediately when it became available.

  34. Transient says:

    Personally, I would rather maintain the functionality. That said, I know a few less-technical users that were very frustrated on their streaming devices when they’d search for a movie, find it, and then realize it wasn’t actually available to stream. It created a greater dissatisfaction than simply not showing the listing would have been.

  35. balderdashed says:

    I’m a big Netflix streaming fan, and have at various times streamed Netflix from a Roku box, an AppleTV, a Samsung TV with apps, my IPAD, my IPod Touch, several Mac and PC computers, as well as Netflix-enabled blu-ray players from LG, Samsung, and Panasonic. The ability to search for titles on the device you’re using to access Netflix, and instantly add them to your queue, was a big step forward, especially on devices with a well designed user interface. Removing this feature is a big step back. It’s not essential, I can live without it, but Netflix’s explanation seems lame and disingenuous. “Complicates the instant watching experience”? Bull. Some poor pr guy was assigned to come up with a justification for a step Netflix took for some other reason they would prefer not to talk about. The most obvious one: if people can immediately add more titles, yes, that feature does demand some resources — but people who can easily add more titles are likely to watch Netflix more. With an “all-you-can-eat” economic model that gives Netflix the same amount of revenue whether I stream 2 titles or 200, Netflix may have grown too fast to keep up with the demand created by its own business model. Am I wrong, Netflix? Then give me a reason that makes sense, not this pr-spin hogwash.

    • MarkSweat says:

      “Complicates the instant watching experience”

      Sweet! I want to watch Inception! Dang, it only lets me add it to the DVD queue and not stream it.

  36. rawrali says:

    I am actually kind of happy about it. I live with some roommates who sometimes use the Wii downstairs to watch movies. They aren’t very good at navigating it and on more than one occasion have put movies they wanted to watch into my DVD queue by mistake. Now I don’t have to worry about that anymore!

  37. lifeat24fps says:

    I haven’t added a DVD to my queue in months, so no.

  38. silverlining says:

    You know, as a longtime Netflix customer, I’d much prefer Netflix improve their streaming content options before they focus on restricting users’ ability to manage their queue on streaming devices. Right now, their streaming content is very, very weak. My husband can’t believe anyone would ever subscribe to the streaming content only membership.

    Also, would it kill Netflix to distinguish between new-to-Netflix content and shows/movies that are actually new? Drives me nuts.

  39. wastedlife says:

    This is strange news considering the app for the Xbox 360 just got this feature with the last update.

  40. SgtBeavis says:

    I agree that it’s a step backwards but it has no effect on me since I’m only using their streaming services to begin with..

  41. Qolotlh says:

    I would think it’s safe to say the majority of users who have streaming and disc memberships also have a PC, Mac, Mobile device, and/or iPad, etc. Goven I am on AT&T DSL which is slower than my Android in terms of bandwidth I would happily lose adding discs to get better streaming.

  42. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i wasn’t even aware that you could add DVDs from the instant streaming device. it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me really. i was thrilled when they added the ability to search for instant on my roku though.

  43. MedicallyNeedy says:

    I get the 2 a month 1 out at a time and they just sent me a DVD that was way, WAY up in my Q! I’m not even sure I added it. I’m thinking about a Roku box?

  44. NotEd says:

    Doesn’t affect me, as I never added DVDs for delivery from my Roku. Of course my account has a second queue setup just for discs for delivery, so no titles from my primary queue are delivered anyways.

    What I would like is the ability to tell if a title is available to stream while looking at my 2nd queue on my computer. I’ve had more wasted DVDs delivered that turned out to be available streaming because there is no easy way to check that.

  45. coren says:

    As usual, a few people don’t like it, some people don’t understand it, a few just bitch about netflix streaming being terrible/the selection sucks, and the majority are completely fine with it.

    I don’t know how the hell Netflix built up such a loyal fanbase. And maybe this change isn’t a big deal, but man. It seems like these guys can do no wrong, ever.

  46. Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

    Perhaps if the streaming content library didn’t suck ass it’d be a wash.

    All I wanted was to watch a Kevin Smith movie, and the only one available was Mallrats. Come on Netflix, get with the program!!

  47. TonyK says:

    No I don’t buy this explanation. If it is not available for instant streaming I want the option to add it to my queue.

  48. oldtaku says:

    Sounds like they’d prefer you don’t see just how many of their titles aren’t available on streaming. Out of sight, out of mind.

  49. quail says:

    Love Netflix on my PS3. Losing the option to que DVDs from it is not a deal breaker but it will be missed. I can see the reason to do this from Netflix’s point of view. Because a family might share one account and everyone has access to the streaming device, those DVD ques can get long and cumbersome. (Oh my, Little Johny added another anime movie to the que.) If they didn’t work at limiting access to the que, then they would be facing a logistical nightmare in 12 months.

  50. Donathius says:

    I’ve always found it a bit odd, personally, to see that on the iPhone app. I think of the iPhone app as being made for Instant Watch, however I’ve encountered several times when I saw a movie and thought “awesome, I didn’t know this was on instant watch” when it turned out that the only option was to add it to my DVD queue.

  51. seamer says:

    When I look at netflix from my ps3/wii, I want streaming. If something I want isn’t streaming, I want to know why.

  52. jjcraftery says:

    Well THAT sucks! What if I’m out, and think of a movie to watch, and want to watch on my iPhone? Or like my Son, who’s 11, is constantly searching movies and adding them and watching them right away.

    This will DEFINATELY be an inconvenience.
    Definate step in the backwards direction here!!!!

    :(

  53. rambo76098 says:

    Lame. Now I’ll have to drag out the PC every time I think of a movie to add to my queue.

  54. wrbwrx says:

    I was annoyed that whenever i searched for an Instant view title, it would recommend DVD’s. I think this is a step forward.

  55. Coyote says:

    I just wish they would do away with the DVD process entirely, I’m tired of even 5 year old movies not being available via streaming. Seriously how hard is it to stick a single DVD in and rip it versus mailing, labeling, sorting, etc….

  56. YOXIM says:

    Meh. Don’t really care. I’ve had the same Blu-Ray disc from Netflix on my entertainment center for almost a year now. Still haven’t watched it. So yeah, don’t care.

  57. Adam says:

    Oftentimes I am away from home and will think of or be reminded of a movie that I want to watch, which is why I have the phone flicks app on my smartphone. It is a convenient way to add movies to my cue the moment I think of them so I won’t forget. Of course I could write them down, but I often don’t have sometime to write with or on. I could make a note of it in my phone, yes….but it has always been much more convenient to just add it to my cue instantly through my phone. Ahh Netflix I still love you, but don’t let this be the first step towards hatred!

  58. Jenn98765 says:

    It’s annoying – I don’t need to add steps to things, I need to remove steps. Although now that they have the market cornered wouldn’t it just be typical if they turned shitty now?

  59. ClaudeKabobbing says:

    does not matter to me. I love my roku, but its much easier to add movies, streaming movies included, thru my pc.

  60. MarkSweat says:

    Don’t even have the DVD option anymore now that they have streaming-only. The DVD/Blu-Ray just turned into an expensive coaster that I paid for each month. Most of our viewing was already on the streaming.

    So, I like this change. When browsing from a streaming device, it’s annoying to find something only to be told “sorry – you can’t watch this, because it doesn’t stream”.

  61. Kestris says:

    I’ve always used my computer to add DVDs, so never used the instant streaming ‘add dvd’ bit.

    So for me, it makes no difference.

  62. cpkook02 says:

    I am on a streaming only plan now! I am actually glad to not see the titles that I cannot watch instantly. It will de-clutter my search on Netflix.

  63. VouxCroux says:

    Netflix has been ahead on so many things, but they have not embraced mobile apps or social media. It’s puzzling.

  64. mumucachu366 says:

    We stream Netflix on the computer, 360 and Wii. We’ve never bothered looking for movies for the DVD queue on the consoles, just the computer, so it doesn’t bother us.