Imagining A Streaming Netflix Service In 1995

If you’re like most people, you watch a lot of movies on your computer. There’s a better than average chance that you take your laptop or your tablet with you and stream movies off of Netflix whenever and wherever you want to. Can you imagine what it would have been like to try to do that back in the mid-1990s? If you remember what the internet was like at the time, you’ve probably picked up on the idea that this might not have been very much fun back then.

Streaming movies is relatively easy today, but everybody has been plagued by that spinning circle that signals buffering from time to time. It’s frustrating, even when it only lasts for a few seconds and it’s nothing short of maddening when it happens over and over again. Now, imagine trying to stream a movie over a dial-up modem. If you can remember that far back, it sometimes took forever to download a picture, much less anything that actually incorporated graphics. In addition, somebody can simply pick up the phone and break the connection. It would probably take you all day to watch a movie, and you’d be doing it all in one or two minute segments. By the time the movie finished, you probably wouldn’t remember what the beginning was even about. If you’re really being honest about the situation, you probably wouldn’t even care by then.

Netflix has completely revolutionized the way people watch movies. However, no one would argue that it came along at exactly the right time. If the company had tried streaming movies back in the 1990’s, it would have undoubtedly been a dismal failure. The technology to support it simply wasn’t there at the time. Thankfully, that has changed. Even those that aren’t so crazy about the internet and the technology of today probably secretly sneak off to some private place with their tablet or their laptop so they can stream their favorite movie, something that would never have been possible with old technology.


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