Netflix is something of a hero to many of us. After all, this is the firm that brought high-quality video streaming to the world and gave us a way to see shows like Breaking Bad when UK broadcasters couldn't be bothered.
Now it seems that Netflix also has another plan - to rid the world of geographic boundaries. At least as far as video goes. The argument made by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is that people shouldn't have to wait for programming to come to their region, but everything should be released globally.
That's actually some logical and smart thinking that's somewhat lacking from the movie and TV industries. Release windows have a historical basis, but it's about moving a physical product around the world.
In the old days, it was expensive to print movies for projection, so instead the US would show movies, until popularity dwindled, at which point the films would be taken out of the cinema and the physical media shipped to, say, the UK for use here.
Post Hastings, please
However these days movies are sent from the distributor via satellite to digital projection systems. The release window makes no sense. The same is true of TV. No more do we need to ship a ¼ tape across the world, but shows can be sent anywhere in a few minutes - just look at piracy, which does a smashing job of distributing TV globally within moments of it airing.
Hastings was speaking to Gizmodo Australia, and addressed many of the same problems that have plagued the UK from time to time, from data caps to a real lack of content availability.
He spoke of the problem with VPN use, where user want to watch legal stuff on Netflix, are happy to pay, but have no service in their country. Hastings told Giz, "The VPN thing is a small little asterisk compared to piracy".
In short, if you give them what they want, they don't need to break the law any more.
So Netflix wants a future where we all have access to films and TV at the same time. That's something we can get behind. Until then, why not read our Netflix review or see which we prefer between Amazon and Netflix in our side-by-side comparison?