As I’m writing this on my desktop computer’s main screen, an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation is playing on the secondary screen. I’m using a combination of Netflix US and UnoDNS, and this workaround works perfectly for allowing me to watch Netflix from here in Norway. Soon though, I may not need the UnoDNS part of it at all, as Netflix just announced that it’s coming to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland by the end of this year.
This is great news for us Scandinavians, but I’m holding out on celebrating until I see what version of Netflix we’re getting. Licensing issues tend to do more than a little damage on the list of available content when services like that hit this part of the world, and I’m half expecting a list of ten TV shows and five movies to actually make it over. Pricing is also going to be interesting, as Netflix’ $7.99 US monthly price gets you a Red Bull at a gas station here in Norway. If Netflix goes the way of iTunes movie rentals, it might just be crippled and priced beyond reason by the time it’s actually available.
Even if that’s the case, at least it’s better than nothing. The world has gotten mighty small in the last decade, thanks to the internet, and licensing systems are still trying to catch up and change to a format a bit more suited for this day and age. Having seen some local news stories on this announcement, I have to say that certain Norwegian TV stations with an online service should be more concerned than they pretend to be, as there’s one thing that Netflix has that they don’t: A working infrastructure. A good browser solution, mobile apps, and lots of experience are all things that we haven’t seen a lot of over here so far.