Streaming Netflix to your PlayStation 3 is about to get better, next week. You'll be able to stream Instant Watch content without the Netflix disc and also watch some content in 1080p with 5.1-channel surround sound (thanks to a partnership with Dolby Digital Plus). Netflix plans to offer 5.1-channel surround sound to other devices "over time," but the company wouldn't say when it would roll out the feature or to which devices.
On Monday October 18, PS3 owners will be able to access Netflix via a new app in the video category of the PS3 media bar (you can use the Netflix disc as a Frisbee or a coaster from then on). The improvements also come with a sleek new UI that Sony says will offer "a much richer and faster browsing experience, content search directly on the device, and dramatic improvements in how fast playback starts."
We thought the Netflix update for the Xbox 360 was good, but if you factor in the lack of monthly charges for the PS3's online offerings, Sony is now winning. Microsoft needs to strike back, and soon.