Sunday, October 26, 2008

Netflix to Make Streaming Available to Macs With Silverlight

Big news from Netflix for Macs users who have a Netflix subscription is they are deploying streaming videos from the "Watch Instantly" feature to Macs through the Silverlight plug-in. There are no details on when this will be rolled out but it's expected by the end of the year and will only run on Intel-based based Macs and not older G3 machines. There is no word on Linux.

This story comes by way of Engadget.

"In a move that seemed like it would never, ever, ever happen, Netflix has finally managed to bring its streaming video technology (and decent library) to Macs everywhere, thanks to Microsoft's Flash-esque also-ran, Silverlight... (more)" - from Netflix finally brings 'Watch Instantly' to Macs via Silverlight - Engadget by Joshua Topolsky

"Since “Watch Instantly” was introduced about two years ago Macintosh and Linux users have been complaining bitterly about Netflix’s failure to offer the service on their browsers of choice. The company has already offered streaming via dedicated hardware and specially programmed home theater and gaming device" - from CrunchGear » Archive » Macs getting Netflix “Watch Instantly” with Silverlight

Full press release below:

Based on Microsoft Silverlight, New Player Features Enhanced Dynamic Streaming, First-Time Use for Macs and Breakthrough Navigation for Fast-Forward and Rewind

LOS GATOS, Calif., October 27, 2008 – Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the world’s largest online movie rental service, today announced it has begun the deployment of Microsoft Silverlight to enhance the instant watching component of the Netflix service and to allow subscribers for the first time to watch movies and TV episodes instantly on their Intel-based Apple Macintosh computers. The deployment, which will initially touch a small percentage of new Netflix subscribers, is the first step in an anticipated roll-out of the new platform to all Netflix subscribers by the end of the year.

Silverlight is designed for delivery of cross-platform, cross-browser media experiences inside a Web browser. It is expected that Netflix members who watch movies and TV episodes instantly on their computers will enjoy a faster, easier connection and a more robust viewing experience with Silverlight, due to the quality built directly into the player. Among the viewing enhancements with the new player is a breakthrough in timeline navigation that vastly improves the use of fast-forwarding and rewinding. The new Netflix player takes advantage of Play Ready DRM, which is built into Silverlight, for the playback of protected content on both Windows-based PCs and on Macs. That had not been possible with previous generation technologies.

“Silverlight with Play Ready offers a powerful and secure toolkit for delivery of dynamic streaming, which offers faster start-up, and higher quality video, adapted in real time to users’ connection speeds,” said Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt. “Members who enjoy watching movies and TV episodes from the growing library of choices that can be instantly streamed at Netflix will be thrilled with this next generation improvement of access and quality, on a broader range of platforms, including Intel Macs and Firefox.”