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. It seems that the software will allow the rental house to safely DRM its content where ever it goes via Redmond's Play Ready, thus leaping the hurdle that has kept some 12,000 movies and TV shows off of non-PC systems. Netflix claims that the new implementation in Silverlight provides "breakthrough navigation for fast-forward and rewind," though fails to indicate exactly when this is all being rolled out (we assume immediately). Unfortunately for super-duper late adopters, the software will only work with Intel-based Macs, so if you've been holding onto a G3 for dear life, here's one more reason to finally can it, along with your Xbox 360 HD DVD player, Von Dutch trucker cap, and gas-guzzling Escalade. Full PR after the break.
NETFLIX BEGINS ROLL-OUT OF 2ND GENERATION
MEDIA PLAYER FOR INSTANT STREAMING
ON WINDOWS PCs AND INTEL MACS
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."