Netflix talks 'Instant Viewing' for Mac

There are a few companies who, through their products and services, have earned a special place in my heart. Apple is one (obviously), as well as Amazon, New Balance, Nintendo, and Netflix. Netflix, in case you haven't heard of them, makes money via a subscription model. You pay a monthly fee and that gives you access to their monstrous DVD catalog. Pick a DVD and they'll mail it out to you in a nifty envelope that also serves as a the return envelope.

Alright, so now we all know what Netflix is, why the heck am I blogging about it on TUAW? You might recall that Netflix has recently started streaming movies for members via their website. This feature is called 'Watch Now,' and appears on any movie that has been digitized for streaming. Sadly, this very cool feature is only available for PC users. The dev responsible for this feature posted about why Mac users are left out of all the fun.

It basically comes down to the fact that there is no movie studio approved way to wrap these streams in DRM, so the movie studios won't let it happen on the Mac. FairPlay is mentioned, but as we know Apple isn't licensing that. Luckily, the solution might be coming from an unlikely source: Microsoft. Silverlight, Mircosoft's answer to Flash, uses Microsoft's DRM which the studios do approve of. Silverlight is still in beta (for both Macs and PCs) but it does look very promising (and on my Intel Mac it was pretty peppy).

Thanks, Mike.