Netflix streaming is about to get really real on impending Honeycomb tablets. One of the nuggets that makes Lenovo's newly unveiled IdeaPad K1 so special is the internal DRM module that allows it to play nice with a fresh build of the Netflix app. As we saw back at MWC with the LG Revolution, future Android 3.x tablets (with an unspecified hardware inclusion) will not only support native Watch Instantly streaming over mini-HDMI / HDMI, but it'll also enable something totally new:
Just to answer the obvious question: no, your existing Honeycomb tablet won't be able to support this goodness through a firmware update. You'll actually need a slate with the requisite hardware within to take advantage, and it's hard to say at this point who will follow Lenovo down the path. We're hoping that the added functionality won't lead to a boost in Netflix's monthly rate, but given the history of the app, we can't say we're too terrified about that possibility. So, how fast will the APK be ripped from the fabric of a K1 and thrown out onto the web? Somewhere between "quickly" and "you've got to be kidding me," we're surmising.
Update: So, it seems something has changed since our D9 meeting. There's no offline viewing support, but the streaming is still here. Too bad, but we're hoping it'll be added (back?) in a future update.