Macs get Watch Now from Netflix

Why are Mac users always the last to get picked on the playground? Even today, there are so many apps and devices that won't run on Macs. Oddly enough, this time, it's Microsoft who's picked Mac to join their team.

Microsoft's Silverlight allows Intel Macs and Windows PCs to run Netflix's new (2nd generation) media player for Watch Now capabilities. This gives Macs the ability to instantly watch movies and TV shows, plus it includes fast-forward and rewind capabilities.

With Play Ready DRM, Netflix can use copy protection that wasn't possible before with dynamic steaming. Notice that it also includes Firefox support.  Woohoo!

"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."

This new service is a peek at what the rumored new platform might be like for all Netflix subscribers that should be out in a few months.

Keep reading for the complete press release on the new Microsoft Silverlight player.

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." —Leslie Shapiro

Netflix

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