Monday, November 3

Netflix Finally Includes Macs for "Watch Instantly"

Netflix has been busy lately, incorporating their streaming services in many places such as Xbox 360. In a move that was rejoiced by all Mac users, you are now able to watch movies instantly anywhere, including your Mac if you have one.

This is where all forms of media is going; Online. I've had this prediction for a long time and it is slowly becoming a reality. One day, I may even cancel my cable and watch all my shows and movies online....I digress.

Netflix has expanded its "Watch Instantly" movie-streaming player to include Macintosh-owning subscribers. Interestingly, the "Watch-Instantly" service for Mac uses Silverlight which is a Microsoft product.

The company announced on its blog Friday that it is past its first phase of beta testing and invited subscribers who wanted to opt in to do so. But the company had a few warnings for prospective users:

• There may be bugs. We are logging all errors, but if you run into problems, you can help out by posting details here in the blog comments.

• Not all movies are available to watch with Silverlight. You may notice errors or lower than normal quality when watching certain titles.

• Our new player works on PCs and Intel-based Macs.

• Windows users should be aware that if you opt in, you will need to use Silverlight on all the machines you use to watch instantly.

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 Macs. According to Netflix, this had not been possible with previous technologies.

Netflix members should expect a "faster, easier connection, and a more robust viewing experience with Silverlight," the company said. One of the enhancements is in timeline navigation, which will purportedly improve the use of fast-forwarding and rewinding.

The company also said in the blog post that it has expanded the number of movies and television programs available through the "Watch Instantly" service, but the company still has a long way to go before the service can compete with its DVD selection.

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