New Netflix player uses Silverlight to reach Mac, Linux

As perhaps the most abundant example to date of the platform's HD streaming capability, Netflix announced today that its "instant view" streams will be made available to non-Windows users through Microsoft Silverlight.

With Netflix placing increased emphasis on its streaming and instantly viewable library, a large swath of users has still largely been neglected. Though queues could be assembled in any browser and then viewed with one of the connected set-top devices, those without Windows Media Player 11 could not stream Netflix content directly to their computers.

If Mac users attempted to stream a film to their OS X desktop, a message popped up, saying, "We're required to use Digital Rights Management to protect movies watched instantly online, and right now we only have approval for this protection on Windows Operating systems, not the Mac. Apple does not license their DRM solution to third parties, which has made this more difficult, but we are working with the studios and content owners to gain approval for other solutions. As soon as a studio-approved DRM for the Mac is available to us, whether from Apple or another source, we will move quickly to provide a movie viewer that enables you to watch movies from Netflix instantly on your Mac."

Soon, with the aid of Silverlight's integrated PlayReady DRM, Intel-based Mac users will be able to stream their chosen content.

The initial rollout of the second-generation Netflix player will be only to a small segment of new subscribers, but is anticipated to reach all subscribers by the end of 2008.

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