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Netflix streaming player for Mac now public beta

updated 10:15 pm EST, Sun November 2, 2008

Netflix Mac player

Netlflix has opened the Mac version of its streaming movie player into the public stage of beta testing, according to Hacking Netflix. Anyone can now opt-in to try out the player, which is based on Microsoft's Silverlight animation plugin. The entire Netflix collection is not yet available for streaming playback, although over 12,000 titles are accessible and the company is regularly adding more content to its "Watch Instantly" section. The service should be available for all customers by the end of the year.

The DRM restrictions limit the number of authorized devices to six, and each device must use Silverlight for the Watch Instantly playback if the user chooses to opt-in. The Netflix blog also noted that the beta program could be buggy, and certain titles might show errors or reduced playback quality.

Netflix has been rapidly expanding its services into the streaming content market. Watch Instantly content is already available on the PC or Roku set-top boxes for television playback. The company is working on bringing an HD version of the service to TiVo, Xbox 360, and Roku devices in the near future.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. BelugaShark

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    +1

    ATV

    They should've made one for the Apple TV.

  1. dogzilla

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +5

    re: ATV

    No, they shouldn't have to. Apple should just freaking publish the plugin format for ATV and Front Row so we could write our own integration for the Netflix streaming movie player. Not like there's anything special about it - it's just MS Silverlight and HTTP requests. But Apple can't let anyone else play in their yard - they need to control both the content and the player.

    Bad strategy. Stupid and shortsighted. Doesn't seem to have worked out too well for Sony. Or any other company that's ever tried it, for that matter.

  1. loudpedal

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    Silverlight?

    Oh great, they based it on Silverlight. I don't really want more MS code on my Mac. While I agree with dogzilla's logic (it does seem to be the easiest path forward), I can't agree that Apple's strategy has worked poorly for them. Controlling content ensures a consistent user experience and keeps a lot of poorly written stuff off the table. Although, I think the reason Apple hasn't allowed the Netflix player to be released for Apple TV has more to do with protection than anything.

  1. evansls

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    +1

    In time it will come...

    I'm a mac user who switched from Blockbuster to Netflix, because of the public beta of Netflix streaming on a mac. I feel certain as soon as Netflix has numbers to announce their success of the mac beta program will we see some kind of integration to the Apple TV or Apple will announce their own subscription service. It will take some time, but the more success and integration that comes from Netflix with their streaming product the better it is for Apple to work with them.

  1. LouZer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2000

    -1

    Re: silverlight

    I can't agree that Apple's strategy has worked poorly for them.

    He didn't say it has worked poorly for them. He's calling it short-sighted and stupid (although the former pretty much dictates the latter).

    Controlling content ensures a consistent user experience and keeps a lot of poorly written stuff off the table.

    It also keeps off the table well written stuff, as well as a choice of content.

    Although, I think the reason Apple hasn't allowed the Netflix player to be released for Apple TV has more to do with protection than anything.

    More? More like "all to do". The only way you'll see Netflix on the AppleTV is if Apple controls how it is done, and they get a cut of the profits. The AppleTV revolves around trying to sell content.

    But it shouldn't matter to most who own the ATV. If you bought it, you already knew it was a closed system with little expansion or third-party capabilities. The ATV is just an iPod for your TV (a Classic, not a Touch).

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: In time

    It will take some time, but the more success and integration that comes from Netflix with their streaming product the better it is for Apple to work with them.

    That sounds like "Hey, if Netflix becomes a power, the better it would be for Apple to do business with them". Then again, who's to say at that point Netflix will want to partner with Apple?

    Apple should have the foresight to partner early, rather than see if they can dominate the market (like they do with the iPod) and can control everything, or need to be a little more open and work with other companies.

  1. DewD

    Junior Member

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +1

    DewD

    Uh , I'm writing this on a G5 PowerMac. Silverlight 2 , and therefore NetFlix Watch-o-rama WILL NOT WORK on any Power PC machine. And there must be a few million still running out there besides mine. ( I have two ) It's bad enough when Microsoft dropped PPC support for Silverlight 2 that was there for version 1, but Apple's abandonment ( or malignant indifference) by not supporting the PPC platform is , for me , inexcuseable. I'm not willing to excuse NetFlix or Adobe Flash for their chosen paths , either.

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