Netflix Makes Mac Media Player

For those Netflix fans out there, today it starts getting better.

Netflix‘s mail-based video rental program has expanded to a VOD capacity over the last year, but with limited success. If you don’t like 70’s B-movies and ALF Season 2, you will not like the Netflix online video offering. Especially when it only works with Internet Explorer! Amazingly, the savior of this conundrum – is Microsoft.

Microsoft’s release of Silverlight had tons of fanfare, but very little explanation. Everyone thought – WOW, more crap from Microsoft, big deal. But by using Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, Netflix’s new media player will allow Mac users to watch movies and TV shows using the company’s “instant watching” feature. The Netflix player will use Microsoft’s Play Ready DRM to protect its content (DOH!), a feature that wasn’t available for Mac users before the release of Silverlight 2.0. The new support for Firefox also, will open up the door for more robust VOD offerrings for Firefox and other alt browser users over the next couple of months.

Netflix says the new Silverlight player will only work on Intel-based Macs. According to Netflix data, approximately three-quarters of its Mac subscribers are on Intel-based machines. The company said the rollout of its second generation player would initially be sent to a small amount of subscribers. All Netflix subscribers will get the new player by the end of year.

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