Netflix coming to Android theater--but not near you?

Movie-streaming service says lack of a platform-wide copyright-protection mechanism for Android means some devices will get Netflix, others won't.

Netflix said this week that its instant streaming service will, indeed, be coming to mobile gadgets running Google's Android operating system--sometime early next year. But it won't be available on all such devices.

In a blog post late Friday, Greg Peters of Netflix product development said the incomplete roll out is due to the fact that there's no common way to ensure security and digital rights management across Android devices. Instead, Netflix must work one-on-one with individual handset makers to build in DRM.

"Unfortunately," Peters wrote, "this is a much slower approach and leads to a fragmented experience on Android, in which some handsets will have access to Netflix and others won't."

Peters said Netflix thinks providing its service to at least some Android users is better than nothing, adding that Netflix is continuing work with Android developers, carriers, and others to create a standard, platform-wide solution to the problem.

"Setting aside the debate around the value of content protection and DRM, they are requirements we must fulfill in order to obtain content from major studios for our subscribers to enjoy," Peters wrote.

An Android-friendly Netflix offering has been expected for a while. In August, Gizmodo reported that Netflix was in the process of hiring an Android video playback expert .

Netflix is already available on the iPhone and on Windows Phone 7 devices .


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