Netflix wants Mac owners to watch movies, too

Netflix announces Watch Instantly for Mac and Firefox.

If you're a Netflix customer and you use its Watch Instantly streaming service, well, you're probably used to not having a lot choices as far as which movies you can watch. And if you're a Mac user, you're used to not being able to use the service at all. Netflix is seeking to change this.

Finally! Before the Rains and The Neighbor are available! Netflix

On Monday the company announced that it will be using Microsoft's Silverlight software to deliver streaming movies not only to PCs, but to Intel-based Macs as well. 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 on Macs. According to Netflix, this had not been possible with previous technologies.

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

Deployment of the new software, which also includes Firefox compatibility, will initially touch a small percentage of new Netflix subscribers. It's the first step in an expected rollout of the new platform to all Netflix subscribers by the end of the year.

As much as I love the idea of instantly watching movies I don't own, Netflix's current catalog needs some work to say the least. Especially for older movies, it seems. The company claims they have more than 12,000 titles available to watch instantly, and more are being added. My question is where are movies like Clue and The Fugitive, two movies I wanted to watch last weekend, so maybe I'm biased? These should be no-brainers IMO. Instead I'm able to watch Before the Rains to my heart's content.

About the author

Eric Franklin is a section editor covering how to and tablets. He's also co-host of CNET's do-it-yourself and how-to show, The Fix and is a 20-year tech industry veteran.

 

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