Netflix uses Silverlight, Microsoft's Flash alternative.
I emailed BOL, but I never seem to make the cut. Such is life. Anyway, on Episode 678, Molly was talking about the only drawback --if there is a drawback -- to Hulu.com is that it's not portable. You can't "record"/save episodes you watch on Hulu, or better said, they don't provide you that opportunity.
However, as with most things, there IS a way, and it's pretty easy to do as well as being very quick. It's NOT free, however.
It's a piece of software from Applian Technologies called "Replay Media Catcher". It's $39.95. It will "record"/capture/download media streams and save them to your hard drive. Hulu.com streams in the Flash Video format, so the files are saved with a rather long file name ending in .flv You can, of course, rename it to something much more manageable so long as you maintain the .flv extension.
Replay Media Catcher comes with a freeware Flash viewer, but I'm sure there are plenty of others available. I know there are freeware video file converters, too, in case your device needs some format other than flash video.
Here's what I've found:
On regular 4:3 aspect shows (like the Simpsons), the files are in the 480i resolution: 480 x 360. For widescreen shows, like 30 Rock, for example, the files are still in "SD", but they retain their widescreen aspect at 640 x 360.
Advantages of Replay Media Catcher:
The videos are NOT downloaded/saved in real time, i.e. second by second as they are displayed. They are, rather, downloaded IMMEDIATELY as soon as you launch the video. You can even browse away from Hulu or close the browser altogether. Replay Media Catcher will continue to save the flash file until it's complete. I was able to download a full 30 minute episode of 30 Rock in all of two minutes. I exited Hulu as soon as the video loaded up and started. So, as you can imagine, you can download and save quite a few shows in a very short time period.
To be clear, then, you do not have to wait or watch the show to have it saved. It's done right away, like any other file download would be.
There is NO DRM on these videos once saved. They are totally unencrypted.
This software will also capture audio-only streams.
Note: In my searches, I've run across a couple of totally free "Download Streaming Video" and "Convert Streaming Video on the Fly" websites, where you plug in the URL of the video you want to watch, and it will download and/or convert the video for you to save locally. I couldn't get them to work with Hulu, however. They seem to be geared toward youtube-type sites. Maybe it's because the REAL URL isn't really displayed by the browser when viewing these videos.
Note 2: I just tried Replay Media Catcher to see if it would capture Netflix streaming. Alas, no, it won't. Seems like Netflix added something else in the mix, or isn't flash-based.
Replay Media Catcher Link: http://www.applian.com/replay-media-catcher/
Now, as far as legalities go, Applian is a legit company. I don't know what the legal deal is with capturing streaming. So, I'll leave that decision up to you.