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Netflix streaming for Mac leaves beta

updated 10:25 am EST, Thu December 4, 2008

Netflix streaming for Mac

All Mac owners with a subscription to Netflix should now be able to stream select movies online, the company has announced. Though best known for mail-based DVD rental, Netflix also offers a bonus "Watch Instantly" service, which primarily lets Windows PCs (as well as various set-tops) stream some 12,000 movies and TV shows. To stream movies on a Mac, users must have Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, 1GB of RAM, and a browser with Microsoft's Silverlight plug-in.

The service has actually been open to Mac users since November 2nd, but only in the form of a public beta, which was still undergoing testing and required opting in to see the videos. Netflix has been aggressive in expanding streaming options in recent months, however, having pushed it to devices such as TiVos, the Xbox 360, and the more closely-associated Roku box.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    One Problem

    The watch instantly option is based on the MS silverlight proprietary platform, which only works with Intel processors. Certainly, many people have newer macs with intel, but there are also many people with IBM PPC chips still. Don't forget, people tend to keep their Mac for much longer than a PC thanks to good build quality.

    Our house has 4 machines in it, 3 of them macs and they all are 3 years or older, so no intel inside there. Whatever deal Netflix got with MS, it is still going to isolate some of their customers. I wonder if it was worth not using the industry standard H264...

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    make that SIlverlight v.2

    and only for Intel. But it can run on a 5 year old godforsaken entry level Acer under it's severely dialed-down XP. Woohoo.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    No Deal

    Thre was no deal with Microsoft here for Silverlight, this was just the only way to get the DRM to work on the Mac without having to completely rewrite the code. Silverlight is the same on both platforms.

    I knew from the beginning they were not going to work on PPC, so I guess I wan't surprised. If you don't want to buy a new Mac to sit at and watch a movie on, consider an XBox 360 (my goodness I never thought I'd say that) but since you can stream NetFlix to the 360, I actually am considering that.

  1. Le Flaneur

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    no PPC

    The problem isn't just DRM; PPC processors are woefully underpowered compared to the dual-core Intel chips from the past few years.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    re: No Deal

    Watch out for XBOX. Any movies from Sony's Columbia will not be available on XBOX.... it's a PS3 versus Xbox thing.

  1. jvputten

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Fail

    I received the NetFlix notification email this morning, and tried to stream a movie 3 times on Safari and once on Firefox. Same result each time:Media Initialization ErrorSorry, this title cannot be watched instantly at this time. Please call NetFlix technical support...ErrorCode 8211

  1. jvputten

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    Fail

    I received the NetFlix notification email this morning, and tried to stream a movie 3 times on Safari and once on Firefox. Same result each time:

    Media Initialization Error
    Sorry, this title cannot be watched instantly at this time. Please call NetFlix technical support...

    ErrorCode 8211

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Stream to PPC

    I'll have to agree that even on a local network, the machines with the base proc speed for running leopard can't seem to stream movies ripped to iTunes. We're talking 4-16 fps on a 1000Mbps connection.

    I was actually considering upgrading the old 867Mhz PowerMac G4 for use as an internet access point and streaming CBS shows and iTunes over the network, but at that slow speed, maxing out the RAM and getting the best video card it can handle may just come up short.

    Anyone know what kind of load streaming netflix puts on a lower-powered intel processor?

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Works fine

    I have been using this four about five weeks, and it works wonderfully. Have watched lots of Law and Order CI, 2010, Meet the robinsons, Underdog....

    The sucky titles are not necessarily my taste, just the selection is less than spectacular.

    We did see James and the Giant Peach, which is good.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Works for me

    It works fine. I only lack subtitles, otherwise it's same experience as physical DVD.

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