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Netflix switches to HTML5 video for OS X Yosemite

updated 04:35 pm EDT, Tue June 3, 2014

Possible thanks to updated Safari

People watching Netflix in OS X Yosemite will now be able to stream video via HTML5 instead of Silverlight, according to an official blog post. The service says it has been "working closely with Apple" to implement HTML5 Premium Video Extensions in Yosemite's edition of Safari. This allows viewers to start watching videos instantly, instead of having to install the Silverlight plugin first, as in OS X Mavericks.

"We're especially excited that Apple implemented the Media Source Extensions (MSE) using their highly optimized video pipeline on OS X. This lets you watch Netflix in buttery smooth 1080p without hogging your CPU or draining your battery," Netflix adds. This is the source of Apple's claim that the new Safari should enable up to two hours of extra battery life when watching Netflix on a MacBook Air.

Apple is also said to have implemented two other technologies, both related to DRM and security: Encrypted Media Extensions, and the Web Cryptopgraphy API, better known as WebCrypto. The latter encrypts and decrypts exchanges between a JavaScript app and Netflix's servers.

Prior to this week, Internet Explorer 11 was already capable of using Premium Video Extensions, but that software is limited to Windows.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-29-99


  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04


  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    Just wanted to chime in and say, "nice!"

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Silverlight! That explains where the CPU power hungry is coming from..... just like Flash.

  1. mozart11

    Junior Member

    Joined: 08-20-00

    Love to where it is?

  1. Stuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-11-05

    It's about freaking time! Mavericks Safari can do HTML5 but Netflix flat-out denies that and would not recognize the facts.

  1. Stuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-11-05

    ...oh, and the MSE's already exist! More denial. I won't run Netflix on my computer with SilverLight.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by StukeView Post

    It's about freaking time! Mavericks Safari can do HTML5 but Netflix flat-out denies that and would not recognize the facts.

    The issue was that plain old HTML5 video did not support DRM nor ad blocking prevention.

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 03-22-04

    WooHoo! Silverlight is a major PITA.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-23-08

    About time Netflix.

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    Initial testing using Yosemite Safari is limited to Macs with at least a Sandy Bridge CPU (mid 2011 models). This is from Netflix technicians through their support line.

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    Now that Yosemite has been released, I checked Netflix and I still get the demand to download Silverlight. I have a 2009 iMac so it's probably too old for Netflix programmers to understand. Funny thing is Netflix had an html5 video on their blog site. I checked and Silverlight hasn't been updated since May 2014 (ver 5.1.30514.0 is on Microsoft's website), which shows why it doesn't run from the new Safari. Has anyone been able to see Netflix running with html5 when using Yosemite?

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