Online movie rental service Netflix today announced it has begun the deployment of Microsoft Silverlight to allow subscribers for the first time to watch movies and TV episodes on their Intel-based Apple Macintosh computers.
The deployment, which will initially touch a small percentage of new Netflix subscribers, is the first step in a roll-out of the new platform to all Netflix subscribers by the end of the year.
Among the viewing enhancements with the new player is a new timeline navigation that improves the use of fast-forwarding and rewinding, Netflix said. The new Netflix player takes advantage of PlayReady DRM, which is built into Silverlight, for the playback of protected content on both Windows-based PCs and on Macs.
"Silverlight with PlayReady offers a powerful and secure toolkit for delivery of dynamic streaming, which offers faster start-up, and higher quality video, adapted in real time to users' connection speeds," said Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt.
For Macintosh users, the Silverlight player will work only on Intel-based Macs, which currently account for roughly three-fourths of Mac units operated by Netflix subscribers.
In addition to watching instantly on the PC and Mac via Silverlight, Netflix members can enjoy the same movies and TV episodes on their television with a Netflix ready device such as the Netflix Player by Roku, which was introduced in May, the LG Electronics BD300 Blu-ray disc player and the Samsung BD-P2550 and BD-P2500 Blu-ray disc players, which are on sale now, and the Microsoft Xbox 360.