It seems that Netflix is finally making good on their long standing promise that the much lauded “Watch Instantly” would be coming to the Mac. Utilizing Microsoft’s Silverlight (with Play Ready DRM), Netflix will be able to provide their vast library of movies and TV shows instantly to Intel-based Macs for the first time. Initially coming to “a small percentage of new Netflix subscribers,” they anticipate this will be available to all subscribers by the year’s end. Via their press release:
It is expected that Netflix members who watch movies and TV episodes instantly on their computers will enjoy a faster, easier connection and a more robust viewing experience with Silverlight, due to the quality built directly into the player. Among the viewing enhancements with the new player is a breakthrough in timeline navigation that vastly improves the use of fast-forwarding and rewinding. 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. That had not been possible with previous generation technologies.
As someone that has been holding off joining Netflix solely because of the lack of “Watch Instantly,” this all comes as good news. It also stands to say that there’s a bit of irony in there that it would take Microsoft technology to bring something like this to a Mac (DRM included).