Netflix Plans to Replace Silverlight for HTML5

Netflix published a post on the official blog explaining how it intends to adopt HTML5 to stream video without any plugin. Currently, the service uses Silverlight, a Microsoft technology that is not supported for some browsers and is being used in very few sites, making the user most likely have to install the plugin just to use Netflix.

There are alternative plugins that make streaming video, like the popular Flash, and you can also use HTML5 for a long time, at least as an alternative – the latest versions of the major browsers already support the feature. The case of Netflix is ​​more complicated because the videos need to be copy-protected, something that apparently only Silverlight and Netflix’s own applications are able to do today.

But there are already some extensions to HTML5 development that will allow the streaming of “premium video” soon. They have three functions: streaming with JavaScript support, which will allow choosing the best server and bitrate according to the user’s connection (Media Source Extensions); content protection DRM (Encrypted Media Extensions); and encryption to ensure that only subscribers have access to video (WebCrypto).

The new player in HTML5 Netflix is being tested on Samsung notebook with Chrome OS, which already has two of the three above resources. The WebCrypto is not yet supported by Chrome, then Netflix is using a plugin owner to make the encryption of the content.

Netflix promises, so the Chrome support all features will begin testing the new player in Windows and OS X. And, of course, may be that soon users penguin can finally watch movies and series without footlights – this only depends on the browser developers.

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