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Netflix ‘Watch Instantly’ Beta Available for Mac Users, Play Instantly

Netflix has officially launched a version of their ‘Watch Instantly’ program for mac users. By simply opting into the beta program, downloading Microsoft Silverlight, and creating an account, you’ll have access to Netflix’s content library.

If you are dying to get away from iTunes and the way Apple does media business, perhaps you’d be interested in Netflix Watch Instantly. Netflix is passed the first phase of beta development, and they’ve decided to open up the new client to beta users.

Installing Microsoft Sliverlight 2.0 during the setup process.

With the availability of Watch Instantly, Netflix is trying to get a slice of Apple’s media content pie. Not only are they attempting to derail you from purchasing content via iTunes, they want you to ignore Quicktime and iTunes all together. Netflix has integrated Microsoft Silverlight technology into a custom client that sits in your web browser. Once you’ve installed the necessary components, navigating back to your Netflix account will show a ‘Play’ button next to your playable content.

When skimming through time, the content is broken in modules as shown above.

Be aware that there are known bugs, and Netflix is currently logging them (the client has made Firefox 3 crash twice on me already). As VentureBeat points out, the video quality is only decent, nothing special. When comparing it to content downloaded from iTunes, Netflix’s media looks just sub par. But the Xbox version of Netflix’s Watch Instantly will serve up content in HD.

The video quality is not great, which is disappointing.

Additionally, Netflix allows you to authorize up to six different devices. Not only different computers are counted as one of the six machines. Roku boxes, certain Blu-ray players, xBox’s and soon TiVo will also count as an authorized device.

“Forget about iTunes” is what Netflix trying to say. “Our subscription based business model is much better.” But as Apple CEO Steve Jobs has pointed out, the subscription based way of doing things leads to users being angry, frustrated and almost zero flexibility in business negotiations with studios, and exclusive content providers. That’s why Apple (with iTunes) has steered clear of a subscription based model, instead allowing pay as you go availability. Netflix, with Watch Instantly, is nearly the exact opposite. You pay monthly, and then have access to the library.

Read – Beta Program Opt-in Link
Read – Netflix Blog Announcement

Comments [3]

3 Comments to “Netflix ‘Watch Instantly’ Beta Available for Mac Users, Play Instantly”

Stephan @ November 2nd, 2008 at 7:09 pm
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If the screen shots you display here are any indication to the visual quality Netflixs is offering, then I would prefer to stick to “pay as you go” HD iTunes. The quality is amazing, providing the viewer with an overall better experience.


oCRICKET @ November 2nd, 2008 at 8:33 pm
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Oh sad… only works for Intel macs. sheesh. I’m on a powerbook g4 , just plain sad


Tracking System @ January 20th, 2010 at 8:56 pm
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Is their any other media player you can use to watch netflix instant watch other than silverlight?