Netflix to Offer Mac Video Streaming in 2008

AlleyInsider reports that during their Q4 financial results, Netflix confirmed that they were hoping to have a Mac web-streaming video solution available in 2008. An earlier Netflix blog entry from August had reported the same expectation. The core issue has been a lack of an available Digital Rights Management solution for the Mac:

A key issue for delivering movies online is that the studios require use of DRM (Digital Rights Management) to protect titles. And that's our holdup for the Mac - there's not yet a studio-sanctioned, publicly-available Mac DRM solution (Apple doesn't license theirs). I can promise you that, when an approved solution becomes available for the Mac, we'll be there.

Microsoft's Silverlight video technology appears to be the most promising solution which will support cross-platform (PC and Mac) DRM-encoded video. Silverlight is available in beta for Mac from Microsoft.

Netflix recently announced that they were expanding their streaming service to allow users to download an unlimited number of movies per month for a flat $8.99 fee. Later this year, they also plan on launching a set top box to allow users to watch streaming movies on their television. In contrast, Apple's movie rental solution offers $2.99/$3.99/$4.99 24-hour rentals, and also offers a set-top box (Apple TV) to watch movies.

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