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Netflix Ditches Silverlight With HTML5 Support In IE11

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the such-comfortable-handcuffs dept.

Media 337

An anonymous reader writes "Netflix today announced that it has finally taken the first step towards ditching Silverlight for HTML5, largely thanks to Microsoft, no less. The company has been working closely with the Internet Explorer team to implement its proposed 'Premium Video Extensions' in IE11 on Windows 8.1, meaning if you install the operating system preview released today, you can watch Netflix content using HTML5 right now. Back in April, Netflix revealed its plans to use HTML5 video in any browser that implements its proposed 'Premium Video Extensions.' These extensions allow playback of premium video (read: with DRM protection) directly in the browser without the need to install plugins such as Silverlight or Flash."

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337 comments

Still need to install something (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122017)

I like how it touts the fact that you don't need to install flash or silverlight but you still need to install Netflix's DRM stuff to decode the data. And if your operating system or machine isn't supported by Netflix, then you can't view the data. I don't see how this is any better than flash or silverlight. With those, you just need to install either flash or silverlight but now you need to install a DRM from each provider.

Re:Still need to install something (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122209)

I like how it touts the fact that you don't need to install flash or silverlight but you still need to install Netflix's DRM stuff to decode the data. And if your operating system or machine isn't supported by Netflix, then you can't view the data. I don't see how this is any better than flash or silverlight. With those, you just need to install either flash or silverlight but now you need to install a DRM from each provider.

The joke is that they did their content licensing deals based on MS drm( so that it is stipulated that on desktop it has to have their magic sauce because it's soooo unrippable) because of MS influence, the meat of the joke is that MS discontinued silverlight.

that's why you have netflix clients on phones and what have you but the only desktop platform is with silverlight!

Re:Still need to install something (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122357)

I think some HR departments are still looking for silverlight senior developers...

Re:Still need to install something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122363)

Well for one you're not using flash, the notoriously bad video player that wastes power and cycles both.

Re:Still need to install something (3, Insightful)

letsief (1053922) | about 10 months ago | (#44122379)

It's not quite as bad as you're suggesting. You don't need to install a different DRM plugin for each content provider. You just need different plugins for different forms of DRM. At least in practice, I suspect, most users (i.e., those running common browsers and operating systems) won't have to install anything- the DRM plugins will ship with the browser. That's the case now with the Chromebooks and Windows 8.1/IE11.

Re:Still need to install something (4, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | about 10 months ago | (#44122769)

Please tell me how Firefox will ship a patent laden and proprietary DRM plugins?
For that matter, also Chromium (open source Chrome)?

Re:Still need to install something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122697)

if it doesn't crash every 30 (as silverlight does for me) seconds it will be better

Re:Still need to install something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122849)

I wonder if this means that the Silverlight is not responding messages will be a thing of the past, or if the silverlight freeze was in the DRM code and will continue under HTML5.

Not really HTML5 (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122031)

If I still have to have an approved OS and browser and install a DRM plugin, it's not really just HTML5.

Oh wow, we swapped one plugin for another.

Re:Not really HTML5 (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 10 months ago | (#44122083)

In my minds of the corporate overlords these days, what's good for the goose is good for the goose and the gander can take it or leave it.

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 10 months ago | (#44122179)

In the UK, the content was so abysmal that "leave it" is what I did. Even if it was DRM free and FREE to use, I still wouldn't have a need to use them. It was like being in a video shop in the late 80s.

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 10 months ago | (#44122303)

Canada's the same way. I use a proxy server setting on my smart TV to get the American netflix. Otherwise I wouldn't bother with it.

Re:Not really HTML5 (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 10 months ago | (#44122461)

It's still not worth it. I live in America, got Netflix for free for 1 month... the content was such crap and so out of date it was laughable. The quality was terrible because it couldn't stream it live and the bandwidth I had at the time and there was no option to queue up a movie to watch later so all I could really do was pick from some crappy movies I'd already seen last year and see them in bellow 480 resolution. I think we watched half a movie before we just dumped the crap and went back to the piratebay.

Get a clue hollywood. I'm WILLING to pay. I'm begging for a way to do it... you just refuse to let me. Netflix's DRM, in no way stops me from getting your content. In fact, I had that content years ago. Getting it off of netflix would be a chore. You don't even need the stupid DRM. All of your movies are already available at thousands of site all over the web. Get over it. Oh well, you aren't going to listen and are just going to go bankrupt. Just remember: This is your own fault.

Re:Not really HTML5 (3, Informative)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 10 months ago | (#44122505)

Sounds like a problem with your internet connection and not a problem with Netflix. I stream in 720i regularly without any problems.

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 10 months ago | (#44122675)

I have 18 Mbps down with low-latency, I used to have Netflix - the content stream in general was terrible, as far as quality of the picture went. Many compression artifacts, some streaming packet drops leading to hiccups in the picture, etc. If your TV is bigger than 40", then Netflix quality is abysmal, the bigger it is the more obvious all the problems. Sound comes through usually fine. I also have Hulu Plus currently, I'll be giving it another try soon.

The biggest piece of humor here is that I have absolutely 0 issues capturing any video stream, no matter the DRM, even off a tablet. Neither does anyone else. If you can accept the terrible quality of streaming video, then a camcorder version wouldn't upset you at all either. This is why BD sales are increasing, but not stellar. As bigger TVs become standard, the picture quality becomes far more important. And having ripped BDs on your media server is the only way to enjoy them, even for a single viewing - skip all the commercial intro nonsense. Just the movie please.

Re:Not really HTML5 (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 10 months ago | (#44122863)

If that is the case, I have never noticed it because I stream Netflix to a 37" TV. While I notice some hiccups at the very beginning of a show/movie, the picture errors clear themselves up after about 30 seconds of play time. I have noticed older shows (Currently re-watching Star Trek TNG) always have worse quality, but only because the original was not recorded in 1080p. Not through any technical fault of Netflix.

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 10 months ago | (#44122547)

What is even more hilarious (and sad at the same time) is there is more Canadian content on the US netflix then on the Canadian one. You can get current episodes of Coonnttinnuum (the show is set in Vancouver, with all its duplicated letters in the title) and MacGyver, while US produced, was filmed in Vancouver with a largely Canadian cast.

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44122313)

In the UK, the content was so abysmal that "leave it" is what I did. Even if it was DRM free and FREE to use, I still wouldn't have a need to use them. It was like being in a video shop in the late 80s.

it seems it's pretty abysmal in most regions outside of US. mostly because all the good stuff apart from netflix exclusives is already peddled with region exclusive deals to tv companies.

so the end result is that for example mythbusters has seasons 1-3 in finland. and I can have "great" documentaries like supersize me. yeeeehaaaa!

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 10 months ago | (#44122373)

In the UK, the content was so abysmal that "leave it" is what I did.

90% of everything is shit, and the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

I'm sure 90% of your TV is shit, but so is ours. What you're doing is concentrating on our 10% and your 100%. Over here on the other side of the pond, I do the same thing but from opposite perspective: "Damn, so there's much great stuff we're watching from the BBC."

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

liamevo (1358257) | about 10 months ago | (#44122441)

Not really, he's talking about the content on offer on the UK netflix, not just UK content in general.

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 10 months ago | (#44122607)

Apart from Sky at night and other things on iplayer/factual i've given up with the BBC. Just about all TV content really. Films are no better. I could torrent any film I want. Can I think of anything I want to watch? No. Nothing at all. When I get an Oculus VR I think that's it for passive content for me.

Re:Not really HTML5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122471)

It was like being in a video shop in the late 80s.

That's actually the reason I still subscribe. I watch a few documentaries here and there that aren't broadcast but a good 75% of my viewing is old TV shows that just aren't as popular in the US. Stuff that use to be on Nick at Night that has been passed over for newer old shows like Cosby.

Re:Not really HTML5 (2, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 10 months ago | (#44122305)

In my minds of the corporate overlords these days, what's good for the goose is good for the goose and the gander can take it or leave it.

She just filed for divorce on the grounds of not having her physical needs satisfied. Apparently he just sat on the couch all day and crowed about his profits, and grew fat and bloated until he couldn't fly, while she worked tirelessly doing volunteer work and helping poor children get access to music and movies that he had removed from the library and put in a video and record store across the street, then campaigned with local politicians to shut down the library because it was hurting his bottom line by taxing him to steal his hard-earned work.

Re:Not really HTML5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122141)

And I guess if you're on an old WinXP box for your TV(which you don't really need a high end computer for a media box), then WinXP is no longer an approved OS, since it will never support IE 11. Given the pattern of previous releases, there's a good chance Windows Vista or 7 won't be supported either. I hope Netflix, for their own sake, plans a fall back for the foreseeable future. Silverlight has several years left until end of life anyways.

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

prelelat (201821) | about 10 months ago | (#44122781)

No they haven't dropped silverlight yet, and I suspect that they will not until firefox and chrome all use html5 otherwise that would be silly. Then you could install FF or Chrome on your xp machine to which I have to ask. Why are you still using windows XP as your main media machine? I can understand in, industry why you would maybe have XP for older custom built applications but for a home machine watching netflix? XP is quickly becoming outdated for other reasons it hits EOL in less than a year. Then you have other problems like security vulnerabilities. You have much more to worry about than netflix which as I said, isn't a problem.

Re:Not really HTML5 (5, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#44122193)

Actually that would still be HTML5. That's why adding ECE to HTML5 is stupid: it solves none of the problems of Flash plugins while opening the door for a multitude of similar DRM plugins, each with its own, unique attack surface.

Re:Not really HTML5 (1, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 10 months ago | (#44122341)

And what, pray tell, do you propose as an alternative? Should they abandon DRM to stick it to the man--immediately losing 99% of all their content? Yeah, now all that's on Netflix streaming are a handful of no-name indies, but they're all DRM free! We win!!!

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122375)

Flash seems to work fine for everyone else.

Since they mail out easy to copy disks I would think no DRM is not much loss.

Re:Not really HTML5 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122409)

I don't understand. I can download virtually any movie I want right now very easily, yet these retarded companies care whether or not Netflix has DRM? There is no logic in that. Clearly they just enjoy crippling their own products.

Re:Not really HTML5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122487)

One doesn't abandon DRM to stick it to the man. They abandon it because it doesn't work. It punishes the paying end user, and at best marginally delays the non-paying end user. In return it costs a great deal and merely acts as a rubber stamp saying that you did your best to protect "premium content".

And yes, despite whatever nonsense NetFlix may bandy about in its quest to claim that DRM does work, it really doesn't. I can understand them wanting to pretend it us for the reason you cited, but it's a huge money hole that could be used to improve services and the shoddy content they are so proud to say they are protecting.

LOL freetards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122059)

Freetards: No Netflix for you!!!

Re:LOL consumertards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122511)

LOL consumertards... still watching advertisements

how about efficient streams? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122063)

How about something other than TCP that hogs up precious BW?

Re:how about efficient streams? (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 10 months ago | (#44122401)

I'd be interested in hearing what other protocols would work?

The only ones I know of for network traffic are TCP and UDP. TCP guarantees in-order delivery of packets which think would be important for things like video, but I suppose that would cause lag if there were a lot of dropped packets.

Disclaimer, I do very little network stuff and only had exposure to Networking 1 and 2 during University ten years ago and setting up the occasional WiFi. So I'm probably out of date and this is a serious question not a troll.

Re:how about efficient streams? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 10 months ago | (#44122841)

TCP hogs up precious BW? Since when? Only in environments where packet loss is substantial is there any real issue, but then again, UDP would likely be much worse. Throw in some of the better optional parts like selective ACK, and TCP is pretty efficient.

Don't see how that's better. (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 10 months ago | (#44122069)

Premium Video Extensions - That sounds like a plugin. Its good if you want to lock people into one video system, but definitely not html 5.

Re:Don't see how that's better. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 10 months ago | (#44122197)

It's supposed to be HTML5 - but is this really a standard?

If so, what is stopping other people (e.g. some Firefox extension developers) to build the exact same thing, allowing Netflix videos to play in other browsers?

And: how're they going to stop such plugins from not following the restrictions asked for by the DRM?

Re:Don't see how that's better. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122517)

Your "and" explains your previous question.

They can't allow Firefox or anyone else to support this DRM directly since it would be trivial at that point to just ignore the content restrictions.

Re:Don't see how that's better. (4, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 10 months ago | (#44122749)

If so, what is stopping other people (e.g. some Firefox extension developers) to build the exact same thing, allowing Netflix videos to play in other browsers?

Nothing prevents Firefox from implementing HTML5 ECE, but then nothing is requiring Netflix to support Firefox as an approved browser for their ECE module. Of course, trying to re-implement the ECE module itself to independently support Netflix is a federal crime under the DMCA.

Re:Don't see how that's better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122199)

Sounds like Flash...

If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (4, Insightful)

jpstanle (1604059) | about 10 months ago | (#44122081)

If it's still MS only, who gives a shit?

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 10 months ago | (#44122105)

The 90% of desktop users that use Windows?

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122115)

They already had netflix working just fine. So why would they care?

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 10 months ago | (#44122129)

No need for Silverlight which was never very popular.

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122173)

So instead they install this plugin from widevine, which likely only netflix will use and thus not be very popular.

Wow, what an improvement

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122253)

Which is sad. As a developer who has used both Flash and Silverlight, I find Silverlight a vastly superior platform to develop for. Alas, Microsoft's late entry to the game and lack of marketing have probably doomed it already, and Netflix switching off of it will probably be the last nail in the coffin.

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122387)

Try using it on not windows and get back to me.
Any flash replacement needs to at least support as many platforms if not more.

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122367)

The 90% of desktop users that use Windows?

The PS3 is the most used Netflix client.

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122747)

90% of desktop users made up of 80% corporate users stuck on Windows XP.

The number of Windows 8.1 users is roughly zero right now.

I don't think desktop users really give a shit.

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122157)

It's not intended to be MS only if you read the article. No pressure or anything, you can just keep posting B$ based on a title though. Obviously hasn't deterred you so far in life.

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122189)

Oh wow, it will run on OSX too and for the three folks with chromebooks ChromeOS.

Wow, how amazing. They managed to add one minor OS to the previous supported list.

It's not only MS.... (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 10 months ago | (#44122265)

If it's still MS only, who gives a shit?

It's already in Chrome OS on Samsung ARM-based ChromeBooks. They beat Windows to the punch a while ago.

The only thing new here is that it's now also in Windows 8.1 preview IE11.

What it's likely never going to be is generic to a non-locked down browser implementation, which means it's not going to be on a BSD or Linux system without some form of lockdown. Otherwise it's too easy to do unencrypted frame grabbing to de-DRM the content, which is precisely what they don't want.

Of course, it's not like you couldn't just hook up one of these in place of the flat panel LCD and capture it unencrypted anyway:

http://www.unigraf.fi/product/ufg-04-lvds-quad [unigraf.fi]
http://www.goepel.com/?id=2392&L=4 [goepel.com]
http://www.teledynedalsa.com/imaging/products/fg/OR-64L0-00080/ [teledynedalsa.com]

Re:It's not only MS.... (2)

qbast (1265706) | about 10 months ago | (#44122389)

So in other words - Linux users get screwed as usual.

Re:It's not only MS.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122539)

No, more like Linux users just download and watch it, after a minor ethical dilemma [theoatmeal.com].

Re:It's not only MS.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122591)

When the entrenched corporate powers don't give the OSS community what it wants, the OSS community makes it itself!

So...create your own open source movie production studio that distributes its movies under the GPL. Nobody is stopping you from doing that, and making sure it is all compatible with Linux.

Then you won't need their silly pay-for movies and DRM crap.

Re:It's not only MS.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122611)

Oh boohoo. Linux users are demanding, unfriendly and represent less of the marketshare than those still running Win98. Even if Netflix offered up something for the Linuxheads there would only be slight adoptions between the free-as-in-speech crowd and the IP-wants-to-be-free crowd.

It makes about as much sense to put something out there to encompass the Linuxheads as it does to open a HoneyBaked Ham shop in Mecca.

Re:It's not only MS.... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122553)

Or you could just get them to mail you DVDs or BluRay disks that are trivial to rip.

Netflix is likely already the biggest distributer of media being pirated via their disk mailing business.

You would not even have to worry about being sued, unless you tell someone what you are doing.

Re:It's not only MS.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122843)

Otherwise it's too easy to do unencrypted frame grabbing to de-DRM the content, which is precisely what they don't want.

If it is possible to view the content on a computer of any kind, then it is extremely easy to capture said content in a non-restricted format. Any half-decent screen capture software can be set up to record what's on the screen and coming through the speakers.

Therefore there is no argument for DRM's effectiveness which can actually be substantiated.

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (1)

xvan (2935999) | about 10 months ago | (#44122413)

Until now, no DRM stack on x86 linux was because Microsoft is being an asshole. At least that's what someone says de Icaza told him: [microsoft.com]

The problem with supporting PlayReady is that Microsoft does not
currently license PlayReady for desktop use, they only license it for
embedded systems use.

Embedded systems are perceived as being more secure and as being
harder for an attacker to break the DRM. I remain skeptic about this
point, but those are the rules under which they allow PlayReady to be
licensed and we are not in a position to license it for the desktop.

We are aware of some vendors using Linux + Moonlight on embedded
systems that are engaging Microsoft to license PlayReady DRM and will make those combinations work out of the box on an embedded system.

It might be possible that all Embedded netflix implementations use this "Play Ready" licensed stack. I don't think so, but it's a possibility. So now that Netflix has their own DRM stack, there is a new light for official Netflix on linux (if they care enough for my money).

Re:If it's still MS only, who gives a shit? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122573)

How is that not abuse of a monopoly position?

We will not license our software to people who compete with us in our main market to protect that market at all costs.

what about chrome os? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122097)

does it not run in html5 on there?

Re:what about chrome os? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 10 months ago | (#44122119)

Yes, through the same Premium Video Extensions that is being used here.

Re:what about chrome os? (4, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 10 months ago | (#44122501)

If that suggests/implies it'll eventually work on Linux with HTML5/extensions on Chrome browser, I can live with that.

All the shouting about DRM being evil and everything doesn't really accomplish what we want. You end up looking like a zealot, and you would have better luck holding back the tide with a thimble. If you want to get rid of DRM, you need to show them that it's not necessary. The best way you can do that is by not pirating their stuff, and actually paying for it if you feel that it's worth paying for. If you don't think it's worth the price they're charging, then don't pay it, but don't download it and then rationalize it by saying that it's too expensive to pay for, or you plan on deleting it once you've watched it. The people creating content have a right to set the price they want to charge for it, and you, the consumer, have a right to vote with your wallet. But voting with your wallet does *not* mean circumventing the rights of the creators, it means not consuming the product at all.

And I realize there's a very good chance that you don't download stuff that you haven't paid for, and that I'm ranting at the wrong person, but I have absolutely zero sympathy for the people who piss and moan about DRM in one breath, and then talk about how they download their movies and music because information wants to be free. These people are the reason DRM exists in the first place. I don't like DRM either, but as long as it doesn't interfere with the legitimate use of a product or service I'm paying for, I don't really notice it. If it starts to interfere with my use, I simply won't buy the product in question. The market will sort itself out, but as long as people keep giving them a reason to invent more draconian methods, those methods are going to keep being created.

Re:what about chrome os? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122599)

It does not suggest that, nor will that ever happen.

It is simply impossible to do so, since nothing would stop you from writing the output into a file. Unless you want to be booting a netflix signed kernel on your netflix signed hardware.

You lost me at "premium" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122165)

And drove me insane with "These extensions allow playback of premium video (read: with DRM protection) directly in the browser without the need to install plugins such as Silverlight or Flash."

Yarrr, matey.

Extend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122185)

I'm starting to HATE the word "extension".

Re:Extend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122637)

Do your homework. "Extension" in this case is from the wording of the W3C, the standards body that governs HTML5. The "Premium Video Extensions" mentioned by Netflix refer to simply new JavaScript APIs added to the HTML5 specification. IE11 implemented those and Netflix's new app uses them. There is no "browser extension" or browser plugin used by the Netflix app - it IS pure HTML5. DRM is handled by the HTML5 EME interface, which MS hooked into PlayReady inside the browser. But that implementation is all MS and has nothing to do with Netflix, except that Netflix streams must support PlayReady DRM which they already do.

HTML5 is now officially been Embraced and Extended (5, Informative)

apcullen (2504324) | about 10 months ago | (#44122235)

FTFA:

According to Netflix, Microsoft made this possible by implementing three features in its still-unfinished IE11:

The Media Source Extensions (MSE), using the Media Foundation APIs within Windows. Since Media Foundation supports hardware acceleration using the GPU, Netflix can achieve high quality 1080p video playback with minimal CPU and battery utilization.
The Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) using Microsoft PlayReady DRM. This provides the content protection needed for media services like Netflix.
The Web Cryptography API (WebCrypto), which allows Netflix to encrypt and decrypt communication between its JavaScript application and its servers.

Sounds like this is locked into windows via the Media Foundation APIs

Re:HTML5 is now officially been Embraced and Exten (4, Informative)

TopSpin (753) | about 10 months ago | (#44122581)

Sounds like this is locked into windows via the Media Foundation APIs

There may be lock in, but it's not exclusive to Microsoft:

Media Source Extensions (MSE) [w3.org] This specification extends HTMLMediaElement to allow JavaScript to generate media streams for playback. Allowing JavaScript to generate streams facilitates a variety of use cases like adaptive streaming and time shifting live streams.

Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) [w3.org] This proposal extends HTMLMediaElement providing APIs to control playback of protected content.

Web Cryptography API (WebCrypto) [w3.org] This specification describes a JavaScript API for performing basic cryptographic operations in web applications, such as hashing, signature generation and verification, and encryption and decryption.

They're all W3C standards track specifications. The first two have editors from the same three corporations; Google, Microsoft and Netflix. Google, in particular, can't tolerate not being capable of playing Netflix (10% of the population of the US subscribes to this) on its platforms (Android and Chrome OS.) It already works on both and you can take it for granted that Google expects to achieve parity with these specifications.

The last specification is not specific to streaming; it's a general purpose Javascript API to perform common cryptographic operations.

Re:HTML5 is now officially been Embraced and Exten (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122645)

None of that changes the fact that these are simply incompatible with FOSS. No FOSS browser on a FOSS OS can ever support these. Well unless you want DRMed hardware, but then you might as well just give it all up anyway.

Re:HTML5 is now officially been Embraced and Exten (1)

TopSpin (753) | about 10 months ago | (#44122687)

None of that changes the fact that these are simply incompatible with FOSS

No claim made to the contrary. It's still lock in, as I said. It's just not specific to Microsoft.

Reading comprehension. Try it sometime.

Re:HTML5 is now officially been Embraced and Exten (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122743)

Not true. A FOSS browser can easily support a fully reverse engineered copy.

Re:HTML5 is now officially been Embraced and Exten (2)

devent (1627873) | about 10 months ago | (#44122847)

Bullshit. The W3C "standard" is only a plugin API.
The EME is tied to vendor provided Content Decryption Modules (CDMs). The standard does not specify the CDMs at all. It's a black box with "do as you like" label.

So even if the web content is using EME it does not mean at all that you can watch the content in your web browser. Just like you cannot watch Flash content without Flash, you will not be able to watch content without the vendor CDM.

Re:HTML5 is now officially been Embraced and Exten (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122659)

Sounds like this is locked into windows via the Media Foundation APIs

Bastards! That means that you cannot run IE11 outside of Windows. Oh wait...

NIX?? (1)

erikwestlund (1003368) | about 10 months ago | (#44122271)

Question is: Will it work on Linux? If so, that's the big story here. Then I (and many others) wouldn't have to Hackintosh or put Windows on their (HT)PC to watch Netflix.

If so, this is a story.

Re:NIX?? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 10 months ago | (#44122291)

Sure, find a browser that implements PVE like Google did for ChromeOS.

Re:NIX?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122603)

Nope, not unless the PVE extension in question supports the OS. Supporting PVE doesn't mean that PVE will support you.

Re:NIX?? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122655)

Nope, the OS underneath has to support it too. Since it must deprive the user of control of his computer to ensure security.

"Such as" (5, Insightful)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 10 months ago | (#44122311)

These extensions allow playback of premium video (read: with DRM protection) directly in the browser without the need to install plugins such as Silverlight or Flash.

Geez, talk about stretching the meaning of "such as." The whole point of this is that it lets you play it in the browser by installing a proprietary single-source plugin. Sure, you can argue that your plugin isn't "like" Sliverlight or Flash, just like Microsoft might say Silverlight is also not a plugin like Flash, and Adobe might argue that Flash is not a plugin like Java. And the guy serving malware on porn sites might argue his video codec is not a malware plugin like the other ones are. "My plugin takes spam-sending orders from this botnet, not that botnet! See? It's totally different!"

That is exactly how these extensions are not plugins like Flash or Silverlight. In other words: totally meaningless bullshit. It's just another plugin, which happens to use a newer API.

Lie all you want about it not being a plugin, but the lie is pretty transparent and does more to discredit the speaker than it does to really deceive anyone.

Microsoft? (0)

metrix007 (200091) | about 10 months ago | (#44122361)

I thought the W3C was coming up with the DRM for HTML5, in the form of encrypted media extensions?

That would have meant Netflix would work in any browser, would it not?

Oh well. If it doesn't, at least I can still download the rips of their stuff and watch it in linux. I pay for Netflix to support original content, but I'm glad piracy exists so I can get what I pay for on my platform of choice.

Re:Microsoft? (1, Interesting)

metrix007 (200091) | about 10 months ago | (#44122423)

Ahh, so it seems that it is using the W3C extensions, it's just that Microsoft has implemented them in IE before other browsers have.

Bravo!

Re:Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122857)

The W3C-specified stuff is basically a new kind of plugin interface, not the DRM itself. You will still need that plugin to support your OS, not just the browser, because it's the thing doing the important work, not the browser.

Effectively, this is just another kind of Silverlight or Flash, except it does far less and works on fewer OSes and browsers right now.

DRM?! (0)

TyFoN (12980) | about 10 months ago | (#44122417)

I don't get it.

Netflix has aged content, at least in my country it was 2-3 seasons behind, no one will rip that.

Pirates don't rip streaming media but Blurry discs or something of higher quality.
Regular users download their stuff if not using a service like this.

You lock out a lot of users/platforms denting bottom line.

They might be worried that people will "copy" the stuff when viewing for later viewing without subscription?
Again, you have much better/higher quality sources for this type of behavior

Grrr...

Re:DRM?! (2)

Shados (741919) | about 10 months ago | (#44122479)

I don't know if it changed but when I was in Canada, Netflix content was horribly outdated. In the US however, not so. They have a lot of brand new stuff.

Without DRM, someone could use a basic chrome plugin or a greasemonkey script to download the original video straight up, with virtually no need to rip anything.

Im not saying I agree, but its not as simple as you make it sound.

That said, Im curious how many people actually watch netflix online anymore, with the proliferation of set top boxes and netflix being built in every console, smart TVs and mobile devices under the sun.

Just on top of my head, at home we have 3 phones, 4 nintendo 3DS, WiiU, Xbox, blu ray player, the smart tv, the Roku and 2 android tablets with HDMI output that can run Netflix. Thats not counting any x86 machines....

Microsoft Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122433)

Microsoft intentionally created an incompatible version of Java in order to poison the well.
That works great for Microsoft, but not so well for anybody who intends to invest time/money into software development.
After learning about that, I've avoided Microsoft technology like the plague.

Silverlight is just the latest in a long line of poisoned platforms. I'm glad that I never jumped on board.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122435)

I don't have to install a plugin. I have to install an extension instead. Can someone tell me how/why this is better/different? FFS!

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122463)

This is a PR release, not a news story.

Re:Really? (2, Interesting)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 10 months ago | (#44122481)

I don't have to install a plugin. I have to install an extension instead. Can someone tell me how/why this is better/different? FFS!

A) people don't like Silverlight

B) the rumor is Microsoft is dropping Silverlight

If (B) is true then you probably want some sort of alternative. For example, depending on how they code, the plug-in could be fairly modular. If that company / group goes belly-up then hopefully by then there are more modules to pick from.

Why doesn't Netflix just create their own app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122515)

Seriously... get out of the damn browser. You want a closed source app that enforces DRM -- fine! Then just distribute an .EXE that installs your own custom app! Tada!

The power of the web is its openness. Not some magic property of being in a browser.

Firefox (1)

Torodung (31985) | about 10 months ago | (#44122671)

How does this play out in the release version of Firefox? Because in TFA it sounds like, very soon, I may not be able to watch Netflix on my computer any more without a preview version of IE. :^(

For now, it's just use Silverlight, but will MS share its new platform lockdown?

Re:Firefox (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44122715)

Firefox can't support this. They best they could ever hope to do is pass this data to the OS and let it do the work. That will only work on Windows. OSX will likely get its own version and that will be it.

The OS has to protect itself from its owner to do this sort of thing. If you actually had control over the computer this would never work. Which is why it will not be supported on linux running on non-locked down hardware.

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