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Netflix Comes To Linux Web Browsers Via 'Pipelight'

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the contents-may-explode dept.

Wine 303

An anonymous reader writes "With Netflix continuing to rely upon Microsoft Silverlight, the video streaming service hasn't been supported for Linux users as the Mono-based 'Moonlight' implementation goes without Silverlight 5 DRM support. However, there is now Netflix support for Linux-based web-browsers via the open source Pipelight project. Pipelight supports Netflix and other Silverlight-based web applications by having a Netscape plug-in that in turn communicates with a Windows program running under Wine. The Windows program then simulates a browser to load the Silverlight libraries. Netflix then works as the Pipelight developers implemented support for the Netflix DRM scheme within Wine."

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303 comments

I'll pass (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44612993)

It's not important enough for me to have to do this. I know my market share isn't big enough to matter to Netflix but still.

Convoluted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613011)

This is way more complicated than it needs to be. I'll just watch Netflix on my PS3, thanks.

Re:Convoluted (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 8 months ago | (#44613121)

Yes, this is rather silly. I use my PS3, Tivo, and my Asus Transformer. They all work just fine with Netflix.

Re:Convoluted (5, Insightful)

Shark (78448) | about 8 months ago | (#44613749)

Makes me wonder... I somehow doubt that the PS3, Tivo or Asus Transformer have Silverlight so the DRM itself likely isn't a Silverlight exclusive. Why aren't there smart people foaming at the mouth to reverse-engineer that stuff? I guess Netflix is mostly a US service and countries where doing such reverse-engineering isn't illegal have no incentive? There are already plenty of people working on Blueray DRM and what not, I can't see this being as complicated.

Re:Convoluted (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 months ago | (#44614049)

Anyone who is frustrated that they can't watch for-pay TV streaming is probably not doing a lot of hacking apart DRM algorithms. If it was a free encrypted stream they'd be all over it, just for the challenge.

Next step (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613041)

When Microsoft abandons Silverlight, Windows users will still be able to watch Netflix through Pipelight through Netscape through Wine through Cygwin through, er, I must have missed a few steps or what ?

Re:Next step (5, Funny)

bmo (77928) | about 8 months ago | (#44613205)

When Microsoft abandons Silverlight, Windows users will still be able to watch Netflix through Pipelight through Netscape through Wine through Cygwin through, er, I must have missed a few steps or what ?

Not only that, Netflix is abandoning Silverlight too.

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9238421/Netflix_to_dump_Silverlight_Microsoft_s_stalled_technology [computerworld.com]

So we have....

HTML5 in a container in Silverlight through Flash through Netscape 4.7 running in Wine through Cygwin, through an HP41cx calculator.

--
BMO

Re:Next step (0)

Neuronwelder (990842) | about 8 months ago | (#44613565)

In Windows 98, I always liked the look of Netscape's Browser. Too bad Microsoft squished them with Internet Explorer.

Re:Next step (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613625)

Seamonkey is close

Re:Next step (2)

KingMotley (944240) | about 8 months ago | (#44614023)

Microsoft didn't squish Netscape, they did it to themselves. It got slow, bloated, and buggy. People flocked away from it because it was so bad.

Easy solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613053)

Boycott Netflix. They don't want the business, don't give them money. Send the message DRM is unacceptable.

Re:Easy solution (2, Insightful)

murdocj (543661) | about 8 months ago | (#44613097)

Easy solution: cut off your nose to spite your face.

Re:Easy solution (3, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#44613377)

"Easy solution: cut off your nose to spite your face."

Huh? How so?

Their product is not something that is going to get me ahead in any way, it's not something I have to have to survive, or to thrive. It's a source of entertainment. One among many. If they dont want my business I will spend my money elsewhere, simple as that.

Re:Easy solution (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 8 months ago | (#44613771)

Their product is not something that is going to get me ahead in any way, it's not something I have to have to survive, or to thrive. It's a source of entertainment. One among many. If they dont want my business I will spend my money elsewhere, simple as that.

It's something that makes cutting the cord and cancelling your cable/satellite TV subscription significantly easier. While that's not something that you *need*, it is something that's immensely useful to have.

Personally, I consider the $8/mo I pay for Netflix to be well worth it, especially when compared against the cost of a TV subscription. Your own economics may differ. But given the very wide array of devices I have where it works perfectly (including my cell phone, my tablet, and game consoles), I'm quite happy to keep the service, despite the DRM.

It'd be nice to be able to play it on my Linux-based laptop, and this allows that as well, but that is far from the only method I have to access the services. I am the target market for this app, not you.

Re:Easy solution (3, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 8 months ago | (#44613457)

Easy solution: cut off your nose to spite your face.

Correction: This nose smells funny, so detach it and use any of the other ones that work in browsers in Linux. Hulu, for example.

Re:Easy solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613507)

Awww- no. It's called Google. It works much better than Netflix.

Just enter the following into Google:

[ name of show/move ] site:.ch OR site:.eu

And if for some reason that stops working try:

[ name of show/move ] --.com --.net --.org

Works nearly as well. Your pretty much guaranteed to see results at the very top (first few search result links) with full length shows/movies your looking for. Compared to Netflix which may or may not have what your looking for.

Re:Easy solution (2)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about 8 months ago | (#44613627)

Easy solution: cut off your nose to spite your face.

That's funny, I think going with netflix is cutting off your nose to spite your face. Go with the pirate bay and you get a wider selection, no worries about streaming hiccups and no DRM. All around a better solution.

Re:Easy solution (4, Insightful)

berj (754323) | about 8 months ago | (#44613921)

I prefer to pay for what I use when those who are providing it ask for money.

Principles.. It's good to have them.

Re:Easy solution (2)

evilviper (135110) | about 8 months ago | (#44613899)

Easy solution: cut off your nose to spite your face.

That would make sense if Netflix was the only streaming video service around, but it's not. Hulu works quite well on Linux, and its no more expensive than Netflix. They even made a HuluDesktop app for Linux and Windows (though they've stopped hosting it) with a 10' interface, remote-friendly navigation, and LIRC libs.

And Hulu is a better substitute for TV than Netflix. Can you get current world news every day with Netflix? How about popular TV shows from ABC/FOX/NBC the day after they air? Great old shows like Total Recall 2070?

Re:Easy solution (4, Insightful)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 8 months ago | (#44613127)

DRM, in the virtual rental situation is acceptable, I'm not doing anything like purchasing the content, so they get to retain control. In exchange it's pretty cheap for what you get (see also: Steam)

Re:Easy solution (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 8 months ago | (#44613165)

DRM that doesn't affect your use of the product works just fine. (see also: Steam - They want our money so they went to Linux.)

Re:Easy solution (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 8 months ago | (#44613263)

I'm pretty happy with NetFlix on the devices I can use it on, but I've been thinking about dumping it because of the lack of Linux support. It's very inconvenient using the workarounds (Wine, VMs, etc) as a paying customer. Torrents are looking pretty tempting.

Re:Easy solution (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 8 months ago | (#44614009)

Why would you need linux support? Go spend the $70-$90 on a apple tv, roku, google tv, etc and hook it up to your monitor via a second hdmi port. Problem solved. Next issue?

Re:Easy solution (4, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 8 months ago | (#44613665)

DRM does affect your usage of a product sometimes (see Steam, you buy a game for a high price but then the system acts as if you only rented it). DRM systems should be upfront and honest that you're merely purchasing limited access to content, which is true for streaming television but not true for purchased song files or games or books.

Note also that in the US we've been able for decades to record television programs with the full support of of the Supreme Court. The new DRM streaming forbids this. You can ONLY see the shows as long as you continue subscribing and as long as the publisher allows it. In this sense, the rights that you are granted for streaming video is more like attending a movie theater than watching television. Ie, there is no equivalent of VHS recording in the secured digital video stream.

Just like Steam, the customers happily accept being branded with a hot iron as long as they're also given a carrot. The problem remains the same; most customers are excited to get the new content quickly but have no interest in access to their previously purchased old content.

These all seem like ways to get around the legal system or legal access to content, and ensuring that they have full control at all times. And this is just with their toe in the door, imagine how much further this will be locked down in ten or twenty years if no one objects today. What if George Lucas could have pushed a button and suddenly every single copy of Star Wars in existence was changed to show that Han did not shoot first, and no evidence remained anywhere that it used to be otherwise?

Re:Easy solution (1, Insightful)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 8 months ago | (#44613707)

DRM that doesn't affect your use of the product works just fine.

I'm glad you agree that DRM is never OK.

Re:Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613805)

I watch netflix on my PS3 and DRM doesnt affect me at all so Im fine with it.

Re:Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613429)

DRM, in the virtual rental situation is acceptable

DRM is never acceptable. I'll decide what to do with the bits people send me.

Re:Easy solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613747)

DRM is never acceptable.

Then why are so many people accepting it? Are they being forced to against their will? No they choose to accept it and you will find that there is an enormous amount of people who find DRM acceptable.

Re:Easy solution (1)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about 8 months ago | (#44613999)

Are you retarded? For the same reason that people "accept" paying their own Government to spy on them. For the same reason that we "accept" a boss that lies cheats and steals but will fire you for returning from lunch 3 minutes late. For the same reason that we "accept" gas prices. It's because it's that or nothing, and we'd rather have something.

Re:Easy solution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613555)

The problem with digital restrictions is your giving up ownership of your computer. You don't control it once you install DRM. Somebody else controls it and they can do whatever they want with it. Your missing the advantages of GNU/Linux if your moving to it and then installing hacks like this to get DRM content. The same is true if your on hardware which relied on non-free software. It's no longer yours to control, it's somebody else's. IE whenever NVIDIA/Intel/AMD/Broadcom/Lexmark/Oracle/DELL/Adobe decide to discontinue support your screwed. There isn't anybody else who can release updated drivers/firmware. If the kernel changes (and we all know how often that happen, ie every six months in most mainstream distros) your hardware stops working. That is if it ever had support/was working in the first place properly. In many cases it isn't.

The FSF has a certification program to try and fix the hardware issue. That solution is to basically boycott these companies by certifying free software friendly hardware: fsf.org/ryf

There isn't really any solution to fixing the non-free software problem for Netflix although for most GNU/Linux users a decent solution exists called Google.

Re:Easy solution (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 8 months ago | (#44613415)

Boycott Netflix. They don't want the business, don't give them money. Send the message DRM is unacceptable.

How exactly is one to boycott those who choose to refuse your business in the first place?

And then... (5, Funny)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 8 months ago | (#44613075)

The little cage drops over the mouse, and you win!

Re:And then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613115)

thank you.. I was trying to think of how to word a response that well.

Re:And then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613147)

+1
You sir win the interwebs!

what a hack (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613091)

you might as well just run windows through virtual box, i bet the performance is pretty horrible

Re:what a hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613197)

It's definitely a hack, but WINE Is Not an Emulator so performance could be OK. There is no technical reason this should be much slower than on Windows, as long as the Windows APIs that Silverlight calls perform well on Wine. Many modern 3D games run on Wine at the same speed or sometimes slightly faster than on Windows. The other side of the Silverlight plugin is the NPAPI, which is available on all major platforms. There may need to be some binary translation to get the Windows ABI and the Linux ABI to talk to each other, but that shouldn't add too much overhead on a modern PC.

Re:what a hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613659)

Technically, neither is an emulator -- WINE is a compatibility layer, and VirtualBox is a virtual machine program.

Re:what a hack (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613523)

Well, with the Wine method, you're going to get a higher frame rate. Frame rate on Virtualbox is pitiful. I'll most certainly get modded down for saying this, but this whole ordeal only highlights the biggest problem with Linux as a desktop platform. Joe Sixpack isn't coming. Linux will not dominate the desktop in our lifetimes. And it's unlikely that Linux will even match market share of Mac in the US. It's time to give up on the dream of Desktop Linux, and stop virtualizing everything! If you want to watch Netflix, spend $24 for an MK802x, or run Windows.

Re:what a hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613599)

I used the older hack- just a patched Wine that will run Silverlight- and it actually worked for viewing Netflix, more or less. On my shitty-ass laptop that's 5 years old.

Re:what a hack (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 8 months ago | (#44613803)

I've done this. Works if you enable hardware acceleration. I've got a decent box though (i7, 12G ram) and the experience was barely usable, so probably not the most practical solution.

Still a hack, but closer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613101)

I, for one, applaud the project. The fact that they could get Netflix engineers on board means they at least care a little about their Linux users. Honestly, it's more than likely the content holders' fault that the DRM binary has to be Windows only.

Re:Still a hack, but closer (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about 8 months ago | (#44613179)

I wonder why they just didn't disassemble the DRM. Whack it in a debugger and see what it is doing.
That is how Bluray fell.

Sure it is hard, but decoding it via Wine isn't?

Re:Still a hack, but closer (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 8 months ago | (#44613639)

wine is semi-sustainable, short of a major change to windows architecture and break in backwards compatibility new versions of silverlight can be loaded up as they are released.

cracking the DRM will only last to the next point release, which will be accelerated in response to the DRM being cracked

Re:Still a hack, but closer (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#44613799)

The next point release of Silverlight? Don't hold your breath.

IMO, the way things look right now, Netflix is morely likely to switch off of Silverlight than Microsoft is to release a new version of Silverlight.

Re:Still a hack, but closer (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 8 months ago | (#44613379)

Windows only? Works just fine on OS X without hacks and compatibility layers.

Re:Still a hack, but closer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613575)

Yea- but Apple is supported only because Microsoft would have monopoly related issues if they didn't and Apple/Microsoft are in bed together anyway.

Ridonculous (4, Insightful)

yelvington (8169) | about 8 months ago | (#44613113)

At some point you just spend $130 and buy an Android tablet at wally world. Or a $50 Roku.

Re:Ridonculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613233)

I don't get it. Why shouldn't Linux desktop users have a solution to allow them to subscribe to watch movies without resorting to piracy. Why should I have to use another device to do so, or be limited to other services such as Amazon Prime (which works just fine on Linux, thank you).

I'd understand if the hatred was coming from the fact that Netflix has DRM or that the implementation is closed-source, but telling people to give up and buy a PS3 or Roku? This may not be the most elegant architecture, but if you want to use Netflix on an unsupported platform, there's not many options when you're dealing with a closed system.

Maybe I'm the target niche market -- a Linux desktop user without a standalone TV -- but I, for one, applaud their efforts.

Re:Ridonculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613595)

Yea- we should be boycotting these services though.

I've simply refuse to subscribe. Just like a refuse to subscribe to my cable company- because of crap services and more seriously false advertising. If your going to tell me my connection is up to 20mbps and I only get 3mbps at prime time vs 10mbps at prime time with DSL then no- your services are not faster than DSL by a factor of 50.

There is a solution to this issue for most current users. Torrents and Google. Both work great on GNU/Linux. Install adblock plus, and use Google.

[ name of show/movie ] site:.eu OR site:.ch

You should be able to find just about anything (and a heck of a lot more than on Netflix anyway) you want within the first few results of a search.

Re:Ridonculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44614047)

I don't know. Why shouldn't toilet users have a solution to allow them to subscribe to watch movies without resorting to piracy. Why should I have to use another device to do so. As it is, now toilet users have to steal a TV set to watch movies while on the toilet.

Re:Ridonculous (1)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#44613389)

Or realize that their are a million sources for these videos and try one that doesnt work so hard to keep you out.

Re:Ridonculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613521)

Then I'd need to also buy a tv or external monitor, which I don't want. My laptop screen is the largest I have, and it doesn't take inputs.

(I use a Mac, so this doesn't affect me, but if I were running linux I'd appreciate the option.)

Re:Ridonculous (2)

evilviper (135110) | about 8 months ago | (#44613825)

At some point you just spend $130 and buy an Android tablet at wally world. Or a $50 Roku.

Throw another $50 / $130 on top of Netflix's monthly fee, and it doesn't turn out to be a very good deal at all...

Besides, I already have my Linux box connected to my TV, handling all my TV/DVR, DVD/BluRay, Hulu, gaming, and other functions. Telling me I have to have a separate box just for Netflix just tells me I shouldn't get Netflix.

Hulu works well enough on Linux. Though they've since hidden the project, they even had HuluDesktop for Windows and Linux, which works nicely with a remote control. Seems like a better plan for Linux users to subscribe to HuluPlus and boycott Netflix instead.

Linux.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613119)

... Doing things the hard way since 1990!

A hack no doubt... (2)

yathaid (2106468) | about 8 months ago | (#44613181)

But the end goal is to get joe-on-the-street to watch NetFlix on Linux. And this does give good performance, with the usual linux gpu caveats.
Drops frames on my AMD machine, but my roomie's nVidia is all smooth sailing even at SuperHD.

Re:A hack no doubt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613253)

But the end goal is to get joe-on-the-street to watch NetFlix on Linux.

But they already solved that. It's called Android. Or Roku. Take your pick.

Re:A hack no doubt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613353)

ATI just plain sucks on Linux... Ive been running Linux on the desktop since RedHat 6.2 (Zoot) and using nothing but nVidia for years with no problems!

Re:A hack no doubt... (1)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#44613443)

"But the end goal is to get joe-on-the-street to watch NetFlix"

Sounds like something NetFlix should be interested in supporting. If they are not, why should I care?

Fails on multiple counts (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#44613237)

First of all, claiming to "come to linux" but only working under WINE is not really coming to linux at all. You can run Windows Notepad under WINE as well.

Secondly, WINE (with win32 compatiblity) is not officially supported on native 64 bit Linux systems unless you have 32-bit libraries installed. While this is probably fine if you are only installing binaries, but for distributions which install some applications by compiling them from source, it can cause some consternation when building some applications because the linker might end up trying to use the libraries in the 32 bit library directory instead of the 64-bit one which causes what's supposed to be an automated build process to fail, abruptly and unceremoniously. Although such errors are ultimately the result of faulty assumptions in the actual build script, and not the fault of actually trying to use both 32 and 64-bit libraries simultaneously on one platform, such errors are still frequent enough to be annoying... and I'd rather not deal with them.

Finally... it's Netflix. Their movie selection sucks.

Re:Fails on multiple counts (1)

danomatika (1977210) | about 8 months ago | (#44613327)

Finally... it's Netflix. Their movie selection sucks.

I'm pretty sure their DVD collection doesn't. Besides, last I checked, Linux could play DVDs just fine.

Re:Fails on multiple counts (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#44613515)

Netflix DVD rental service is not available in Canada. Zip.ca is Canada's mail DVD service, but their selection is still not particularly stellar (although admittedly modestly better than Netflix streaming service in Canada, it's still not significantly better than the video rental stores that Netflix has largely replaced)..

Re:Fails on multiple counts (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 8 months ago | (#44613497)

First of all, claiming to "come to linux" but only working under WINE is not really coming to linux at all. You can run Windows Notepad under WINE as well.

Microsoft Bob Comes To GNU/Linux Via 'Virtual Box'

/me shudders.

Re:Fails on multiple counts (3, Interesting)

ediron2 (246908) | about 8 months ago | (#44613839)

baloney.

A pc with a Linux OS that lets me stream netflix via any means including WINE is 2nd place behind native linux code, but the movie did indeed 'come to linux'. I don't have to reinstall my OS or run in a VM? It's on linux. And who the fuck cares about notepad; MS OFFICE RUNS UNDER WINE (some versions, YMMV, some limitations may apply).

Purism matters nothing in the crossover wars: if I can get netflix to stream on linux, it's better than if it won't.

Re:Fails on multiple counts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44614125)

*shrug* Gentoo solved the "build both 32-bit and 64-bit executables on the same system" problem ages ago. If your distro hasn't solved this problem, it blows donkey dicks. If your build scripts are so broken as to fail in this way, you *are* a donkey dick.

The Inevitable (5, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | about 8 months ago | (#44613241)

Y'know, I read through the summary twice, and both times concluded that there's about a 1% chance of this whole mess working. Too many things relying on too many other things relying on too many other things.

Although having the word "Netscape" in there.....

compholio (5, Insightful)

nten (709128) | about 8 months ago | (#44613637)

I watch netflix in ubuntu. I accomplished it by adding one rep and installing one package. It manages the wine version, the windows firefox version, the silverlight version, and whatever other unholy nonsense is involved in making it work. The only glitch is that sometimes the audio is on fastforward when I first start watching something and I have to wait for it to go back to normal, then start the show over. This is on a relatively ancient macbook (it has an ethernet port), and it is still fast enough.

Really? No thanks. (0)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 8 months ago | (#44613299)

"...in turn communicates with a Windows program running under Wine. The Windows program then simulates a browser to load the Silverlight libraries."

I'm sorry, but... fail. Netflix, get off your asses. Support real standards.

I won't be a Netflix customer as long as I have to deal with dirty hacks involving compatibility layers like Wine to interface with a program pretending to be a web browser with something that tries to act like it's Microsoft's black box known as Silverlight. All which is likely to be buggy and unstable, because the entire thing was put together and built on completely closed crap.

Re:Really? No thanks. (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 8 months ago | (#44613399)

Real standards? Like what, HTML5 ECE? You're going to end up with a completely closed binary blob via that path as well. Of course, Netflix has already chosen which ECE module they're going to use -- Microsoft's. So zero problems solved, and now we have yet another plugin API.

Re:Really? No thanks. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 8 months ago | (#44613577)

Real standards? Like what, HTML5 ECE? You're going to end up with a completely closed binary blob via that path as well.

Just compile or port the damn code they already have working on Linux Android Mobiles for Linux Destops. Some of us will use closed source crap if we have to, like GPU drivers, or games, etc. IMO, I have to have the OS stack open source for important things -- like making sure the software I write and use for work has a path forward without planned obsolescence -- but games and media? Meh. Netflix is just making it harder on us Linux Desktop Folks because of pressure from MAFIAA types who think "freetards are de pirates", when in reality, using a free and open source OS has nothing to do with wanting to get things for zero cost.

And, no, the problem's not "solved", as it doesn't seem to work correctly on my x64 or ARM Linux boxen for some strange reason... I'd fix it in my spare time rather than use a VM instead, but it's closed source, so they don't let me help them. I'll just use any of the other streaming services, or a combination, because $30 bux a month and $8 a month is nothing. Hell, I was paying hundreds for cable plans before I cut that TV cord, so the money's not the issue... And it's just as easy to "pirate" content on a Windows install within or without running it in a VM.

Also, isn't Windows the most pirated OS? Well, no one ever accused the MAFIAA of being smart. They're just losing money to prop up a dying business model.

Re:Really? No thanks. (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 8 months ago | (#44613843)

If they want to take the black box route, then fine--they can write a native program with their DRM crap built in, compile it and package it for the major distributions (.deb, .rpm, .txz, .tar.bz2/.tar.gz). And keep the damn thing up to date, fully patched and supported, unlike Adobe's treatment of Flash on Linux.

I'd rather use that than a glorified set of hacks produced purely from reverse engineering a foreign black box like Windows and tricking it to think that it's running yet another black box (Silverlight) natively. And that would be better than corrupting a standard like HTML with DRM in a way, but I'll take some kind of HTML5 support over a pure binary blob that is maintained by a company who would probably not write a very good program to begin with. And besides, face it, it's DRM--it will be cracked in record time, especially being a part of an official spec if they do integrate it with the standard. They can't win with such a ridiculous joke of a "security" tool. If they write a program, probably every "security update" will be 95% potential breaking of their DRM, while they neglect the actual, real security issues.

A binary package would still be unacceptable, because it would continue to leave BSD users out. But, well, that's what happens with proprietary software, and honestly I doubt that a lot of BSD users would care because they tend to be much more forgiving of proprietary software. But maybe the HTML5 method could work. Although the standard would be contaminated in the process, and broken all to hell long before HTML5 is even complete.

Works Perfectly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613351)

If you can add an apt repository, then you can install pipelight. I gave it a go; took all of 30 seconds to install and works flawlessly. I can't detect any noticeable performance lags compared to Windows, and the speed of the public wireless hotspot that I'm connected to leaves much to be desired. I couldn't be happier with this hack.

Re:Works Perfectly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613649)

The hack might work 'good enough', but it's not desirable.

We shouldn't be supporting Netflix because Netflix doesn't support us.

They don't even pretend to care.

I'm not happy with Steam either although I'm even more disappointed with Netflix.

If I recall correctly the CEO of Netflix owns a lot of stock in Microsoft and is an ex-Microsoft employee. That or maybe Microsoft owns 10% of Netflix. Although I think the 10% is of Facebook and not Netflix (I'm pretty sure it is the ex-CEO one above). Either way I won't use Netflix or Facebook. I should probably boycott Ubuntu now too. Canonical hired a high level Microsoft employee recently.

Re:Works Perfectly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613905)

If I recall correctly the CEO of Netflix owns a lot of stock in Microsoft and is an ex-Microsoft employee. That or maybe Microsoft owns 10% of Netflix. Although I think the 10% is of Facebook and not Netflix (I'm pretty sure it is the ex-CEO one above). Either way I won't use Netflix or Facebook. I should probably boycott Ubuntu now too. Canonical hired a high level Microsoft employee recently.

My GOD, your thoughts are confused. Seriously, you shouldn't be making decisions about this topic until you get them a little more calm and orderly.

Netflix Desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613401)

There's already a linux package out there called (on arch at least) "netflix-desktop". This runs FF and Silverlight within Wine and works perfectly well. Can't really see the point in this seeing as it still needs Wine, but adds the extra complexity of communicating between FF on Linux and Silverlight in Wine.

Re:Netflix Desktop (1)

acariquara (753971) | about 8 months ago | (#44613499)

Point is, "netflix-desktop" performance is craptastic at best. On an ION2 mobo that plays 1080p without issues I am lucky to get 15 fps on that thing.

Re:Netflix Desktop (1)

dhasenan (758719) | about 8 months ago | (#44613857)

If you want to juggle multiple browsers, one only for silverlight, then use netflix-desktop. Otherwise use Pipelight.

seems like it would be easier (5, Interesting)

apcullen (2504324) | about 8 months ago | (#44613453)

Wouldn't it be easier to run an android image in a virtual machine and just use the android netflix app?

Oh, yippie . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613479)

Is netflix even relevant anymore? I stopped being a member while I was still on Windows XP because netflix was such a pus case as far as their business policies go. When they started with the qwikster crap and all the rest, it was time to hang it up.

I already pay for an internet connection, so I'm not going to pay for netflix on top of it. Besides, they don't want to play, much less play 'nice' with my linux boxes, so they can just go get their toys and get the blank out of my yard--quick.

Netflix on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613483)

Several Linux distributions have shipped with Netflix support using WINE in the past. I think they just bundle Silverlight, WINE and a Windows build of Firefox together. This solution, which also uses WINE, seems more complex.

Couldn't they... (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 8 months ago | (#44613537)

... make a netscape plugin, that loads windows netscape plugins? Sortof like plugin-host.exe Firefox uses? Or is it like that already?

Re:Couldn't they... (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 8 months ago | (#44613547)

The project is split in two parts: a shared library which is loaded into your Linux browser and a pluginloader which is executed in Wine. The shared library offers the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) to the browsers and acts like all other plugins, except the fact that it does not provide the API functions directly. When the library is loaded by the browsers it starts the pluginloader in Wine and sends all API calls to the plugin through a pipe. The loader will listen for this calls and send them to the Silverlight plugin. All handles, interfaces and objects which are only available at one side are recreated as fake objects on the other side, so that we can capture all calls and redirect them through the pipe. The real handles are replaced by fake 64 bit IDs during the transmission, which allows us to load 32 bit plugins into 64 bit browsers and vice versa without having to pay attention at the size of the real handles. The only real difference in the API between Linux and Windows is the handling of drawing and input events, which requires additional code inside the pluginloader.

Yes, it is. Stupid summary making it sound more complicated than it really is.

How is it played in smart appliances? (4, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 8 months ago | (#44613635)

I was under the impression that Bluray players and smart TVs (especially samsung) run an embedded linux. How are they able to stream netflix?

Re:How is it played in smart appliances? (3, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#44613901)

I was under the impression that Bluray players and smart TVs (especially samsung) run an embedded linux. How are they able to stream netflix?

Netflix supports and has supported for a while now, non-Silverlight enabled playback. It even supports Windows 8.1 on IE11 via HTML5 rather than silverlight. I expect the Windows 8 modern UI netflix app also has no dependancy on silverlight.

But you raise an interesting question, rather than attacking linux playback by way of a Wine+Silverlight 'pipeline', would it not be more straightforward to pipe it through whatever is happening with a chromebook or android device??

What is the point of the DRM (1)

doconnor (134648) | about 8 months ago | (#44613729)

I thought the whole point of these elaborate DRM schemes was to prevent the movies from being played in an emulated or virtualized envirnment where the video could be intercepted.

If it does, why bother?

Ripping rented DVDs is way easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613739)

Yeah nah bugger that. Ripping rented DVD/BD to my NAS is cheaper, easier, faster, untraceable and requires no bandwidth.

Silverlight (2)

Trogre (513942) | about 8 months ago | (#44613775)

On that note, has anyone else noticed Silverlight being pushed out to WSUS servers as another important Windows update? Three times?

As in, when we choose "Do not install, and don't tell me again", it re-appears in the subsequent two update runs. This is the second time this has happened in as many years.

How ridiculous can it get? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 8 months ago | (#44613779)

Send the encrypted content to the cloud on a Windows system running as a virtual machine in a Linux box. Have the Windows decrypt it and display it full-screen. Capture the output of the virtual machine and re-encode it. Finally, transfer the unencrypted content back to the user.

Netflix already works in Linux... (2)

Cyfun (667564) | about 8 months ago | (#44613807)

...if you run Android! I'm no expert on programming, but if works in Android's flavor of Linux, why can't it be ported to the other distros?

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613815)

Yet another story that makes Windows more and more obsolete and its comment threads that are overwhelmingly paid Microsoft FUD-spewers trying to downplay it or downright insult it because they have to delay the inevitable: the death of Windows and Microsoft itself because they cannot stand any competition and destroyed themselves trying to keep it out.

Sell me the files!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44613933)

There isn't a single unit of content on Netflix that isn't trivially available to Sickbeard.

But with Sickeard shit Just Works without the slightest hint of a shadow of hassle.

I am not averse to paying. My data sources with Sickbeard aren't free. They're merely Free.

Sell me the files. I'll pay, but you keep telling me No. So I keep on not paying you, because you're not open for business yet.

Yet. Some day your stockholders will find out that you're turning away customers, saying "fuck you and your filthy money, we're not in the money business," and how will you explain that at the shareholders' trial?

Keep trying (1)

lkernan (561783) | about 8 months ago | (#44614099)

Is that all! If you aren't piping it through 3 firewalls, 2 satellites and a dial up connection, you just aren't trying hard enough.
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