Netflix Finally Moves Away from Silverlight with OS X Yosemite

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Netflix is finally moving away from Microsoft's Silverlight for video streaming on the Mac, at least for OS X Yosemite users. The company said it is instead relying on a feature called Media Source Extensions which will give subscribers 1080p quality video without taxing your Mac's CPU or battery.

OS X Yosemite lets Netflix ditch Microsoft's SilverlightOS X Yosemite lets Netflix ditch Microsoft's Silverlight

Currently, Netflix streaming on the Mac requires Silverlight, which is a multimedia playback and streaming extension from Microsoft. It's proprietary, much like Adobe's Flash, and requires users to install extra software on their Mac. In OS X Yosemite, however, no extra software is needed because all the pieces are already in place to support HTML5 video.

"We've been working closely with Apple to implement the Premium Video Extensions in Safari, which allow playback of premium video content in the browser without the use of plugins," Netflix said in a statement.

Apple introduced OS X Yosemite earlier this week at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference keynote presentation. The new version of the Mac operating system will be available this fall with a flatter looking interface, tighter integration with iOS for document sharing, more powerful Spotlight searching, document markup support in Mail, the ability to start an email message on your Mac, iPhone or iPad, and finish it on another device, and more.

OS X Yosemite won't officially ship until this fall, but a public beta is coming soon. Netflix said its Silverlight-free streaming will be available to anyone using Safari in the beta release.

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Finally! We'll be able to watch Netflix streaming on our Macs without having to install yet another proprietary media streaming plug-in.

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Can’t wait to take it for a spin.


OUT–Flippin’–STANDING ! Less impedance !


WWDC Keynote was stating that this feature should add an extra 2 hours of playback time to a MacBook Pro (?) on a single battery charge.

Since this is, I believe, an HTML5 standard, I’m hoping to see this from other providers (Hulu, Flixster/UltraViolet, Disney Anywhere) and in time on other platforms (Windows, ChromeOS).


How does/will this impact Netflix on an iPad?

Doug Bott

iJack, Netflix provides an app for the iPad and iPhone. Different technology altogether. You can’t watch Netflix movies through Safari in iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch).


As long as this really is an HTML5-compliant solution and not Apple swapping Microsoft’s proprietary video plugin with an Apple proprietary one, this is great for both Mac users and for web standards proponents.  I echo the sentiment that other video providers follow suit, with a personal preference for MLB.TV to get onboard ASAP.


I’m glad you called that out, Jeff. This was something that really hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in the press, but I personally thought it was HUGE news. This is really going to open the doors for Netflix content consumption on mobile devices. And I think it’s safe to say that, for the most part, the days of Flash/plug-in’s for web video are pretty much done.

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