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Netflix plans its move from Microsoft Silverlight to HTML5 video

Netflix plans its move from Microsoft Silverlight to HTML5 video

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House of Cards

Last month Google announced that Netflix was now available on ARM-based Samsung Chromebooks thanks to the use of HTML5 video — and now the streaming service has outlined its larger plans to eventually move to the format for all computers. Currently, Netflix primarily uses the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in when streaming video to web browsers, but Netflix's Anthony Park and Mark Watson point out in a blog post that the current solution really can't stand. Plug-ins don't play well with with most mobile browsers, they can be cumbersome for users, and perhaps most importantly, Microsoft itself may not develop a new version of Silverlight beyond the current release.

The solution is HTML5 video, but that relatively young technology requires further development to meet the needs — and DRM requirements — of a service like Netflix. According to the blog post, Netflix has been collaborating on three W3C initiatives that together will provide the required functionality for streaming video services. Dubbed the "HTML5 Premium Video Extensions," they include an extension that will allow the company to handle its delivery streams via JavaScript, another that will allow DRM encryption (perhaps the biggest obstacle for HTML5 video's broad adoption), and a cryptography extension that will allow Netflix to make sure any communication between its JavaScript code and servers remains secure.

According to Netflix, the Chrome OS version of Netflix uses the first two extensions in the suite already, but the third hasn't been built into Chrome at the moment so Netflix is using its own plug-in instead. Once Google builds that third extension into the browser, however, the door will be open for Netflix to start testing HTML5 video on a wide array of computers.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

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A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


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Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


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Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
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Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


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Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

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