Media

Netflix is slowly killing off Silverlight & switching to HTML5, with Safari support starting today

Image Credit: Illustration by Eric Blattberg / VentureBeat

Netflix keeps edging away from Silverlight, Microsoft’s multimedia plugin.

The streaming media giant today announced that it’s switching to HTML5 video in Safari on OS X Yosemite, Apple’s new operating system for Mac. That means the Mac crowd will be able to stream Netflix videos without installing any external plugins — they’ll be able to just load the page and start watching.

By switching over to HTML5, Netflix majorly reduces the CPU load required to stream video. On laptops, that means longer battery life. Netflix says a MacBook Air streaming 1080p Netflix content using HTML5 will last two hours longer than it would with Silverlight.

OS X Yosemite is already available to Mac Developer Program members, who can boot up Safari and watch HTML5 videos on Netflix starting today. The rest of us will have to wait until the Yosemite public beta launches this summer.

Last year, Netflix switched from Silverlight to HTML5 video in Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1.

Netflix was able to make the switch on Mac, it says, because Apple implemented the three HTML5 Premium Video Extensions in Safari on OS X Yosemite, like Microsoft did last year for IE11. The media source extensions keep the video pipeline optimized; the encrypted media extensions protect the content so pirates can’t rip it off Netflix; and the Web Cryptography API enables Netflix to encrypt and decrypt information between its JavaScript app and its servers.

With Apple and Microsoft supporting its plugin-free vision, Netflix’s next target is most likely Google and its massively popular Chrome browser, as well as the still-popular Firefox browser from Mozilla.

More information:

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

With more than 25 million members in the United States, Canada and Latin America, Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] is the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. For US$7.99 a month, Netflix members ... read more »

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281 comments
Cerise Karpinski
Cerise Karpinski

That will be great if it uses less power since my internet bill has went up by $20.00 extra per month & they blame it all on Netflix being the power sucker.

Diana Lion Londonbug
Diana Lion Londonbug

Dear netflix, while kids netflix sound ideal, we need ratings control what shows kids can watch only. Family guy isn't kids friendly.

Cindy Reyes
Cindy Reyes

put new or even diffent movies already !!! thats what yall ought to b doing

Evelyn Shortt
Evelyn Shortt

Am I going to be still able to watch Netflix on my iPad?

Patrick Hoffer
Patrick Hoffer

If you don't use Safari then this won't affect you. Gaming devices won't be affected either.

Patrick Hoffer
Patrick Hoffer

Thats the whole point, you won't have to do anything different than you did before. It will actually use less power to watch Netflix now.

Lindy Leigh
Lindy Leigh

Hey heres an idea Netflix.... Why dont you give us a better movie selection! You raise your price but yet same old crap selection!!!! Why are we having to pay more???

Candi Peters
Candi Peters

So they just expect you to use an Apple server?

Nicolas Zart
Nicolas Zart

This is THE best news in a very long time coming from Netflix! Silverlight was OK, but paltry on an iPad. Congratulations Netflix for stepping into the future.

Shane Krouse
Shane Krouse

IE was horrible forever, but FireFox really ruined a great browser with their updates the past year or two. More crashes and more unstable than ever.

Surinder Brar
Surinder Brar

@Gabriel Nightfall : HTML5 is depended on the browsers not any OS. but make sure your are running it on modern browsers. :) 

Tom Fallone
Tom Fallone

Netflix has always run fine on my Mac. You just install the software like you would need to on any system. I understand that it can be pretty complicated, what with OSX's Double click the big shiny button to install interface.

Gabriel Nightfall
Gabriel Nightfall

so html5 works on linux? because it would be great if I could play it on my linux system...

Honda Holly
Honda Holly

Someone please inform this uneducated lad what this is about. Thank you kindly

Dana Gordon
Dana Gordon

This applies to Mac users. Windows users are already getting the html5 through explorer. Read the article lol

Raylene Rose Moody
Raylene Rose Moody

Just Wondering When You Plan To Add More Episodes To Sister Wives And Cake Boss And Are You Planning To Add More Shows Like The Good Wive And Other Shows That Alot of Us Love.

Ryan Ledak
Ryan Ledak

I don't know what either of those are... :)

Natalie Norwood
Natalie Norwood

What is required of your subscribers to access the HTML5? I don't use Safari ... is this going to be a pain? Can I still stream using my gaming device?

Virginia Englett Hamlin
Virginia Englett Hamlin

I guess this is good, but since I don't speak tech language, I have no idea what it is saying. I hope I don't have to do anything to get it to work!

Robin Lull
Robin Lull

Been using the ap install for unbuntu and linuxmint so far. It'd be great if this means simple firefox streaming!

Robin Lull
Robin Lull

Does this mean that a nice linux OS like Ubuntu or LinuxMint, or Manjaro will be able to stream it in Firefox too? do I dare believe it!? Whoohoo!

Christine Larocque
Christine Larocque

Is that why sometimes when one watches a moive and in the middle of it says loading err

Kait Bee
Kait Bee

Why did this take so long? Now I will never have to deal with "Silverlight has crashed" again!!

Stephen R Stack
Stephen R Stack

I did use chrome...same issue...trust me there are multiple forums about this issue and older machines. HTML5 video is awesome so glad netflix is switching

Chris Sanders
Chris Sanders

HUH? That doesn't make sense to me the way it's worded right  now.

Chris Sanders
Chris Sanders

Chrome is better than FF.  I'm not really even sure why people use it other than as a back up to Chrome. FF had been slow and buggy but so is IE11. However, the latest version of FF is actually faster than Chrome.