Netflix movie streaming coming to Macs

Sometime this year, the DVD rental service will offer Apple fans a chance at unlimited online movies.

By Farhad Manjoo
January 24, 2008 10:28PM (UTC)
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I've frequently raved about Netflix's streaming service, which is offered as a free add-on to most of its DVD rental plans: When you subscribe to Netflix, you not only get good old-fashioned DVDs sent to your house, you also get to watch 6,000 movies and TV shows on the Web, anytime you want.

This service is not ideal -- unlike with Apple's movie rental plan, you've got to watch Netflix's streaming films on your computer (and though it's possible to connect a computer to a TV, most of us haven't, and won't). (But Apple's movie plan forces you to watch the whole movie in a day; Netflix give you all the time in the world.)


The computer thing is not really a deal-killer. Watching a movie in bed on your laptop screen isn't so bad a way for a date to end, for instance.

The deal-killer for many, though, has been the specific computer Netflix forces upon you. Watch Instantly, the straightforwardly named streaming service, only works on Windows (and only on Internet Explorer in Windows).

But that's changing. During a conference call to announce its quarterly earnings, the company said that it would bring Watch Instantly to Mac users within the year.


Other news from the earnings call, as reported by Silicon Alley Insider: Though Netflix has announced a deal to stream its movies to set-top boxes made by LG, it likely won't be announcing deals with other manufacturers soon. Also, the company doesn't think download rentals -- i.e., services like Apple's -- will present much competition.

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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