Netflix today furthered its plans to ditch Silverlight for HTML5 on Macs, having already done so last year in IE11 on Windows 8.1. HTML5 video is now supported by Netflix in Safari on OS X Yosemite, meaning you can stream your favorite movies and TV shows without having to install any plugins.
Netflix says it has been “working closely” with Apple to implement its Premium Video Extensions in Safari. These extensions allow playback of video directly in the browser without plugins such as Silverlight or Flash, but still keep publishers happy that their content won’t be ripped off.
The extensions are made up of three components, all of which Apple has included:
- The Media Source Extensions (MSE), using the “highly optimized video pipeline” on OS X. Since Media Foundation supports hardware acceleration using the GPU, Netflix can achieve “buttery smooth” 1080p video playback with minimal CPU and battery utilization. In fact, Netflix promises up to 2 hours longer battery life on a MacBook Air streaming in 1080p.
- The Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) provides the content protection needed for media services like Netflix.
Since OS X Yosemite hasn’t been released yet, you’ll need to be in Apple’s Mac Developer Program, or soon the OS X Beta Program, to ditch Silverlight on your Mac when using Netflix. Yosemite will be launching sometime this fall.
Netflix says it is looking forward “to a time when these APIs are available on all browsers” so that it can ditch plugins once and for all. With both Microsoft and Apple on board, its next target is likely Google and its Chrome browser.
Top Image Credit: Peter Szustka