Netflix has updated its web player with a redesigned control bar and better support for small windows and advanced controls in full screen mode.

Among the changes:

  • The size of the controls now scales, making it easier to use the player on large screens, for example if you connect your computer to your TV
  • Similarly, the player will scale down to smaller windows, which is useful if you want to watch something while working in another window.  Also, the video now stretches to the full window in the browser
  • Full screen mode now has all the features of browser mode so you can view season/episode information and change to the next episode when watching a TV show
  • Pausing the video now shows more information about the title
The redesign has consolidated the controls into a single bar that is less verbose, relying on icons to get the point across. Netflix shows off the old and new look:
Old:
Web Player Old 520x36 Netflix updates web player with a new design, better windowed support and streamlined controls
New:

Final Update2 HD 520x175 Netflix updates web player with a new design, better windowed support and streamlined controls

Some screenshots shared with us by Jacob Penderworth demonstrate the new look well while in action.

Screen Shot 2012 05 16 at 2.01 520x302 Netflix updates web player with a new design, better windowed support and streamlined controls

One of the changes that was made, the ability to view season and episode info right in fullscreen mode:

Screen Shot 2012 05 16 at 2.13 Netflix updates web player with a new design, better windowed support and streamlined controls

There is also a nice overlay that appears when a player is paused that shows information about the media being played. You can read Jacob’s thoughts on the new interface here.

I tried the new player in Google Chrome and Safari, and Chrome does not appear to work at the moment, claiming an old version of Microsoft’s Silverlight plugin as the issue. Even when updated, it still refused to play, though, so I’m assuming it’s an incompatibility with the new player. Hopefully it will get fixed soon.

Update: Make sure you’ve updated to Chrome 19.0.1084.46 at least, as that corrected the Silverlight problem for me.

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