Netflix envisions an HTML 5 streaming future with no plug-ins

HTML 5 streaming for Netflix, in lieu of Microsoft's Silverlight, has been available on Samsung's ARM-based Chromebook for a few months. A new announcement from Netflix shows the company plans to take the new web technology even further, to the satisfaction of many viewers.

According to a post on Netflix's technology blog, Netflix is working to ditch Silverlight and move to HTML 5 for streaming. Unlike Silverlight, which requires a plug-in to be installed on the browser, HTML 5 video content would stream directly in the browser without any installations needed.

Doing away with browser plug-ins would not only minimize security vulnerabilities, but could improve overall stability and performance given the wide range of devices and browsers that are used by Netflix customers. Imagine a world where you could fire up Netflix and watch a clip without installing a single plug-in, just like YouTube.

Netflix says it's currently working on three "HTML5 Premium Video Extensions" that will help achieve its HTML 5 streaming goals. Netflix's existing HTML 5 player on supported Chromebooks is using two out of the three extensions, where as one of them hasn't been implemented into Chrome yet, so Netflix is opting for its own in-house solution now.

Netflix says once the last extension is available within Chrome it will begin testing its new HTML5 video player on Windows and OS X.

The company has eight years before the death of Silverlight in 2021, but we suspect it will get it done way before then.



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