Netflix Plug-in for Chrome and Chrome OS is on the Way

Posted on 09. May, 2011 by in Chrome, Chrome OS, News

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Good news for Chrome users:  A Netflix plugin for Chrome and Chrome OS is ready to be released. This is based on the reports that are coming in over at the Chromium site.

This upcoming Netflix plugin will enable the streaming of movies via HTML5 technology, rather than Microsoft’s Silverlight software, which requires the user to download and install it onto their computer -something you’ll only be able to do in limited functions with Chrome OS.


Netflix has been working for quite a while to implement HTML5 for its video streaming. Back in December 2010, Netflix stated its plans to implement the technology, convinced it would lead to a better user experience.

John Ciancutti, VP of Personalization Technology at Netflix, explained Netflix’s decision to pursue HTML5 technology in this way: “The technology is delivered from Netflix servers every time you launch our application. This means we can constantly update, test and improve the experience we offer….Our customers don’t have to go through a manual process to install new software every time we make a change, it ‘just happens.’”

The release is conveniently coming in time for the release of the new Chrome OS devices expected to be announced next week at Google I/O.

Considering Netflix has more subscribers than Comcast and 7% of people subscribe to Netflix, this is a big win for Chrome and Google, who is a big proponent of HTML5 technology. It is also worthwhile to note that this will also enable Linux users to enjoy Netflix as well.

UPDATE: The link to the Chromium report has been password protected. Go figure.

via ChromeStory

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Related posts:

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  3. Chrome OS Alternatives to Netflix – What’s Available?

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49 Responses to “Netflix Plug-in for Chrome and Chrome OS is on the Way”

  1. Cougar Abogado

    09. May, 2011

    I can appreciate how popular Netflix is, and I definitely tip my hat to it. On the other hand, maybe we could have adblock come pre-installed (yes, I realize it’s technically an extension)?

    I assume there’s some $ exchanging hands, behind the scenes, here. I’m perfectly fine with this — both organizations are businesses who do what they do to turn a profit.

    In the end, I still find myself asking, “Why bundle Netflix, as a plugin, over anything else?”

    Does anyone have an answer?

  2. [...] Via [...]

  3. themiddaysun

    10. May, 2011


  4. [...] after the leap: The Chrome Source via OMGUbuntu « The Tinkerer’s Handbook LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  5. Anonymous

    10. May, 2011

    Cougar I don’t understand your question. Why would Google want to pre-install Ad Block? They wouldn’t at all, they make money off of ads…

    In fact I don’t understand how or why this is being referred to as a plugin. If Netflix is setting up their player to be in HTML5, no plugin is needed at all. As the browser supports HTML5…

  6. [...] for Chrome OS, finally coming? Netflix Plug-in for Chrome and Chrome OS is on the Way | thechromesource – Google Chrome and Chrome … If true, that is exciting [...]

  7. Andrew

    10. May, 2011

    If it’s HTML5, why do you need a plug-in?

  8. André

    10. May, 2011

    Probably for the DRM.

  9. Homesnatch

    10. May, 2011

    Who says Netflix plugin was bundled? It will be installable like any other plugin.

  10. Cougar Abogado

    10. May, 2011

    @Anon. Thanks for making the point about AdBlock destroying Google’s revenue stream — I personally love the irony and loathe the internet, absent AdBlock. What I meant was, simply, will Google be pre-packaging Netflix in Chrome OS because it’s so popular or because of another reason? If it’s because of it’s popularity, there are plenty of extraneous services that people use a lot, so why Netflix?

    Moreover, after yesterday’s news of YouTube rentals and today’s revelation about Android movies, I’m frankly perplexed why it would be to Google’s advantage to have Netflix pre-installed. Keep your enemies close? Hedge your bets? (If people use Netflix, Google might still profit because of a deal with Netflix.)

    I’m very curious to get some official word on this.

  11. Anonymous

    10. May, 2011

    @Cougar, THEY ARE NOT PRE-PACKAGING!!! It was said by others already! No bundling is happening here. Making a plugin available for netflix is a big deal, mainly for linux users.

    You need to read more closely.

  12. Ryan Patterson

    10. May, 2011

    No plug in is needed for chrome to play videos with HTML5. So I question what the true intentions of this plugin.

  13. william scanlon

    10. May, 2011

    Google has made its own operating system its called chrome OS. This is a linux based operating system and netflix will not work on it. This is why there will be a plugin for use on chrome os and other linux operating system that can’t use silverlight.

  14. Josh Fitch

    10. May, 2011

    Sweet! I was starting to worry that I might have to cave to Windows or OSX just for Netflix… I’m glad Netflix decided to support an open standard.

  15. Cougar Abogado

    10. May, 2011

    @Homesnatch and anon who posted after my last comment.

    I can see where you’re coming from and why my comment may have been frustrating. My apologies, and thank you for your patience.

    When I assumed the plugin will be bundled, I failed to point out that I based this assumption (at least subconsciously) on a different post, from Chrome Story, which, in fairness to Daniel, I believe originally broke this story:

    “A review created a week go says this “Update netflix version in chromeos plugin check“, This plugin check is included in all devices including Alex, but not on CR48 ( Was that a step to keep that from leaking ? ) This plugin is now part of the few included in Chrome OS, PDF, Google Talk plugin etc.”

    How do we interpret the last sentence from the quoted block? I admit it could mean Netflix will be one of the few plugins _supported_ on Chrome OS. On the other hand, when I read that the plugin is being tested, internally, by the chromium os devs and included in all devices (other than the Cr-48), I assume Dinu meant it will come bundled with Chrome OS.

    What do you think? I hope this helps explain my assumption.

  16. Cougar Abogado

    10. May, 2011

    Taking a closer look at this post, I see that Julian wrote it, rather than Daniel. I said otherwise. My bad.

  17. Daniel Cawrey

    10. May, 2011

    I checked my Cr-48 today if it had the Netflix plugin already installed, but no dice. I’m thinking that it will not be coming bundled.

  18. Julian West

    10. May, 2011

    To those wondering why a plugin is necessary. I suspect the plugin includes optimization for better video/audio playback. Perhaps something like SPDY protocol. That’s my best guess.

  19. Cougar Abogado

    10. May, 2011

    @Daniel. I appreciate you weighing in on the conversation. Two thoughts:

    1. According to Dinu, the devs tested the plugin on every device, other than the Cr-48.
    2. I’m unsure which build(s) of chromium/chrome os have the plugin — I imagine they could be higher than the current dev build (0.12.433.35).

    @Julian. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the plugin necessity — I’m relatively inexperienced with that kind of technical detail, so I’ll take anyone’s best guess on why a plugin would be required, over simple HTML5.

  20. Daniel Cawrey

    10. May, 2011

    My guess? Netflix is coming to Chrome OS. There’s a plugin to ensure its commercial success on the platform and to provide some form of DRM. That’s all I’ve got.

  21. SlickMcRunFast

    11. May, 2011

    Netflix on my Linux!

  22. [...] Reports are coming in that Google and Netflix will soon be announcing the availability of a Chrome Web Store App or Extension that will enable Chrome OS and other Linux-based distros running Chrome/ium to access Netflix’s streaming movie and TV show catalog without the need for Microsoft’s Silverlight plugin. According to a post on the Chromium site (now password protected | related), the HTML5 web app will most likely be announced at Google I/O. Lets hope so… May 11th is going to be a day of big Chrome OS announcements — most likely this is going to be one of them. [via / via] [...]

  23. [...] source: [...]

  24. Chrome/ChromeOS Netflix plugin to use HTML5 | Your bux

    11. May, 2011

    [...] source: [...]

  25. [...] Netflix Plug-in for Chrome, Netflix finally for Linux? Google launches Chrome OS, says Windows is ‘torturing users’ Nokia Announces Qt 5 Plans [...]

  26. [...] on 18. May, 2011 by Daniel Cawrey in Features Early last week it was discovered that there was a plugin in the works for Netflix to run on Cr-48s and eventually other Chrome OS devices on the market. At the Chrome Q&A [...]

  27. Chris

    07. Jun, 2011

    As someone who spent a couple hours last week trying to install Silvelight in Wine so that I could watch my damn movies in Linux, this is an absolute goddess.

  28. me

    07. Jun, 2011

    YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!!!

    Finally! I have been asking Netflix for literally _years_ about this! IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME!

  29. ithcy

    07. Jun, 2011

    This is great news. The next step is creating a Netflix plugin for XBMC for Linux. I hope this will now be possible.

  30. Kenneth

    07. Jun, 2011

    Netflix FAIL. If you have to have a per-browser user installable plugin, it’s not any better than using Silverlight.

  31. [...] based on the Microsoft Silverlight protocol. So, I have installed Windows XP. According to this chrome will soon have a netflix plugin which should allow netflix to work on linux. But that hasn't [...]

  32. [...] can give you access to almost the same exact thing? And since we’re not far off from seeing the Netflix plugin come to Chrome, you’ll be able to get all of your entertainment from there as [...]

  33. [...] The Chrome Source: Netflix Plug-in for Chrome and Chrome OS is on the Way [...]

  34. [...] The netflix site may start working at some point. They have announced that they are going to start supporting HTML5 video, at least for the chrome book. Netflix Plug-in for Chrome and Chrome OS is on the Way | thechromesource – Google Chrome and Chrome … [...]

  35. Erin Quick-Laughlin

    01. Jul, 2011

    I successfully played a Netflix movie in Chrome, just now! 4;27PM Central, 7/1/2011

  36. mguevrem

    01. Jul, 2011


    Where did you find the plugin? I have upgraded to the Chrome dev ppa channel and Netflix still won’t run…

  37. Yaro Kasear

    07. Jul, 2011

    Do we have any actual verification this will be working on Linux OTHER than Chrome OS? I haven’t seen anything actually verifying this.

  38. [...] Netflix Plug-in for Chrome and Chrome OS is on the Way | thechromesource – Google Chrome and Chrome … __________________ The value of knowledge is not in its possession, but in its use. [...]

  39. Please

    15. Jul, 2011

    Netflix on Linux please…

  40. Anarimus

    06. Aug, 2011

    Netflix for Linux…..thank you Google!!!!

  41. Willrandship

    10. Aug, 2011

    @Yaro, it says so as a sidenote in the artice:

    ” It is also worthwhile to note that this will also enable Linux users to enjoy Netflix as well.”

    Right near the bottom, but it’s in there!

  42. DannyLinux

    10. Aug, 2011

    Plugin is out and it doesn’t work in linux :(

  43. [...] plus there looks to be a chrome plugin in on the way which would no longer require Silverlight Netflix Plug-in for Chrome and Chrome OS is on the Way | thechromesource – Google Chrome and Chrome … another suggestion was "Sign up for… It's a buck per rental to stream and it's [...]

  44. Drew

    31. Aug, 2011

    I roll out on chromebooks(tm) only will go over like a fart in church. Even chrome OS is acceptable, but not a marketed product.

    I’ll put NF on hold and use DVR till it is resolved.

  45. Gencast

    04. Sep, 2011

    I love how every one was so exited… Did netflix crush your dreams?… Well all we can do is hope google and make the next version actually work on the browser + Netflix verifies your OS so that may be another reason why it doesn’t work.

  46. [...] ^ West, Jullian (May 9, 2011). “Netflix Plug-in for Chrome and Chrome OS is on the way”. [...]

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    03. Oct, 2011

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