Tag Archives: netflix
The slogan for the Chromebook is “Ready When You Are.” The truth of the matter is that’s only partly true because services many find essential are not being offered yet. Ironically, one of these services is one of the biggest sources of web traffic in North America, accounting for 24.71 percent of aggregated traffic is not accessible via Chrome OS. The cloud app I speak of, of course, is Netflix. Netflix is one of those services that validates the cloud because it allows the user access to thousands of movies and television shows (about 12,000 to choose from) via the Internet and can make you wonder whether you need a dvd collection at all.
Yet, Chrome OS — the ultimate cloud operating system — is currently unable stream Netflix movies. It’s taking time for Netflix to migrate to the HTML5 technology. Not a small feat considering the amount of movies they are streaming. The Netflix plug-in is in the Development Channel for Chrome OS, so it is only a matter of time that it will be available. But the fact is that it isn’t working yet.
What is a Chromie supposed to do in the mean time? You may be a bit disillusioned by the change Netflix’s pricing plans as well. Such questions may lead one to ask: what are the alternatives?
Well, the ones that come to my mind are Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube. All of these services can be used quite easily in Chrome OS and that shinny, new Chromebooks.
Hulu is mainly for television shows, though if you get Hulu Prime, you get access to the Criterion Library. Many excellent films are to be had here for the film connoisseur but more mainstream movies are not in Hulu’s offerings. So if you want the latest Adam Sandler film, you are out of luck.
There is also YouTube. YouTube has been working hard to extend its digital offerings and offer commercially produced movies as well as user content that has come synonymous with the brand. It offers 3,000 movies for rent, some of them at no cost. The issue I see in this service is that the movies you are most likely are going to want to watch are rentals. A Netflix streaming subscription is $8 a month. That would be only two rentals on YouTube.
Last, but not least is Amazon Prime. If you are a big Amazon shopper, this may be a no brainer for you because you get free 2-day shipping as a member of Amazon Prime. The “Prime” catalog, while it has many movies and television shows to stream, is not as extensive as Netflix. Amazon has around 5,000 movies for streaming, however 1,668 of them offered for free on-demand streaming for Amazon Prime members. Not a very high number if you ask me.
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.