Friday, December 18, 2015

Netflix arrives on Firefox using HTML5 video (no plugins required)

Here's a nice Christmas gift from Netflix to all Firefox users (on Windows). You'll no longer require additional plugins to watch Netflix, as it now supports Firefox's HTML5 video.

One of the great promises of HTML5 was the video tag that would allow instant and standard video access on the web. But that was something easier said than done, as codecs and DRM made it hard to come to an (any) agreement. Mozilla was one of the few that fought very hard against DRM, but in the end it had no choice but to accommodate for such requirements, or face being left stranded in these sort of video services.

Now, although we'd prefer to see DRM banished from existence, users will at least be able to reap some beenfits, as Netflix can now be seen on Firefox on Windows via HTML requiring no extra plugins. Firefox users can finally watch Netflix just like Chrome, Safari, IE and Edge users have.

For now, Netflix is only available for Firefox on Windows, but Mozilla says it will expand the use of Primetime CDM to other platforms in 2016. This may not be what open-source purists would like to hear (DRM should really be abolished!) but there's no point that it's better to live and fight another day, than to simply ignore the fact that, in this case, it wasn't feasible to stand alone.

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