Today, NetFlix announced that they have begun deployment of their new player to their customers, incorporating dynamic streaming for DVD-style fast-forward and rewind over the Web. This is a big shot in the arm for Silverlight 2, and hot on the heels of the overwhelmingly successful NBC Olympics coverage in Silverlight 2 beta.
It’s hard to believe it was 18 months ago at the Microsoft MIX conference that Netflix first demonstrated their instant streaming application on-stage. One of the top features of this Netflix player was the ability to view movies on Mac and PC, and have a richer viewing experience. I’m very excited to see this happen as it brings one of my favorite Silverlight projects full circle.
When we first approached NetFlix, we had an idea for the player. I quickly wrote a two-page speclet describing the functionality. For fun, I codenamed the project, "Big Red". The concept was approved by Netflix and one of our top design partners refined and built the prototype in less than six weeks. Many didn’t think the app would be done in time to see the stage in time at MIX, and others didn’t think it would ever get released. I’d prefer to think this proves that good things come to those who wait, not to mention a ton of better instant watch content thanks to deals with Starz, The Disney Channel and others providers. Combined with the new Xbox experience with NetFlix coming soon, it’s going to be a NetFlix-powered holidays around the Alexander household.
Congratulations to the Netflix and the Silverlight teams.