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Netflix Using HTML5 Video For ARM Chromebook 232

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the shiny-new-antifeatures dept.
sfcrazy writes "Netflix is using HTML5 video streaming instead of using Microsoft's Silverlight on Chromebooks (which now supports DRM for HTML5). Recently Google enabled the much controversial DRM support for HTML5 in Chrome OS to bring services like Netflix to Chromebooks using HTML5." Still no word on general support for GNU/Linux, but x86 or ARM, what's the difference? (If you're ok with DRM at least.)
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Netflix Using HTML5 Video For ARM Chromebook

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    No, im not. But thanks for asking.

    • and if you're not (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [selppet]> on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:44PM (#43144129) Homepage Journal
      If you're not OK with DRM, then you're not OK with motion pictures published by Columbia, Disney, Fox, Paramount, Universal, or Warner.
    • by Zibodiz (2160038) on Monday March 11, 2013 @09:24PM (#43144881)
      If you're not okay with DRM, then you probably don't care about Netflix, as it's entirely based on the concept of you not owning any of the content they provide to you. So what does it matter? DRM isn't cool, but Netflix is a creature that lives entirely inside the DRM-isphere, so if you want Netflix, you're gonna get DRM. Just be happy when it shows up in Linux, regardless of rights management.
      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @04:56AM (#43146843) Journal
        I'm not okay with DRM, but I do use a Netflix competitor for DVD rentals and I'd like a streaming service. I fail to understand why the same company will send me DVDs, which are trivial for someone to rip and post online, but insists on trying to lock down their lower quality online streams. DRM does nothing to protect against unauthorised copying, because everything in their catalogue is already available for illicit downloads in a variety of places, but does mean that I can't use their service on my tablet or on the computer connected to my projector.
        • I fail to understand why

          It's not their call, it's not their content. They do it because the content owners won't have it any other way.

      • Why is it all or nothing.

        I'm not ok with DRM on products I'm purchasing (I buy a music/movie file from amazon or a dvd from walmart). I am ok with DRM used to protect a service based month to month system like netflix.

        I know going in that netflix is about giving me access to view movies/tv only while I continue to pay, and that when I stop I lose access. If I wanted to own a copy of the movie, I wouldn't be using netflix. This is a case where DRM is not harming me and I'm ok with it.

  • Decisions, decisions...

    Not that either are ideal, but considering that Silverlight (or Netflix) can't manage to sync my audio and video on my current netbook, I'd be willing to switch to improve my Netflix stream.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pipatron (966506)
      How about [x] None of the above, and keep downloading movies until they start using a closed, non-intrusive system?
      • Why can't you just go without? Or is the idea of a protest where you don't still get what you want a little ... uncomfortable for you?

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Monday March 11, 2013 @06:59PM (#43143721) Homepage

    Eh? Netflix seems to work just fine on my Android tablets, and I'm pretty sure it's not using Silverlight there. Probably doesn't use it on the various Smart TVs and Blu-Ray players that support it, either. Is this just a case of Google deciding to enable something that other people were using already? Or do these other platforms use Moonlight or something?

    • by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:03PM (#43143771) Homepage

      Moonlight can't be used for Netflix, which is why Linux users have to resort to crazy hacks like this [omgubuntu.co.uk] to get their Netflix fix.

      I'd also point out that the iPad has had an official Netflix app for some time, and I highly doubt that involves running Silverlight either.

      • by Aranykai (1053846)

        Crazy hacks? Its just firefox and wine. Geez, you add one repo and install a package and it just works 99% of the time.

        What more could you want?

        • by MrEricSir (398214)

          Just because it's nicely packaged and easy to use doesn't mean it's not a crazy hack. I don't mean to knock it by calling it that, on the contrary -- what's more awesome than a crazy hack?!

          • by gnapster (1401889)
            Two crazy hacks?
            • by kriston (7886)

              At these prices and levels of effort, why not just get a Chromebook, anyway?

              • by gnapster (1401889)

                This guy had one answer: "when I travel I take only my Linux laptop [slashdot.org]." If I'm already taking a laptop to do things that a chromebook can't do, why should I have to take a chromebook, as well?

                For myself, I've got a Windows partition for things like this. But I can definitely see the chromebook advantage.

                • by kriston (7886)

                  I had a fair amount of skepticism about the Chromebook, but I'm a fan of the old-school "light" and "thin client" platforms which continue to fail in the marketplace. When I recently obtained my Chromebook at a substantially lower price than the totally equivalent Windows laptop, I was convinced it was a great deal for what it's designed for. Of course, to use it, I had to submit to the "Google is everything" idea for those tasks I use the Chromebook for, which, I have to say, (for these tasks only), I am

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          Crazy hacks? Its just firefox and wine. Geez, you add one repo and install a package and it just works 99% of the time.

          What more could you want?

          How about something that works 100% of the time and without having to give an unknown repository the ability to install binaries on my system?

          • by DrVxD (184537)

            give an unknown repository the ability to install binaries on my system?

            No, you're giving yourself the ability to install binaries from that repository. Big difference.

    • Eh? Netflix seems to work just fine on my Android tablets, and I'm pretty sure it's not using Silverlight there. Probably doesn't use it on the various Smart TVs and Blu-Ray players that support it, either.

      On all of those, its by way of a proprietary app that handles the DRM for the streaming video.

      Is this just a case of Google deciding to enable something that other people were using already?

      Its a case of--as TFA states--Google providing in Chrome a mechanism for supporting DRM along with HTML5 streaming

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:03PM (#43143777) Homepage Journal

    I'm totally ok with DRM, provided that it's very clear how to implement it, and I don't need to sign any contracts or otherwise agree to keep any trade secrets. Just write up the RFC, send it to IETF, and we'll all get to work on our your-DRM-compatible players. Everybody wins.

    • by fyngyrz (762201) on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:13PM (#43143859) Homepage Journal

      Yes. Everybody wins. Except consumers, who can't record it, can't excerpt it for fair use, can't back it up, can't move it to a later media format, and so will lose their investment eventually either because the media is obsolete or because the media the content is provided on has gone bad.

      So, yeah, absolutely, everybody wins.

      Not.

      • by Ryanrule (1657199)

        Subscription based content access. You are paying for a service.

      • by jedidiah (1196) on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:46PM (#43144165) Homepage

        I can live with DRM for a rental service. I am more interested in features, performance, and usability. There are other reasons I would complain about Netflix before getting into the DRM.

        Purchases on the other hand are an entirely different kettle of fish.

        • by devent (1627873)

          Don't you get it? You will not "own" anything.
          Even if you pay the full price, you still not "own" anything. You will "own" a license that can be terminated for whatever reason and will severe limit your rights. Format shifting? Backup-copy? First-sale rights? It's already not possible.
          With a DVD or VHS you had at least your video as long as you can read the media. With the new digital media it will be remote deleted for whatever reason.

          • He never used the word "own". He's talking about Netflix, which is a subscription service where you can, for the life of the subscription, have the ability to view any movie in their library for no additional cost.

            You have very different expectations on that compared to what you'd expect if you went to a store and bought a DVD, or went to Amazon and "bought" a movie digitally.

        • I can live with DRM for a rental service. I am more interested in features, performance, and usability. There are other reasons I would complain about Netflix before getting into the DRM.

          Purchases on the other hand are an entirely different kettle of fish.

          But why should you have to? Do you want DRM? Does Netflix? Rights holders strangle competition through exclusive contracts and force distributors like Netflix to waste time and energy on DRM, which at best doesn't immediately negatively impact the user experience and only restricts your choices to popular platforms like Android and iOS (but goes so far as to restrict the type of monitor you view it through). There is no consumer demand, no added value, and no positive contribution to the user experience; it

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          The DRM inherently impacts on the features performance and usability...

          Features - unable to record and watch later, or transfer to an arbitrary device of your choosing, unable to create edits etc.
          Performance - extra overhead of having to decrypt the data etc.
          Usability - more to go wrong, harder to create your own frontend or use a third party one.

    • by Microlith (54737)

      I'm totally ok with DRM, provided that it's very clear how to implement it

      Which it won't be, because DRM that is clear about how it is implemented is quickly broken.

      I don't need to sign any contracts or otherwise agree to keep any trade secrets.

      You'll not only be required to sign an NDA, but also to license the patents.

      Just write up the RFC, send it to IETF, and we'll all get to work on our your-DRM-compatible players

      If only it were that simple. Then the DRM would be broken outright and we could stop makin

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      I'm totally ok with DRM, provided that it's very clear how to implement it, and I don't need to sign any contracts or otherwise agree to keep any trade secrets. Just write up the RFC, send it to IETF, and we'll all get to work on our your-DRM-compatible players. Everybody wins.

      I can't tell if you're trolling or serious, but how could you have a documented, published DRM standard that actually works? Anyone could use the standard to write a "player" that does nothing more than record the stream.

      You may argue that DRM doesn't work at all, but the fact that there's no native Netflix player on Linux (yet) seems to indicate otherwise.

      • how could you have a documented, published DRM standard that actually works? Anyone could use the standard to write a "player" that does nothing more than record the stream.

        Following Kerckhoffs's principle [wikipedia.org], the algorithm is published but the required cryptographic keys are secret.

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          how could you have a documented, published DRM standard that actually works? Anyone could use the standard to write a "player" that does nothing more than record the stream.

          Following Kerckhoffs's principle [wikipedia.org], the algorithm is published but the required cryptographic keys are secret.

          How would you do that when the content has to be decrypted on the client, so the client has to have the keys at some point. Even if the content holder encrypted all content with a unique key with each stream, preventing you from replaying the stream on other players, the client has to be able to decrypt it in order to play it. So the client can either save the keys along with the encrypted content, or can decypt the content and save off an unencrypted copy.

        • by ssam (2723487)

          but where does the decryption key live? The play needs to know it to play the file. If you put the key in the hardware, and pass the encrypted stream to the hardware, then you have just moved the DRM to somewhere else. Thats like saying its an open DRM protocol because it works over open TCP.

        • by exomondo (1725132)

          Following Kerckhoffs's principle [wikipedia.org], the algorithm is published but the required cryptographic keys are secret.

          How would doing that prevent the creation of a "player" that does nothing more than record the stream [slashdot.org]?

          • Distribution of player keys would depend on posting a bond that a developer won't make such a player. Misused keys would be revoked and unable to view streams.
            • by exomondo (1725132)

              Distribution of player keys would depend on posting a bond that a developer won't make such a player. Misused keys would be revoked and unable to view streams.

              Then you've missed a fundamental element of the discussion thread [slashdot.org]. And in any case how much would this bond be and when would it be returned?

      • by wierd_w (1375923)

        Require a unique decode key, a session ID, and a valid user identity in their database, with unique on the fly encoding?

        Eg, in order to use the service, the device must be provisioned with a unique player key, (either has one already, or one is generated and provided to the player when the netflix app is installed and kept in a local keystore) and is encoded with the "secret" key that is generated for each user identity (subscriber) and is kept in the netflix server farm.

        Multiple private keys, multiple publ

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          Require a unique decode key, a session ID, and a valid user identity in their database, with unique on the fly encoding?

          Eg, in order to use the service, the device must be provisioned with a unique player key, (either has one already, or one is generated and provided to the player when the netflix app is installed and kept in a local keystore) and is encoded with the "secret" key that is generated for each user identity (subscriber) and is kept in the netflix server farm.

          Multiple private keys, multiple public keys, but a single standard implementation.

          This is the sort of thing TPM modules were intended for, and devices outfitted with one would get a boost to the crypto functions involved.

          But that's not what the grandparent poster was asking for - he was asking for fully published and documented DRM. You're talking about moving the DRM into a closed TPM, along with an operating system that's able to securely checksum the binary that's being run and report the checksum back to Netflix. (the binary can't checksum itself or it can lie).

          If you throw in some digital watermarking on the video feed data itself that can survive a re-encode run, (perhaps in the audio too?) Then finding a pirate copy of a stream on the internet would directly identify the pirate, (the stream is alread being uniquely cryptographically processed. Poking a few bits in the stream itself prior to crypto is icing on the cake.)

          This is easily bypassed by stealing someone elses authentication tokens - why use your own identity when there are plenty of easily penetrated computers out ther

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        DRM doesn't work at all, but hackers are also pragmatic...
        The content on netflix is usually outdated, most things are released on dvd, bluray or shown on broadcast tv long before they are available on netflix. Why would anyone bother to crack a netflix stream, when they already have an equivalent or better source for the same media?

  • I'd actually love to give Netflix my money, but DRM is a deal breaker. I can get better service with torrents and rss, so I do. I'd pay for that too, if it were licensed. But not a penny for DRM.

  • The article ( and Slashdot ) somehow links the Netflix app to Encrypted Media Extensions but I don't see where this is confirmed.

    It is also likely that Netflix used Native Client [liliputing.com]. NaCl [wikipedia.org] may also explain why it's only available for certain platforms.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday March 11, 2013 @08:30PM (#43144507) Journal
    I bought a chromebook a week back and was all gung-ho about it. [slashdot.org] So much so that some AC called me shill.

    Yesterday I was showing to my friend and logged into my gmail account in Chrome running in his windows box. Impressed him with my two factor authentication, text message to my phone and all that. But made the mistake of clicking yes to "synch" when prompted by chrome.

    It brought all my bookmarks on to his machine!. So I deleted them in his machine, then they were also gone from my account in my Chromebook. Not only that all HIS bookmarks were on my machine. I deleted them. Then I found all my saved web passwords were on his machine! This screw up after bragging about two factor authentication. He uninstalled Chrome and reinstalled to get rid of all remnants of anything. I lost my bookmarks. Apparently this is a common problem with Chrome and google synch and it has been widely reported and complained about. Still the dialog asking for synch did not give any warning that my passwords and bookmarks and auto-completes are being downloaded into a new machine. I am very disappointed by Chrome and google.

    Luckily he is a friend, and I never store any serious passwords in my gmail account. So no serious harm done. Now where is that AC who called me a shill?

    • by kriston (7886)

      Am I incorrect in assuming that the local copy of your synchronized data is encrypted on a Chromebook?

      • What I understand is, the data in chromebook is encrypted using gmail password. When I synched it with chrome running in a windows box, Chrome decrypts it using gmail password from the cloud, and then encrypts it using the windows login. Because I logged in to gmail using a chrome instance launched by my friend, now friend's machine got a copy of my passwords readable by him.
        • by kriston (7886)

          Wow, I really thought the local copy was protected somehow. Perhaps you should talk to the Google developers about this, especially since the Chromebook "guest" login is promoted as a feature.

          • by kav2k (1545689)

            You seem not to be talking to each other. This was not at all about data on the Chromebook itself. Only the fact that Google Sync pulled very sensitive data by default.

    • by guspasho (941623)

      I had this problem with iCloud and importing bookmarks from Safari on my Mac to Safari on my iPhone. I tried clearing them off of one, and bam, gone on both, irretrievably so. So annoying. Anyone know what the proper procedure for this is supposed to be? I'm very suspicious of trying to use iCloud now.

    • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Monday March 11, 2013 @10:45PM (#43145379) Journal

      It brought all my bookmarks on to his machine!. So I deleted them in his machine, then they were also gone from my account in my Chromebook. Not only that all HIS bookmarks were on my machine. I deleted them. Then I found all my saved web passwords were on his machine! This screw up after bragging about two factor authentication.

      You didn't disable Sync on his machine before deleting?

    • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @05:04AM (#43146883)
      So you're telling me that you logged into your personl account on an untrusted computer, through your two-factor authentication scheme, failed to read the dialog box prompting you to download personal data to the machine, and then were surprised when this synchronisation scheme applied changes to your account?

      PEBKAC. Works as intended. I presume you've been modded up so we can all laugh at you for thinking that this is somehow the fault of Google.
  • Wow, that is nice. On my x86 Acer C7 Chromebook, which was using Silverlight just last week, is stellar using HTML5. I was wondering why the video looks and "feels" different.

    • by dririan (1131339)
      Unless your Chromebook doesn't run Chrome OS, you don't have Silverlight. Silverlight only works on Windows and OS X. Moonlight IIRC got discontinued (which was basically Silverlight for Linux) but it never worked with Netflix because it lacked Silverlight's DRM. Plus, in the summary itself it even says "ARM Chromebooks", so I doubt your x86 Chromebook is using the HTML5 stuff. Apparently it uses some EME stuff that's not on the x86 Chromebooks yet. I believe that Google and Netflix partnered up to release
      • by kriston (7886)

        I did the "right-click" on this x86 Chromebook when it was running a Netflix movie and it did indicate it was using Silverlight. It was using the Pepper plugin API which is specific to the Google Chrome browser and, also, is/was available on the x86 version of the Google Chromebook.

        It is absolutely *not* Miguel de Icaza's Moonlight. It is the real Microsoft Silverlight on x86 in Google Chrome. In additionk, it was definitely running on the Google Acer C7 Chromebook until some time late last week.

        Sorry to

  • by vga_init (589198)

    Not all DRM is evil. It really depends on who is applying it, when, where, and how. DRM is an ugly name for a set of technologies that have their uses; if I agree to let Netflix stream a movie to me and understand that my computer is going to encrypt and handle it in such a way that I won't be able to save or download the movie, that's OK with me; I'm still the one in control. That doesn't mean proprietary video streaming will always be crammed down my throat.

    Using DRM in this way is a great boon for open t

    • by Microlith (54737)

      It doesn't help because you're stuck with a binary only DRM module that could be just as much a security risk as flash. Each website could have its own security module, solving precisely no problems while introducing millions more, and they'll be compiled only for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. Other platforms will, invariably, need not apply.

      DRM is antithetical to open technology. It requires openness be thrown in the dumpster for the sake of enforcing restrictions on others. I suspect that the next

  • I really dont see the problem with DRM when it comes to Netflix. For £5.00 per month I get a much better selection of Movies and TV shows than I could even consider getting from a satellite / cable subscription costing much more. There are no limits as to how many times i can watch stuff - and while i cant download the shows / movies for keeps I dont need to so long as i have an internet connection. In prinicple I dont agree with DRM - but in the case of Netflix it is well worth the money DRM or No D

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