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Netflix Quietly Updates Web Player

Netflix just released a new version of its Silverlight-based web player for desktop computers. This update comes quietly with no mention of it on the Netflix blog at the time of this writing. It doesn’t offer anything mind blowing. Rather, the interface has been completely revamped into a web 2.0 feel. This update applies to all web browsers I’ve tested — Chrome, Firefox, IE9, and Opera.

Netflix updates silverlight player

Here’s an overview screenshot of the new player. I’ll quickly highlight each feature individually.

netflix new player

One nice new features is that Seasons and Episodes can be browsed from the same window that the video is streaming in. Previously there was a “More Episodes” button that would open it in a new tab.
season and episodes list in netflix player

The HD button has been simplified. If Allow HD is checked, HD content will automatically be played whenever it is available. The next episode button now also lists the episode title as well as a short description.

netflix hd buttonnetflix features

All available subtitles are now listed on a button that is much easier to reach.

netflix subtitles

My favorite new feature of the web player is that if you pause the video and walk away, the video title will appear along with a description. This description will stick around until you hover the mouse over the window or start playing the video again.

netflix pause window

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5 Responses to Netflix Quietly Updates Web Player

  1. Brian Burgess May 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    This is awesome! Totally digging the new interface. I wish they would upgrade the Roku UI soon.

  2. Tanner Anders May 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    I really like that the player fills the entire window, instead of being in a smaller box.

    This is especially useful for those with multiple-monitor environments, as full-screen viewing tends to exit when clicking on another monitor.

    The new format leaves only the toolbar(s) visible, which is especially nice in a black-themed Chrome window.

    Kudos to Netflix

  3. cap229 May 17, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    HD content automatically plays when it is available. Niiiice.

  4. Ron White May 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    All right, so it’s a bigger picture, possibly in HD, and the control bar is cool. Now, when is Netflix going to improve the quality of its movie fare?

  5. John Doe June 9, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    Not happy with the change at all. The close captions is both large and small cases, thus smaller and harder to read. This change doesn’t take the hearing impaired into consideration whom we have to read quickly. I’m used to all large caps, it’s being this way forever. Why did Netflix change it? It wasn’t broken. Plus the stupid black bar appears in front of the words when you highlight the screen with mouse or change volume setting. Another blunder for the hearing impaired. Netflix screwed up. I cancelled my account because of this. Goodbye, Net.

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