Looks like Netflix has decided to go with Microsoft’s PlayReady DRM for all upcoming Netflix-ready devices. If all goes according to plan you shouldn’t even notice the DRM being there, but we all know how well DRM has worked in the past.
Netflix already uses PlayReady for its Mac and Windows PC instant streaming services, so both companies already have a convivial working relationship. More importantly to end-users, I don’t recall any big DRM dust-ups vis-à-vis Netflix streams.
This announcement also confirms a host of new Netflix-ready devices. The press release mentions “Internet TVs, Blu-ray disc players, home theater systems, video game consoles and other devices.” What could “other devices” mean? Something like Google TV, or maybe the Boxee Box? A Netflix-equipped Google TV could do well for itself.
Netlfix says the move to PlayReady DRM will make it easier to get content providers (movie studios and the like) to supply a steady stream of, well, content. If there’s one complaint against the Netflix streaming service is that there’s not as wide a selection of content as there is with disc-based Netflix. That should begin to change with this move.
The first devices making use of this new DRM should hit stores early this summer.
Needless to say, your ability to stream Netflix on your Xbox 360 (or PS3 or Wii) won’t be negatively affected by this transition.