Adieu Netflix in Chrome for Linux!

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer



Chrome failing in foreground, Firefox working in background




Update – 8-11-2014: Netflix now has an HTML5 player that will work with the latest beta or developer version of Chrome. —

Nice while it lasted

Netflix will no longer work on Chrome for Linux. From version 32, Chrome will not support NPAPI, or the Netscape Plugin, Application Programming Interface. 

Netflix uses Silverlight to stream movies in Windows. Until now the only way to stream movies in Linux with Sliverlight, was to emulate both Windows and Silverlight. In a previous post “How to Stream Netflix Movies on Linux,” I wrote about how to stream Netfilx with both Firefox and Chrome. Well, now you can skip over the Chrome part!

This worked fine in both Firefox and Chrome on Linux, by using the Windows emulator WINE, and a Silverlight emulator called “Pipelight.” But both players used the NPAPI, which is no longer supported beginning with Chrome 32. 

HTML5 will win over Flash and Silverlight

Netflix  supports HTML 5 video in Microsof’s Internet Explorer 11. From the Netflix Tech Blog – from the Netflix Tech Blog, “HTML5 Video in IE 11 on Windows 8.1. ” With a premium extentstion.
The big hitch in the streaming video giddy-up, is Digital Rights Management. Silverlight has it. Firefox doesn’t. Mozilla however,saying that with the end of Flash and Silverlight based implementations, the company would be left on the sidelines by its competitors if it didn’t at least give users the option to use the new HTML5, DRM standards adopted by the W3C — Mozilla begrudgingly brings Netflix support to Linux with DRM in Firefox.


Meanwhile, Firefox is Great on Linux


The first thing I noticed about the new Firefox 29 was its speed. Most wrote about the new customizing feature, or about how it looked more like Chrome, but I was happily zipping along. Firefox 30 continues to impress me. Even with the overhead of WINE and Pipelight, Netflix streams smooth, even in HD, on my Ubuntu 14.04 LTS computer. 
So, until Hollywood, Netflix, Hulu, the W3C, Google, Apple and Microsoft all get together on a HTML5 DRM solution, I’ll be finishing season 1 of “Cedar Cove.” What can I say? I got a thing for Andie MacDowell.



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