One of the most disruptive innovations of the past decade, Netflix, has launched the beta of their Silverlight player. Earlier this week, Netflix had announced support for their Silverlight player, and it is now available in beta form. The exciting part about this release is the support for Intel-based Macs. The "Watch Now" feature for movies and shows was limited to PCs via Windows Media Player only. The cross-platform nature of Silverlight now automatically supports PCs as well as Intel-based Macs.

I tested the player using Firefox on my PC, and it worked great.

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I hadn't updated Silverlight on my Mac. But after I'd installed SL2, I tested the player on my Macbook Pro using Safari and it tested out great!

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I started to watch a few minutes of "Paris, Je T'Aime" and I found the quality to be wonderful. Buffering was easy and fast forwarding and rewinding were snappy over my 1.5Mbps at home. As Lowensohn from CNet points out, the timeline preview feature gives you a snapshot of videos a few seconds before and after - so that you know where and what you are rewinding or forwarding to. This video explains how this looks:

This player is based on Silverlight 2, which we launched just a couple of weeks ago. Watching movies just got a lot, lot easier.

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PS: You do realize that with Skyfire, you can now watch movies and shows on the go on your phone, right? Wow.

[Update: Silicon Alley Insider has a writeup about the new player]