NetFlix Adds its Tile to Microsoft’s Media Center


Netflix is a company that gets it.  First they provided a streaming service, allowing you to watch movies on your PC via a web browser as long as you have an existing subscription.  High quality, convenience, same low price.   What’s not to like?

Next, they sold a “Roku” box that you can attach to your TV.  This is a low cost way to introduce people to the idea that you don’t need a full cable subscription to watch lots of great content on your TV.

Now, they are working with Microsoft into integrate Netflix as a “tile” on Vista Media Center.  More and more folks are discovering the cost savings and convenience of hooking a PC up to the TV. If you have a PC with Vista hooked up, you can now use your remote control to select the “Netflix” tile and start watching movies instantly.

Many “garage” developers had already enabled this capability, but Netflix’s willingness to develop an official version shows foresight and commitment to streaming IPTV.  I will be curious to see if they offer similar capabilities for a Mac or Linux platform.

Some Media Center fans are crying that it won’t work on Extenders.  On the whole, Microsoft needs to rethink its whole Extender strategy.  Lack of support for Netflix is just part of the problem.  But DLNA and Play To coming on Windows 7 indicates an interesting option.

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