Sunday, December 23, 2007

Netflix Watch Now on my Mac

I can watch Netflix movies online with my new Mac Mini, because it has an Intel processor. Using a program called Boot Camp Beta, I installed Windows XP on a small part of the hard drive. By default, my computer starts in Mac OS 10.4, but on those days I want to Watch Instantly, I hold down the Option key while starting up, and choose Windows XP.

I have installed Firefox on the Windows XP partition, as well as Windows Defender and AVG freeware for anti-virus. When I am in Windows, I have to remember to take precautions while on the Web.

It's an expensive workaround for those of us who prefer the Mac platform, while we wait for Netflix to make Watch Now available for Macs. I paid $500 (refurbished) for the Mac Mini, and $179 for a legal copy of Windows XP. I didn't want to try Windows Vista, because of all the bad things I've heard about it.

I saw an ad on which claims Vista runs better on a Mac than a PC. Too late. I don't want to spend any more money on Microsoft.

I have the best of both worlds: I get to keep using a Mac computer, and I get to watch Netflix movies instantly online!


  1. Your post isn't really clear. It sounds like your dual booting your system so that you have access to Windows. But then you stated that you installed Firefox. To my knowledge, the "Watch Now" option from Netflix isn't compatible with Firefox. The solution does seem to be a bit far in terms of workaround. Why not just get the Mac App called "Parallel" it is basically a virtual machine that lets you install/run Windows. It'd be a same only to install XP just to watch Netflix, there's got to be other reasons for me to install another OS on a machine.

  2. Becky -- I've been thinking about buying a Mac Mini (running Windows through Boot Camp or Parallels) to sit under my TV as a sort of DVR to watch NetFlix "Watch Instantly" movies as well as Amazon Unboxed. Have you tried hooking up your Mac Mini through the DV-out port to an HDTV? If so, how do the movies look and sound compared to a standard DVD? Also, what are the specifications on the Mac Mini that you own? Finally, do you connect through a wired ethernet or wirelessly? Thank you. -- Tony

  3. I've got the same interest as Tony, and will be interested to hear how this works. I hate the idea of buying a Windows machine for this purpose, especially since I've got a lot of Mac software (Audacity, iTunes) that I want to have handy at the entertainment center, too.

  4. Want the "Releasing this Week" section back? Sign my petition:

  5. I'm sorry I didn't make it clear that, yes, I'm dual-booting.

    I'm using Boot Camp Beta because it's free, and Parallels is not.

    I use Internet Explorer to watch Netflix in Windows XP, but Firefox for all other browsing.

    My Mac Mini has a 1.66 Ghz Intel Core Duo processor with 1 Gb of RAM. My 60 Gb hard drive has a 55 Gb partition of Mac OS 10.4.11, and a 5 Gb partition for Win XP.

    I have a wired connection to the Internet.

    I regret that my TV is not digital, so I haven't been able to connect my Mac to it yet.

  6. For the folks interested in how Netflix Watch Now renders on an HDTV served up by a Mac computer, the short answer is "it works pretty well". I used my 2.2 Ghz MacBook Pro (note, not a Mac Mini) running VMWare Fusion/Windows XP and connected via VGA (with DVI dongle) cable to a 720p 40" inch set. Netflix WatchNow rated my internet connection "Fast". Resolution of the image was pretty good, the only criticism I have of this technique is that the framerate is not always perfect. That is, some times when I was watching "Pan's Labryinth" smooth camera panning was not exactly smooth, but sometimes had stuttering.

    Hope this helps some folks!


  7. Thanks very much, Becky and Eric. Your information is really helpful.

  8. The "Watch Now" feature currently only works in IE because it uses DRM the content owners want.

    With the advent of Silverlight, this may change. We'll should be able to watch in Safari and Mozilla as well.

    I'm looking forward to this. I'll finally breakdown and buy a Mac if so. While I know the dual booting and VMs will work, I'd rather not.


    If you have any suggestions I'd appreciate it!

  10. Hi,

    The message is to the blog host "Becky," I was wondering where you found that Netflix font you used to create your logo? I tried to find on your blog where to contact you to ask this meager question, but I could not find any contact info.

    Neil :)

  11. A graphic artist made the logo for me. I believe he made the font from scratch.

  12. seems that your response begs the question of your relationship to Netflix. Do you work for them or have any other commercial relationship we the readers should be aware of?

  13. My only relationship with Netflix is and always has been, as a subscriber only. I pay them, they have never paid me.

    The graphic artist who made the logo for me has no relationship with Netflix, either, other than as a former subscriber.

    Call Netflix and ask them if I work for them. I dare you.

  14. P.S. I should say I'm flattered that anyone would think I work for Netflix.

  15. As too everyone stating that you can not watch instantly in firefox you can as i do this is just a simple workaround

    go to search for add-ons find one called IE tab download and install it then whenever you are going to left click play on netflix watch instantly, instead right click the link scroll to open in IE tab

    You do have to have the latest copy of IE though

    hope this helps

  16. I have a slightly older mac laptop, a 1.67 ghz powerpc G4. I don't believe that it has the intel chip. Is this going to keep me from using the workarounds described in this thread?

  17. You need to have a computer that runs Windows in order to access NetFlix's "watch instantly" feature. Running IE in Firefox won't do it. The issue is digital rights management, which Windows licenses (but Mac OS wouldn't). Only with an Intel-based Mac running Windows can you get the NetFlix feature to work. Sorry about that.

  18. How about I just saw a Netflix commercial where a guy is using a MacBook to order NetFlix.
    This is most likely an innuendo to AppleTV and iTunes advancements which are now a major competitor to NetFlix.
    Anyway, it seems misleading be advertising in this manner. Makes about as much sense as Nike showing people with polio wearing running shoes.

  19. I haven't seen the commercial, but I use a Mac to "order Netflix". Anyone with Internet access can subscribe to Netflix and get DVDs by mail.

  20. You overpaid for Windows XP. An OEM version (which is exactly the same as retail except it doesn't have the manual) costs $90 or so.

  21. I sure did. Two cents would have been an overpayment.

    I couldn't find any legal versions for less than what I paid. I bought it to put on someone else's PC a couple years ago and they changed their mind and never paid for it, so I kept it.