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Steve Williams

"Does Netflix use DRM to protect the movies? Yes, they are using Microsoft technology to prevent theft of the movies."

Words are important. Please don't use words that reinforce MPAA's spin on the issue.

DRM obvious does NOT "protect" movies from "theft": Infringing copies of movies are routinely available.

DRM primarily prevents fair use.

A more accurate answer would be: "Yes, Netflix uses Microsoft DRM to make the studios comfortable."

[Good point, changed. You know my stance on DRM, and I agree with you that it prevents fair use. Thanks! - Mike]


Does the "Watch Now" tab and associated bits show up even if you are not browsing the Netflix site with IE?

I use Firefox as my primary browser and it would be useful to know if I need to occasionally check the Netflix site in IE to see when I finally get access to it.



Yes, it shows up in Safari and Firefox, and you can even view the main page "Watch Now" page.

- Mike


If you start a movie and fast forward to the end how does it calculate time spent watching the movie?


Do "Dollar Hours" roll over from month to month?

What happens when you have say, 30 minutes left, and try to watch a 90 minute movie? Are you warned before the movie starts, or are you just cut off part way in?


How can a interested user move up in the queue to get this service before June. I think that rather than getting randomly selected some sort of opt-in service would make a lot of people happy, especially readers of this blog. What % of their 6MM read this blog, They could all fit in part of one 250,000 person batch!

Hunter McDaniel

Even though I'm not all that excited about this feature, I'm ****** that Mike has it and I don't!

Once they have a couple weeks experience under their belt, I wouldn't be surprised for them to automatically enable it for new subs.


What happens when you hit your viewing limit? Does the movie just stop or can you view the movie you are currently watching until it concludes?


If I have unused viewing hours, can I roll them over into the following calendar month?

Rusty Ramrod

"You know my stance on DRM,..."

I would love to hear where you stand on DRM, Mike. I probably should know but I don’t remember seeing you post about it before.

What would you consider “fair use”?

Being able to make a backup of a $20 kids DVD?
Being able to play the content you paid for on several devices?
Being able to “time shift” a rented DVD?
Being able to “share” your copy with a friend?

DRM actually is probably one of my "hottest" hot buttons. I get very passionate about it, sometime too passionate I suppose.

- DRM does nothing, absolutely nothing, to prevent determined, money-driven "professional" pirates from reselling content they do not own. They are the ones, the only ones, that I would agree might cost studios significant sales.

- DRM punishes the exact people the content providers should be sucking up to, us, their paying customers.

- Any DRM *will* be bypassed, perhaps not "broken" but certainly worked around in a fashion that will allow users to properly backup the files they paid for.

- There is a growing segment of the population that is becoming DRM aware and are realizing how evil it is. Listen to some of the security podcasts and you can see the tremendous amount of work MS put into locking down Vista. Every user of the OS will be saddled with the huge overheard and system stabilities these "protection" schemes will introduce. They even claim minute fluctuations in the video cards voltages will trip a reset in Vista and since the protection code is locked down that open source program development will virtually stop.


How do they decide who gets the service first. I agree. Readers of this blog should get first dibs. We are the ones who will critique it.


Can the movies be exported out the video card to your TV?

Steve Williams

Mike, thanks for responding positively to my gentle criticism. I hope you won't mind if I point out that even the question is framed in a way that supports the studios' position:

"Does Netflix use DRM to protect the movies?"

A more neutral phrasing would be:

"Does Netflix Watch Now use DRM?"

While you and I have similar opinions against DRM, I don't mean to suggest that you should turn Hacking Netflix into an anti-DRM polemic.

But a neutral tone of voice at least doesn't argue the opposite position.

Hacking Netflix has a strong reputation and good credibility, as indicated by Reed Hasting's willingness to invite you to cover Watch Now alongside the mainstream media. That puts you in an influential position, so it's cool of you to take such care in how you write about DRM.



My Question -

I have WIndows Medica Center. . .it doesn't work via the extender does it?

I mean whats the use of this feature if it can't work via the extender to my TV. I'm not sitting in front of my computer and watching a movie.


How will Netflix be handling this service with multiple queues? Will the full amount of allowed time be available to all queues, shared in proportion to queue size, or only available to the account owner?

Example: I have the 6 out plan @ $35.99 a month. 4 are in my queue and 1 each in 2 other queues for other family members. How will the 36 hours be split amongst us?


I was able to instantly obtain Watch Now access simply by going through their help menu and searching for watch now - there is a special link in FAQ section that I think will enable your acct for the feature. I feel kinda bad publicizing this but I kinda agree with a comment above that says "if you are reading hackingnetflix, then you probably deserve to be one of the pilot 250,000". Also I have about 300 movies in my queue and only 7 are available for watch now. Extremely strange choices for what titles are available. Most are fairly obscure, and most are recent within last 5 years.




Has anyone else verified that simply going to that faq page works? It didn't happen for me.

I think they should handle this rollout like TiVo handles software updates. The rollouts are phased in unless you put yourself on a semi-publicized priority list (the location is usually disclosed on TiVoCommunity dot com). That way the people who really want it can have it ahead of someone who may or may not care/know about it.

Hunter McDaniel

Didn't work for me either.

vanjulio, maybe you were already on the list and didn't know it?


It did work for me just now like vanjulio said. All you have to click on is.........


It didn't work yesterday (the link), but it seems to be working for me today. Click it, just in case. :D


I went back and read the previous posts before I hit send and saw this question has been asked already. Since I wasted the time I'll send this. Maybe we can get an answer

I wonder how it will work for seperate account profiles. Does the main profile get all the access or do they share.

I have my account set up with an extra queue for my other half.

It would be nice to know. Maybe they'll let the account holder assign the number of hours each profile gets.


I got added to Watch Now. In answer to my earlier question (and Cary's) it is not avialable accross profiles - only to the account holder.


Is there any way to view the movies with Firefox? I know it says "no" in this Q&A as well as on NetFlix's site, but was wondering if anyone has found a way around this yet.

I ask because I cannot watch on IE because some dumb verification says I do not have a licensed version of Win XP (not true). I just dont want to have to call Microsoft and go through all that.

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