Netflix Defends Silverlight Streaming

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Netflix is defending the Silverlight-based player it uses to stream movies and other video content to PCs, saying that it's "more stable" than other streaming technologies.

Some customers have expressed frustration with Silverlight streaming since Netflix announced the on-demand video service last year. There are currently 579 comments to the October blog post announcing the player, including bug reports and other complaints about the service.

"The old player worked like a charm on my Windows XP Toshiba laptop" reported melkor72. "Now with silver light [sic], the video is choppy, jerky, and dropping frames. It is now unwatchable."

Several users were upset about being locked into Silverlight. They said that once they switched to the new viewer, there was no going back to the old one -- a situation that Netflix Vice President Steve Swasey confirmed in a phone call with the Industry Standard.

"Netflix was not forthright in getting me to 'upgrade' to the new viewer," said a user named James. "The new viewer simply does not work well enough."

James also noted that "there have been no replies back from Netflix staff -- not even reassurance such as 'we don't want the product to suck, and are working on it.'"

However, not everyone was critical of the Netflix player. A commenter named David Johnson said, "just tried the new Silverlight player and it is awesome. Light years ahead of the other players."

Netflix's Swasey defended the new Player, calling Silverlight "a better platform all the way around," and more stable than competing technologies. He told us that "the vast majority" of customers prefer the new player, and that those complaining represent "a very small number of people out of a field of millions."

Netflix broke the 10 million member threshold last month, according to a company blog post. Most order DVDs by mail, but all have the option of watching streaming video on their PCs or Macs at no additional fee.

This story, "Netflix Defends Silverlight Streaming" was originally published by

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