Netflix announced on Tuesday that Linux users may use the Firefox web browser on their devices now to watch video streams on the website.
Netflix started to work on HTML5 compatibility almost four years ago to improve the service's compatibility. The video streaming service relied on the use of plugins, most notably Microsoft Silverlight in the early days, which limited compatibility with devices.
Netflix with Silverlight is for instance only compatible with Windows and Mac Os X devices (if the Silverlight technology is installed on the device), while HMTL5 content is also available on Linux.
Linux users up until now could only use Google Chrome to watch Netflix on Linux. This changed recently according to Netflix, as recent versions of the Firefox web browser are supported now as well.
The following browsers are officially supported by Netflix on Linux:
Note that Firefox will prompt you to allow the installation of its DRM module if you try to run Netflix in the browser on Linux. This is required, and canceling the prompt results in Netflix not working in the browser. Firefox uses the same DRM plugin that Google Chrome ships with.
While Firefox support on Linux is a good thing for users of Linux, Netflix notes that its customer support won't assist uses with troubleshooting issues on Linux devices due to the "many configurations of Linux".
The maximum resolutions are identical to the ones on Windows and Mac devices. Both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox support resolutions of up to 720p.
Three browsers support higher resolutions, but they are not available on Linux. That is Safari and Internet Explorer with 1080p, and Microsoft Edge with 4K. Netflix notes that 4K streaming requires compatible hardware: a 4K display with a HDCP 2.2 compliant connection, and a 7th generation Intel cpu. Since Edge is only available on Windows 10, it requires that operating system as well.
Good news for Netflix customers who want higher resolutions on other browsers. Netflix announced that it plans to bring higher resolutions, as well as Dolby Vision and HDR10 to other platforms as well.
But this is just the beginning. We launched 4K Ultra HD on Microsoft Edge in December of 2016, and look forward to high-resolution video being available on more platforms soon. We are also looking ahead to HDR video. Netflix-supported TVs with Chromecast built-in—which use a version of our web player—already support Dolby Vision and HDR10. And we are working with our partners to provide similar support on other platforms over time.
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