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Netflix Support Officially Arrives on Samsung ARM Chromebook

Support for streaming content from on-demand video service Netflix has officially arrived on the Samsung Chromebook today.

Until now users of the ‘ARM’ laptop have been met with an ‘unsupported OS’ message when attempting to access the service.

Today’s news isn’t unexpected; we shared advance word that such a move was imminent earlier this month.

Old Error Message

Samsung Chromebook Owners Can Bid Farewell to this Error – Unless They’re Dual-booting

What Was The Hold Up?

So why’s it taken this long for Netflix and Google to get things up and running for users?

Netflix, at the behest of the studios and networks that they rely on for content, are required to use DRM (Digital Rights Management) to secure their streams from (theoretical) pirates.

On Windows and Mac this ‘protection’ is taken care of by Microsoft’s Silverlight plugin – a one-time Adobe Flash competitor.

But as ChromeOS is based on Linux, and thus unsupported by Silverlight, Google needed to engage with Netflix & Microsoft in supporting alternative options to enable their service to work on Chromebooks.

For the Intel-based Chromebook’s this was a simple case of using some NaCl technology, a DRM plugin, and a verified operating system to ensure the “piracy protection” was served.

For ARM things were more tricky as the DRM plugin used on Intel Chromebook’s wasn’t available for ARM chips.

The eventual solution – the one announced today – sees Netflix deliver their tv shows and movies to the ARM Chromebook’s using HTML5.

Netflix - Working on Samsung Chromebook At Last

Netflix – Working on Samsung Chromebook At Last

The bad news is that, like the Intel Chromebook solution, a DRM plugin is also added and enabled, and your Chromebook has to be running in verified mode for it to work.

No dual-booting for you! 

Digital ethics aside, it’s great that Netflix-using Samsung Chromebook owners no longer need to feel left out.

After all, this is the ‘Chromebook for Everyone’. 

  • I really just wish that the copyright owners didn’t require such silly DRM, but at least it’s here :)

  • muleyyy

    i dont understand why it is so important what OS it runs on???

    • Robert Adonias Costa Gomes

      yes! that tecnology could easily bring Netflix to all us Linux users (without the pain of using a modified WINE with Windows’ Firefox and Silverlight…)

      • d m

        Agreed. and that is why the delay for Chrome OS. I believe it’s a modified Gentoo for it’s base.

  • David Burke

    “your Chromebook has to be running in verified mode for it to work” well I’ll keep feeling morally superior pirating then. Too bad as I’d love to pay for a good service that made it very easy to watch movies online.

  • Randy Rowles

    Why does it not allow for Developer mode to be enabled? That kills off Netflix use for anyone that wants to actually explore the full posibilities of owning a Chromebook. That makes me very unhappy.

  • David

    I’m currently running my ARM Chromebook on the Dev channel, with Dev mode enabled, and Netflix is working just fine.

    • Dev channel isn’t the issue – I’m also on Dev, it’s the verified boot (i.e. switching to developer mode)

      • David

        I am also in Dev mode, as per my original comment.

  • germain99

    Finally!!!!! I could not wait anymore, especially laying in bed, now I can watch a show before sleeping

  • Thumbs up for the Doctor Who screenie. :)

  • It’s Apple FairPlay all over again. The media industry is SO extremist against the Internet that they would do anything to kill it off.

    … It’s not Microsoft or Apple that we have to be targeting. The media industry is FAR worse than Microsoft and Apple at destroying the Internet. Why? Because they’re stuck in the vinyl record/tape days where copying media was extremely difficult. And they’re now two-faced about DRM; whereas they allow DRM-free downloading, they abhor DRM-free streaming?! Is this what you call a free country? I think not!

  • madjr

    i want this on ubuntu, even if its by using chrome, no reason for it not to be now.

  • Chelle

    I just bought a new Samsung Chrome & I cannot watch Netflix.