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Netflix to Employ Microsoft PlayReady DRM Technology

Microsoft Corp. and Netflix Inc. announced that Netflix has selected Microsoft PlayReady technology and the Protected Interoperable File Format (PIFF) for use in new Netflix ready devices and applications.

According to the statement, this agreement, which makes Microsoft PlayReady the primary content protection technology for Netflix partner devices and applications, underscores the benefits of PlayReady as a flexible, reliable and scalable content protection technology. Netflix already deploys PlayReady to enable all instant streaming scenarios on Windows-based PCs and Macs. The company expects the first Netflix ready devices beyond computers to incorporate Microsoft PlayReady as early as this summer. The Netflix ready device program, which launched in 2007, already has dozens of devices on the market that use Windows Media DRM.

“Netflix ready devices are a popular way for our members to instantly watch the huge library of TV episodes and movies available from Netflix that can be watched instantly on their TVs,” said Bill Holmes, vice president of business development at Netflix. “Netflix is expanding our investment in PlayReady and making PlayReady our primary DRM technology because it best meets the requirements of our content suppliers and device partners while allowing us to benefit from efficiencies in our content delivery infrastructure.”

“Microsoft and Netflix have worked closely on the technologies enabling Netflix members to instantly watch movies — including PlayReady and Silverlight — since the initial planning of instant streaming from Netflix,” said Andreas Mueller-Schubert, general manager of the Media Platforms Business at Microsoft. “By working with Netflix on this broader support for Microsoft PlayReady and PIFF, more people — using more devices — will enjoy the immediacy and choice that the pioneering service of Netflix delivers.”

Microsoft PlayReady is designed to enable digital entertainment services across devices and software applications, with a specific focus on meeting the needs of mobile and network operators, service providers, and device manufacturers. Microsoft PlayReady supports a broad range of business models that can be applied to almost any type of digital content, including videos, games and images, and a wide range of audio and video formats, including MPEG Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), AAC+, Enhanced AAC+, H.264, Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV). Microsoft PlayReady also provides features, such as service domains and embedded licenses, specifically designed to make it easy for consumers to enjoy content on all of their registered devices without the need for an active connection.

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