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Old November 3rd, 2013, 11:15 AM   #1570 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mikedt View Post
No Linux OS will do that, including Chrome OS. Microsoft Silverlight is Windows or Mac only. There was the Moonlight project, which was an open source equivalent for proprietary Silverlight, but I'm sure that's abandoned now. Because it couldn't do the one thing that would make it useful for things like Netflix, the dreaded Digital Restrictions Management, that the MPAA and Hollywood insists upon. DRM is not really possible to do because of the nature of open source software, there's no secrets and can't really hide anything. Microsoft could do Silverlight for Linux if they wanted. They do Skype for Linux. Although this is academic for me, because nothing around here uses Silverlight and/or has DRM.

The BBC got into a spot of trouble a few years ago when they first launched their online viewing service, iPlayer, because it used Silverlight. The UK government basically said, the BBC is a public broadcaster funded by public money, the TV license fee, so therefore has to support public operating systems like Linux. Netflix on the other hand being a private corporation can do what it likes. Apparently it's Hollywood that insists on Silverlight, because of the apparently secure DRM it has, or quite possibly there's some kickback going on between the studios, Netflix and Micro$oft.
Roku is Linux-based, and they can play Netflix. So, there is a way to do it... as far as I know, though, no one has hacked the relevant parts out of a Roku to find a way around the problem for the rest of us.

There used to be a wine-based hack to run Netflix in Ubuntu, but I don't know if the repository works anymore.
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