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Cellphones Handhelds Media Movies

Why There's Still No Netflix App For Android 291

Posted by timothy
from the wouldn't-exactly-say-I-was-missing-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Why is there a Netflix app for iOS devices and Windows Phone 7, yet no Netflix support for Android? Well, Netflix has been working on an Android app but has run into a few technical hurdles because Android lacks a universal DRM solution which means that the company has to work with different handset manufacturers separately in order to ensure that the installed DRM protocol meets the requirements laid out by the movie studios."
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Why There's Still No Netflix App For Android

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  • PlayReady DRM (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mulder3 (867389) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:10PM (#34225620)
    Netflix uses MS PlayReady DRM... Microsoft provides an implementation of a PlayReady client in ANSI C... Android has a NDK to write native apps.... So, what's the problem here?
  • Re:PlayReady DRM (Score:3, Informative)

    by arivanov (12034) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:18PM (#34225694) Homepage

    Having PlayWhatever is not enough. There is a req for it to talk to the device low level crypto. That is pretty much the standard req for stuff like that.

    I would not be surprised if it is not properly standardised at that level and every manufacturer has gone his own way.

    The other problem here may be the "trusted path" problem. While it is possible to have a trusted path all the way to the TPM (or whatever crypto element the phone has) the requirements for making sure it is unbroken are likely to be considerably more stringent if the phone can be reflashed with a third party build. This is one place where security through obscurity (as in closed phone OS) makes things much easier.

  • Re:PlayReady DRM (Score:3, Informative)

    by MichaelKristopeit163 (1939476) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:25PM (#34225742)
    MS PlayReady DRM requires standardized hardware and platform layer support that android doesn't provide.

    the movie studios see a big difference between DRM that can be beat by jumping some leads with a soldering iron and DRM that can beat with a software update.

    it seems netflix are not willing to release an "android app" until EVERY "android" phone can use the app. having to explain to users that they don't have the "right" android would make both netflix and the android alliance look bad. to me, forcing a hardware encryption chip for media signals that can easily be routed around is pointless... but this is what the studios are demanding... they make the movies, they can sell them to whoever they want.

  • Well... kinda... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:55PM (#34225998)

    Complain, but they moved the ball forward more in 1 year than all the attempts before.

    Only because they're big enough that the change matters. Services like LegalSounds have been selling songs (from large labels, too) without DRM for $1 for the better part of a decade. Of course, they never gained the publicity of Apple but for us who knew about them, Apple didn't really provide anything new. As for the prices, I think that Wallmart has done more work driving down the price of buying music in general...

    I'm not trying to say that what Apple did wasn't good. Just saying that adding "...with a computer" to what Wallmart was doing wasn't that massive step, especially when smaller companies around the world had already began doing it.

  • Re:Ubuntu instead! (Score:4, Informative)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:57PM (#34226014) Homepage

    Um, no? Believe it or not, there are quite a few households where there are neither game platforms nor trendy Apple gadgets (Adults typically live here.)

  • by happymellon (927696) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @07:14PM (#34226160)
    Ok, I hadn't really looked in to this before. It seems like the Netflix app is an x86 compiled apk so it will not run on ARM. But if they ever get that compatibility layer for Ubuntu running, it would give you Netflix on Linux ;)

    XDA already ripped the app from the Google TV. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=812601&page=6 [xda-developers.com]
  • Re:Ubuntu instead! (Score:4, Informative)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @07:25PM (#34226244)

    You speak like those devices are a given. It's a royal pain in the butt to get most Apple devices to sync with Ubuntu - so much so that anyone who uses Ubuntu probably is going to look for alternative options - like an Android phone for example.

    That right there knocks the last 4 items off of your list. Now consider the possibility that he's not a gamer (I know - shock, horror), and then a PS3 or Wii becomes equally unlikely.

    People aren't guaranteed to have all the hip devices.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday November 14, 2010 @07:31PM (#34226284)

    This is talked about in TFA, although not directly, that they can work with individual manufacturers to bring it to Android, but this is a slow approach and leads to some devices having access and others not. Clearly GoogleTV is one of the former, while other android devices are part of the latter group.

  • Re:Too Easy (Score:2, Informative)

    by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Sunday November 14, 2010 @07:56PM (#34226448) Homepage

    The library of the city, Örebro, Sweden, but most likely all the libraries in all other cities in Sweden to (maybe not school libraries and such.)

    http://www.elib.se/bibliotek/ [www.elib.se]

    Our: http://www.elib.se/library/default.asp?lib=105 [www.elib.se]

    Readers: http://www.elib.se/library/get_install.asp?lib=105 [www.elib.se]

    Questions: http://www.elib.se/library/faq.asp?lib=105 [www.elib.se]

    Formats: Adobe encrypted EPUB and PFD or Mobipocket.

  • Re:Too Easy (Score:4, Informative)

    by demonlapin (527802) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @08:15PM (#34226542) Homepage Journal
    Don't confuse Hollywood accounting for a "loss" with actually losing money.
  • by Tharsman (1364603) on Monday November 15, 2010 @12:22AM (#34227912)

    When you talking about rentals or streaming only services, services where you did not buy the movie, can you tell me how you would expect people to, well, not just keep the stuff they downloaded without a DRM?

    Call it what you want, but in the rental or pure streaming world, you are not buying the product and they are entitled to use DRM to keep it from becoming permanent in your system. Same way the video club would keep enough information on file to charge you for the movie and/or ruin your credit if you did not return the movie.

    I can see people upset about DRM in purchased digital content, but in rented content?

  • by davester666 (731373) on Monday November 15, 2010 @03:55AM (#34228720) Journal

    Technically, music bought through iTunes still does include DRM, namely, it embeds your iTunes information within tags in the song file. So, there is some social pressure to not widely distribute the file that you've bought.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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