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Movies Television Windows Entertainment

Netflix Now Lets You Download Videos Onto Your PC (pcworld.com) 60

Netflix now offers offline streaming via its Windows 10 PC application, meaning you'll have even more options wherever you're stuck without Internet access. From a report: Netflix added the offline viewing options as part of the most recent update to the Netflix app on Windows 10. Because the Windows Store doesn't show you what version of the Netflix app you're using, just make sure you check for updates using the large blue button in the upper-right corner of the Windows Store app to receive the latest version. You won't need the Creators Update to take advantage of the new feature, either. When you open the app, Netflix will show you a large splash screen that advertises the new "download and go" capability. Unfortunately, if you click the Find me something to download button, the Netflix app doesn't currently display a list of downloadable titles; you'll have to hunt them down yourself. Netflix introduced the same capability on iOS and Android late last year. It's a bold move by Netflix to bring this feature to desktop. There is always the risk of someone finding out a way to break the DRM and easily distribute the files.
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Netflix Now Lets You Download Videos Onto Your PC

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  • by dontbemad ( 2683011 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:46PM (#54166695)

    It's a bold move by Netflix to bring this feature to desktop. There is always the risk of someone finding out a way to break the DRM and easily distribute the files.

    I wouldn't think it terribly challenging to pull these same files off of a rooted android phone. Regardless, I would imagine other avenues of getting pirated material would still be easier.

    • Yeah, I'm pretty sure you can find anything available on Netflix in the usual areas at 1080 or 720p. At some point the signal has to meet your analog eyeballs.

    • Until just recently, I was able to download from Netflix to my Amazon Kindle Fire. Worked great while on the road.

      Apparently recently, I guess an update...but for no explainable reason I can find, the option to download to this tablet has been removed.

      Anyone else see this recently?

    • by kwalker ( 1383 )

      The downloaded files are encrypted; otherwise Netflix wouldn't let you install its app on a rooted phone (Yes, they have checks for that).

      But regardless, yes Netflix shows are available online.

    • and we just bought a new vehicle with what they call air conditioning...wait...a/c has been around for how long ?
  • My iTunes library is 350GB. I don't have space for another media library.
    • Both iTunes Store purchases (your solution) and Netflix caching (the present article) are useful for people whose Internet connectivity is highly location-dependent, such as having usable connectivity at home but harshly capped or nonexistent connectivity while a passenger on the commute or a long road trip. But Netflix caching is better for people who A. watch Netflix original programming, B. haven't already amassed much of an iTunes library, or C. carry a non-Apple device.

  • by jetkust ( 596906 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:10PM (#54166857)
    If I can't download and watch on a tv easily I personally don't really care. I'd rather they remove the forced autoplay "feature" from the roku UI. I don't want to see distracting previews and trailers while I'm scrolling through the interface. I barely use Netflix on my roku because of this.
    • If I can't download and watch on a tv easily I personally don't really care.

      Practically all PCs since the late 1980s have one or more of VGA, DVI, or HDMI output. Practically all TVs since 2007 have HDMI input, which can be used with DVI outputs with a sub-$10 adapter cable, and many have VGA input. So plug a cable from your computer to your TV.

      • But this is about a DRM friendly Netflix here : the downloading or caching feature requires a Windows 10 Metro app. It might require HDMI, or DVI with HDCP (this exists, but not on your PC or graphics card if it's old enough)
        I don't know if the Windows 10 Metro application has the autoplaying garbage described above. If so, then the experience will be as poor and wasteful as it is now.

      • That's not much of a counterpoint to a complaint about Roku's UI. The whole point of the Roku is to avoid using a full-blown high-power (in both senses of the term) device.

    • I'd rather they remove the forced autoplay "feature" from the roku UI. I don't want to see distracting previews and trailers while I'm scrolling through the interface. I barely use Netflix on my roku because of this.

      Turn off autoplay next episode in your Netflix account settings on the web site.

    • Mine does not do this.

      Perhaps it's a feature of having an older roku (2XS).

  • by beekums ( 4920367 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:13PM (#54166879)
    I don't think this is incredibly bold. It just makes sense. All movies are available for piracy already. No one needs to break Netflix's DRM for that. People pay for Netflix anyway because it is so convenient. Torrenting requires time to download, even on a fast connection. Netflix requires a few seconds to buffer. Netflix also provides convenient browsing while Torrenting requires knowing what to watch. It's a smart move to make things more convenient for their paying customers while adding nothing to movie piracy.
    • Not to mention they don't have any movies anyone would want to pirate
    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @05:49PM (#54167411) Homepage

      I don't think this is incredibly bold. It just makes sense. All movies are available for piracy already. No one needs to break Netflix's DRM for that.

      The threat to Netflix's business model is one thing, but DRM licensing contracts are from the innermost circles of hell and typically carry strict limitations and obscene penalties. So I'm guessing this will primarily be on Netflix's original programming, since they're not interesting in selling Netflix exclusives on disc or to TV networks anyway. They get a broader appeal, good PR as the more user friendly solution and potentially forcing the MPAA to follow suit while like you say not really risking anything at all.

  • Aside from the fact that the video file itself is itself a stream, "Streaming" is when you watch it online. Don't you mean "playback" in this case? We are talking about locally viewing a stored copy, right?
    • by jetkust ( 596906 )
      Meh, same thing. Just like how when you "stream" music, it really just downloads the entire files most of the time. I don't think Netflix is all that different. I once remember my internet went out and Netflix still "streamed" for 30 minutes.
      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        I once remember my internet went out and Netflix still "streamed" for 30 minutes

        I had an internet outage recently and Netflix shut down a few seconds after the loss of connectivity (I was browsing on a tablet at the time). It may depend on your device, though -- this was via an Android TV device that probably doesn't have much of a storage buffer.

        • I once remember my internet went out and Netflix still "streamed" for 30 minutes

          I had an internet outage recently and Netflix shut down a few seconds after the loss of connectivity

          What really happened was that the user's DNS resolver (possibly upstream at their ISP) went down, and Netflix was either working with an open connection or with cached DNS entries which remained cached because Netflix opened so many connections to the same host. I'm not sure which of those is the case, because I haven't looked at whether Netflix keeps making connections.

    • Even youtube is a file download that masquerades as "streaming", always has been.

      Proper streaming is real-time or on the spot, with dropped packets (UDP) that stay dropped and lost. I think Real Player did that in the 90s? This is more similar to VoIP, or video chat, or plain old broadcast TV and is usable for live video. Should work great with multicast, although I think multicast on the internet is something that about never works.

      Of course "streaming" as done on youtube, Netflix or porn sites has entered

  • by uCallHimDrJ0NES ( 2546640 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:29PM (#54166999)

    I am entitled to record and play back my recording that I made. Caching a DRM copy of Netflix's actual file is inferior in terms of my rights. Breaking the DRM will definitely be some kind of violation. No thanks.

  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:46PM (#54167115) Homepage

    >There is always the risk of someone finding out a way to break the DRM and easily distribute the files.

    Already happens.

    Netflix knows this. They try to make it hard for J Casual User to do this, but they know the pirates will break the DRM.

    Notice how Netflix exclusives are all up on the usual pirate channels the same day they air.

    • >There is always the risk of someone finding out a way to break the DRM and easily distribute the files.

      Already happens.

      Netflix knows this. They try to make it hard for J Casual User to do this, but they know the pirates will break the DRM.

      Notice how Netflix exclusives are all up on the usual pirate channels the same day they air.

      hmmm

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @05:12PM (#54167209) Journal
    A much bigger risk someone figuring out a way to live capture it at original frame rate. A broken DRM can be changed. Live capture can happen without the application's knowledge. In fact, it's probably already happening for anyone willing to take the time to set it up and having any desire to do it. And if you can't stop live capture, then drm will only stop the truly law-abiding and the moderately lazy.
    • And if you can't stop live capture, then drm will only stop the truly law-abiding and the moderately lazy.

      Live capture is law abiding. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a troll. http://mentalfloss.com/article... [mentalfloss.com]. Folks, seriously: never let a statement or implication about recording being illegal slide. Always correct this. It's worth arguing about.

      • You don't agree to any "terms of service" when you receive something over the air waves. You do when you stream from a website. And if the website forces you to agree to abide by the laws of the state of California, you are most likely subject to the most draconian copyright laws in the country. California is as accommodating to its movie business as Texas is to its beef business.
  • I just like the name "Offline Streaming". Streaming is, by definition, online.
  • The exact moment I stopped carrying a surface book and an iPad when travelling.

I haven't lost my mind -- it's backed up on tape somewhere.

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