If you’re a Netflix subscriber (Sorry, Canadians!), you can stream a select group of movies to your computer, Xbox 360, PS3, or other Internet enabled devices. After you install Microsoft’s Silverlight plug-in, you can stream movies right in your browser on your Mac. When you click Play on a streamable movie, you’ll see this image:
It will then assess your bandwidth, adjust the video quality accordingly, and then begin buffering. Once you get enough content buffered, it will begin playing. At any point, you can stop, rewind, and fast forward as well. If your connection slows down, it will dynamically adjust, and rebuffer. I would suggest having a pretty fast connection, though. I have a 1.5 Mbps connection, and I end up running out of buffer about every thirty minutes. Slightly annoying.
Streaming in-browser is pretty great, but sometimes you don’t want to sit in front of your keyboard while watching a movie. A lot of us use our computers as our televisions. This is where Boxee comes in. Once you install Boxee on your Mac, you can give it access to your Netflix account. You can then peruse your queue, search for titles, and browse newly available movies.
Boxee works with your keyboard and mouse, but it really shines as a ten-foot interface. You can use your Apple Remote to control the app completely. You never have to get up from your couch to change the movie. This makes it much more enjoyable for family viewing.
There you go: easy ways to stream Netflix content to your Mac at no additional cost. Get the most out of that subscription!
Photo Credit: gitsul.