Netflix revamps Web-based video player with new look, features

By on May 17, 2012, 8:30 AM

Netflix has updated its Web-based video player, tweaking the look of existing controls and adding a few new ones. You'll notice that the interface is streamlined with all of the controls on a single line, whereas the previous interface was more disjointed with buttons scattered across two lines (there's a comparison below). Also, instead of using words to explain the purpose of each button, Netflix now uses icons.

By cramming everything onto a single line and using icons, the buttons appear more visible. In that same vein, Netflix says the control bar can now scale appropriately no matter where you're watching videos. It gets larger if you go full screen or connect your PC to a TV, and it gets smaller if you shrink the Netflix browser window, such as when you're watching a video while doing something else on your system.

Skipping to a specific point in a video should be easier as the progress bar is notably thicker and finding new episodes should be easier than ever. You can hover over "forward" (beside the HD button) to see a thumbnail of the next episode as well as its description, while the button next to that displays a list of episodes in the current season with progress bars showing how much of each video you've watched.


Image via Gigaom

When a video is paused, the player now displays a translucent overlay with information about the content you're watching, including show and episode titles, season and episode numbers, as well as a description of the video. Netflix says one of the biggest changes is the "back to browsing" button's location. Instead of being tucked into the bottom right of the control bar, it now prominently appears in the top left.




User Comments: 12

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Guest said:

Now if they would only accept Gift Cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc) I would be a Netflix customer. Oh well, Amazon takes them so I can watch videos there.

vandrade89 said:

I just gave up on Netflix. This month I decided to cancel my membership because they do not support Linux OS. I just Switch to using Ubuntu 12.04 as my main production PC and I cant use Netflix. So I saw it useless and unpractical to pay for something that I can use.

Guest said:

@ vandrade89

Yeah, I know, that's a major bummer. I was sad when I first found that out about two years ago. I think, though, that part of the blame should fall on Microsoft's Silverlight not "playing well with Linux". Although... shame on Netflix for being the only reason I have Silverlight installed on my Windows machine! How bad-ass would it be if they dedicated their resources to moving Netflix to HTML5?

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I just gave up on Netflix. This month I decided to cancel my membership because they do not support Linux OS. I just Switch to using Ubuntu 12.04 as my main production PC and I cant use Netflix. So I saw it useless and unpractical to pay for something that I can use.

It's not Netflix's fault Linux doesn't support the Silverlight plugin. Blame both Microsoft and Canonical.

Guest said:

If I'm not mistaken, silverlight is going bye bye very soon.

~crosses fingers~

Renrew Renrew said:

Good Job Netflix. What took you so long? You could have copied Hulu a long time ago.

But, as they say down on the farm, a turd wrapped in gold is still chit.

howzz1854 said:

with language/sub option... can we roll out surround sound already? I am not asking lossless.. a 128kb/s AAC multi-channel will do. it really takes the experience away watching it in HD on a big TV with home theater setup and nothing to show for for sound.

Guest said:

"If I'm not mistaken, silverlight is going bye bye very soon."

Exactly, like if people needed another plugin than does the same.

Guest said:

It's not Netflix's fault Linux doesn't support the Silverlight plugin. Blame both Microsoft and Canonical.

It's Neflix's fault for going with Silverlight in the first place.

I watch Hulu and Amazon just fine on my Linux machines.

Netflix? Cancelled.

Guest said:

I'm not going back, service became shit and I hate how I cant...oh nvm I just wont return, f u netflix 1!!!

tonylukac said:

Why don't you all figure out how they get it on boxee, which is linux based. Do they?

Guest said:

I just gave up on Netflix. This month I decided to cancel my membership because they do not support Linux OS. I just Switch to using Ubuntu 12.04 as my main production PC and I cant use Netflix. So I saw it useless and unpractical to pay for something that I can use.

It's not Netflix's fault Linux doesn't support the Silverlight plugin. Blame both Microsoft and Canonical.

No, the blame lies squarely on Linux for opposing DRM. I don't blame Microsoft for not providing DRM solutions due to Linux community's refusal to embrace DRM.

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