Qualcomm, Netflix To Bring Streaming To Android

Brad Linder —  February 14, 2011 — 8 Comments

Netflix has been working on a mobile app for Android devices for some time, but hasn’t released anything yet due to the lack of system-wide DRM (digital rights management) on Android phones and tablets. Now the company is showing off Netflix streaming on Android devices using Qualcomm’s next-generation processors.

VentureBeat covers the deal that seems to suggest Qualcomm chips are the first ones that will be fast enough to reliably stream content, but that’s not exactly true. Netflix apps work pretty well on iOS and Windows Phone 7 devices. But Qualcomm is building DRM and security features directly into its next-generation chips which will make it possible for Netflix to stream content without worrying about piracy.

MobileCrunch has a video of the app in action after the break… or rather, in inaction, since the wireless network at Mobile World Congress wasn’t reliable enough to actually stream any video. But you can check out the demo of the user interface. Not surprisingly, the app looks a lot like the Netflix app for the iPhone. Read the rest of this entry »

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8 responses to Qualcomm, Netflix To Bring Streaming To Android

  1. This is all well and good, but the real questions are:

    1. Is this going to be available for *all* Snapdragon devices, or only ones using a specific ‘next-generation’ Snapdragon? If it’s the latter, that’s going to leave out a TON of Android users.

    2. WHEN is this going to be available? The iOS/WP7 versions of Netflix have been available for a while now, and we’re starting to see some serious contenders in the Android arena from 3rd parties. How much longer is Netflix going to take?

  2. Yeah, the lack of timing is conspicuous. Regarding device support, who knows. But it could be more fragmentation bad news. Hopefully it’s broader support and this is just a marketing/bizdev angle they’re trying to capitalize on with the announcements. We shall see.

  3. Been using Netflix on Android for a couple weeks now. It’s nice to have next to Hulu and SlingPlayer.

  4. @Adam,

    Uhh… there is NO Netflix app on Android.

    @Ricky,

    My guess is its just going to be the new Android devices coming out this year that use the Qualcomm processor. Meaning even other devices shipped this year like Samsung’s, that use their own Hummingbird core won’t support it. Yuck.

    Basing this on what they said on the Netflix blog when they discussed the issue originally:

    “But I’m happy to announce we’ll launch select Android devices that will instantly stream from Netflix early next year.”

    Note the word “select”.

  5. Netflix and Hulu have been available for two weeks on Android from PlayOn.

  6. PlayOn requires a constantly running PC to relay content and probably isn’t ideal or even usable for out-of-home streaming.

  7. Haven’t Hulu and Netflix made periodic attempts to disable PlayOn? Doing some googling it looks like Hulu for example blocked PlayOn a few different times back in 2009. No idea whether they’ll do it again…

  8. I don’t know if it was overt, or just a result of them making their own internal changes and PlayOn not being able to handle it. Regardless, it emphasizes PlayOn is always in a reactive mode and these things are not under their control. Probably why they switch to a subscription model as they need an ongoing revenue stream to keep up.

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