Online movie rental giant Netflix is finally offering Mac users its instant watching service.

Windows users have been able to watch movies and TV episodes instantly since early 2007.

The upgraded service will initially only work on Macs with Intel chips – but the Los Gatos, California-based online DVD rental pioneer said that was around 70 per cent of their Mac subscribers.

It requires Microsoft’s Silverlight software and Mac users will have to download a Silverlight player to access Netflix’s extensive streaming library.

The deployment is the first step in an anticipated roll-out of the new platform to all Netflix subscribers by the end of the year.

It is expected that Netflix members who watch content instantly on their computers will enjoy a faster, easier connection and a more robust viewing experience with Silverlight.

Among the viewing enhancements with the new player is a breakthrough in timeline navigation that vastly improves the use of fast-forwarding and rewinding.

The new Netflix player takes advantage of PlayReady DRM, which is built into Silverlight, for the playback of protected content on both Windows-based PCs and on Macs.

That had not been possible with previous generation technologies.

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