Is This the First Sign of a Leaner, Stronger Netflix?

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) rolled out a pretty impressive new video player for browser-based viewing on Wednesday. Not only does the video player come with lightbox-like text overlays while a video is paused, but users can preview entire seasons of a TV show while they’re watching an episode in full screen-mode.

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The only downside to the service is that some issues arose when using Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chrome on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac OS. According to a Netflix spokesperson, Chrome on Mac support is a limitation of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Silverlight and not Netflix. Even though the video might play on some Macs but not on others, Netflix provides Mac users with a warning screen telling them to switch to Safari or Mozilla’s Firefox for better viewing experience.

The new video player comes with a new, better-looking control bar that offers access to subtitles and season previews, replacing text menus with bigger icons. Even in full-screen mode, additional episodes of a TV show can be previewed right from within the player. Even when paused for a few seconds, the player still makes way for additional information. If Netflix users choose to resize the browser window during playback, the video also resizes smoothly.

Netflix’s (NASDAQ:NFLX) new video player makes it easier to adjust the size of the video window to play it on a connected TV. In addition, users are seamlessly able to watch content while simultaneously multitasking on their computer. Playback on connect devices make up for the vast majority of Netflix’s usage to date. Despite mobile being heavily emphasized at the video streaming company, the relaunch on Thursday indicates that there is still considerable demand for PC-based playback.

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