UPDATE: Netflix Watch it Now streaming is out of beta and available to all Netfiix subscribers using Macs. Safari 3.0+ or Firefox 2+. You still need to install Silverlight 2.0 which you can download directly from here or from Netflix.
With the new Xbox 360 dashboard update, NXE, right around the corner, it's pretty exciting to imagine you'll have "12,000 titles to choose from" thanks to Netflix's Watch Instantly feature being fully built into the update. There is a catch though, you must have an Xbox Live Gold Membership ($49.99 annually/ $7.99 monthly) and any of the higher end Netflix subscriptions, the cheapest being $8.99 a month, add $1 more for Blu-Ray rentals or an ass raping, that allow unlimited online viewing. Do that and you're basically set. Also, it's come to my attention that beginning with this version being brought to NXE, High Definition streaming will also be available, albeit with only about 300 titles available at launch. All in all, that isn't to shabby of a service. Whether or not their servers can handle the load though is a completely different question.
I've never really tested out the service on PC. Since I started my subscription about a year ago, I've only watched I think two movies and it wasn't too bad. However, while on my daily browsing stops I came across a story mentioning that the streaming service was now available to Mac users in Beta form. I figured why the hell not give a shot. It wasn't as easy as I thought tho. Visiting Netflix from my Mac, I kept receiving the "it doesn't seem you're PC is compatible with our shit" error. So after a bit of browsing I found the link to the direct download off of Netflix's website, via Engadget, which I couldn't find being a member on the Netflix website, go figure. To any of you Mac users who don't want to jump through the hoops, here you go, and you're welcome. That's SilverLight 2.0 for ya. Install it and you should be ready to roll. Keep in mind it is in BETA, so you may get some errors, hiccups, the usual. I, and I'm sure Netflix, take no responsibility if it wrecks your shit with math.
I decided to try it out with the Pilot episode of The Office. Laughs and good times ensued. This show is fucking great. "I'm your biggest FLAN". I'm definitely ROFLMAO on that one. Keep in mind I'm watching this using Sprint's EV DO Rev A Network using my old Sprint Mogul. I only had two buffering spots throughout the whole 23:04 minute experience, but it sure beat having to wait through some SAFE AUTO commercials. The quality was definitely doable, nowhere near HD, but definitely doable, like Nicole Eggert in her prime. I gotta say, overall, not a bad experience at all.
I'm really looking forward to the NXE update, as it'll soon take the place of my Hulu addiction. Charles in Charge Season 1, here I come.