Netflix iPad App Confirmed at Debut, Video Streaming Available Instantly

Netflix is opening its popular service to iPad buyers

A report reveals that Netflix is about to release an iPad-native application that would enable US subscribers to instantly stream TV shows and movies to the tablet device. The software, set to become available at the same time the iPad launches in the States (April 3rd), is going to be available as a free download from the new iPad App Store.

Showing preview images of the application in action, AppAdvice claims that, “Netflix is a free app for the iPad that will be available on launch April 3rd. If you’re a netflix subscriber you can watch instantly anything in Netflix’s online collection directly on your iPad. You can stream TV shows and movies just like you would on your computer.”

Sharing similarities with Hulu, a service also rumored to hit the iPad soon, Netflix offers online flat rate DVD and Blu-ray disc rental-by-mail, as well as video streaming, but only does so in the United States. The company was established in 1997, and is currently headquartered in Los Gatos, California. It has roughly 100,000 titles attributed to its portfolio and around ten million subscribers. With more than 55 million discs, the company ships, on average, some 1.9 million DVDs to customers every day. It also provides a monthly flat-fee service for the rental of DVD and Blu-ray movies. Customers can even create an ordered list of movies to rent, called a rental queue.

The best part about Netflix, however, is its Internet video streaming. It is available to all subscribers, and enables viewing directly on a PC, TV, or other supported devices. Currently, Netflix Internet video streaming comes free with a regular Netflix plan, but, as noted above, the service is limited to US residents. And while streaming requires Microsoft's Silverlight software to be installed, an iPad application will have to undergo optimization in order to by-pass this requirement, just like Apple does with its YouTube application for the iPhone. Netflix also streams video to various set-top devices.

A desktop application is available for Mac users. Netflix for Mac requires an Intel-based computer running at least Mac OS X 10.4.8 (Tiger) or later. It supports Safari 3, but also requires the Microsoft Silverlight technology.

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