Lovefilm drops support for Flash for Silverlight

Streaming movie service asked to leave Flash by studios

Lovefilm has decided to not support Adobe Flash any more, rather choosing to deliver its content with Microsoft's Silverlight technology, saying studios had demanded the change

UK film provider, Lovefilm, has decided to convert to Microsoft's Silverlight over Adobe's Flash, with security reasons being cited as the reason for the change.

It published a blog post earlier this week explaining the cause for the shift. Paul Thompson, streaming project manager for Lovefilm said: "We’ve been asked to make this change by the Studios who provide us with the films in the first place, because they’re insisting – understandably – that we use robust security to protect their films from piracy, and they see the Silverlight software as more secure than Flash."

Thompson explained that without making the shift, the firm would not have very many films available to stream. It also confirmed that the change will not affect any of its streaming devices includingPS3, iPad, internet TVs, but will be a matter of change for PCs, laptops and Macs.

However, those using Linux systems, or older Macs using non-Intel chips will not be able to access the service.

Lovefilm said HTML5 was cast aside as a consideration as it is an open-source option that did not have sufficient security the studios would have been happy with.

Thompson said Silverlight's advantage was that it possesses a technology calledSmooth Streaming which automatically adjusts the quality of the video stream according to the user's internet connection. "This reduces buffering for customers on a low broadband speed, but then improves the streaming quality when broadband speed increases," he added.

The firm will continue to run Flash alongside Silverlight until the first week of January 2012, giving users time to make the switch to the newer technology.

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