When fellow Fool Rick Munarriz talked about Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) looking for mobile video engineers, it was just a side dish to a couple of big rental window announcements. For me, it's the other way around. Netflix is leaving a dark and windy era in the annals of entertainment history -- and rushing headlong into a much brighter digital future.

For a very long time, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has been staving off mobile video questions with some variation of "ask again later" theme. But the tide is turning fast. Hot on the heels of releasing the Netflix application for the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad, Netflix is now looking for video engineers who know something about the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android operating system. Oh, and it's a plus if they can work with iPad and iPhone applications too.

Yeah, Hastings wants to stream his videos to the cell phone in your pocket. Androids will just be an early step in a journey that will eventually cover Apple iPhones, Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) BlackBerry phones, Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) Pre's (assuming that the platform survives), and any other smartphone you'd care to mention. Heck, there's already a Netflix streaming application for the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Phone 7 environment -- before any phones even hit the market.

And it's only logical. Netflix has already conquered the living room, or at least gained every possible foothold. All three major video game platforms can do Netflix streaming now. So do connected TV sets, Blu-ray players, and home theater systems from consumer electronics giants like Sony (NYSE: SNE), Panasonic, and Samsung. Short of installing Netflix applications on your digital cable box, the company has nowhere left to go in that space.

Digital video is the future, and Netflix is positioning itself to take an early lead in the race to keep digital entertainment consumers well-fed and happy. The installed base of potential customers across all of these devices is now many times the Rolodex of Netflix subscribers, 12.3 million names strong. There are still more USPS mailboxes than Netflix-enabled digital video endpoints, but Hastings will darken the sun with his arrows until that changes, too.

So the big Netflix news last week wasn't the renegotiated rental windows -- which by the way brought more and fresher content from those studios to the streaming interface -- but a simple job posting that revealed a wholesale change of strategy.

The future is digital, and the future starts now. I'm heading over to CAPS to give Netflix a long-term thumbs-up rating, and you're more than welcome to follow my lead if you believe in digital magic.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google and Netflix, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. National Poetry Month always puts a spring in his step. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Apple and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.