Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Netflix on Windows Media Center

Hi, Pedro Freitas here from Netflix product development.

We are pleased to announce Netflix is now available in Windows Media Center for Windows Vista-based PCs.

Windows Media Center is the first integration to take advantage of the new Netflix recommended category lists of titles that can be watched instantly.

In Windows Media Center, a new Netflix tile will appear under “TV + Movies”. To stream movies and TV shows from Netflix, just click on the new Netflix tile and login with your Netflix account.

The entire Netflix library can be searched using the PC keyboard or a Windows Media Center-compatible remote control and manage both the instant and DVD Queues.

See the news release for more details.

Enjoy the movies!

(update: added details on how to find Netflix on Windows Media Center)

409 comments:

  1. Excuse me, but what is the point of this post if it doesn't give instructions on how to use this new feature? Neither the post nor the press release it links to has any useful information for people who want to watch Netflix on Windows Media Center.

    Please, throw us a bone!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It will "appear" on its own if you have Vista Home Premium or Ultimate:
    http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowsexperience/archive/2009/05/19/netflix-comes-to-windows-media-center.aspx

    Which leads to the next question...when can we get this for the Windows 7 RC? That would be great.

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  3. Can PC streamers stream in HD yet?

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  4. It's about time! I can't wait to try it out. I'll second the HD question. I just don't see we roku, tivo, and a bunch of blu-ray players should have better functionality that an HTPC.

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  5. I already had this functionality with a third party plugin for media center and it works just fine under both Vista Media Center and Windows 7 Media Center. How about working on the stream quality instead? VC-1 video and audio is awful compared to h.264. On a 7Mbit connection Netflix looks like VHS on my 60" HDTV.

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  6. I can't find this feature in WMC. Do I need to load in an update or something?

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  7. A better plugin with extender support:

    http://myweb.cableone.net/eluttmann04/projects/vmcNetFlix/default.htm

    ReplyDelete
  8. Too bad it still requires Silverlight to work.

    Not everybody wants that stuff on their system....

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  9. "Netflix in windows media center" plugin as Microsoft calls it DOES NOT
    WORK with remote and keyboard properly! You cannot pause with remote's pause button, nor with keyboard Enter or ANY other key.

    So no automation is possible and no other than MCE remote will work :(

    It's pathetic! Truly MSFT.

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  10. Looks great and the video quality is much better than I expected. My only issue is it seems to be dropping frames every once in a while. Any ideas? Also, are there plans to support extenders?

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  11. Every almost every other movie we are sent from Netflix does not work. It is not our DVD Player. We check always to make sure other DVD's work and they do. We get no response that really helps except that you make sure it doesn't happen. We are getting very disgusted with your company.

    Miriam Thayer

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  12. While this is a great thing in general, this is very annoying that it will not work with extenders. If that was solely a business decision to protect the Xbox Live revenue :(

    Paul:

    Instructions here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGBdjnhtiDg

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  13. When will Watch Instantly work on Windows 7 ?
    Thanks

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  14. What about 64 bit vista ultimate?

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  15. i have vista home premium and i don't see a netflix setting on the media center.

    i have silverlight 2.0 installed.

    what am i missing?

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  16. I wonder why there is no support for the MILLIONS of Windows 7 Release Candidate users?

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  17. I really like the plug-in (though the quality looks slightly worse then running a normal stream in full screen pre-silverlight)

    My main gripe is that the queues cut off at 200. That means I am unable to get to the second HALF of my Watch Now queue. Why would they cap the number of movies in a queue at a number so much lower than what Netflix allows? I might go back to 3rd party plug-ins if it stays this way.

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  18. This installs on Windows 7 RC1, but doesn't show up in the media center.

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  19. Sorry, but this is NOT working. Thanks, Andy, for the YouTube clip, but the instructions do not work. No links or info about Netflix shows up anywhere in ANY WMC menu.

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  20. Funny...just got a new Dell computer today...clicked on "Windows Media Center"...no Netflix icon under "TV & Movies"....

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  21. Netflix give HTPC owners HD. I pay for the service just like Roku owners. How can you justify blocking PC owners.

    Stop upsetting your users.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I installed the plugn in and when I go to open it up, it crash.

    say it has a problem.

    Anyone else have this problem when you click on the netflix icon.

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  23. "I installed the plugn in and when I go to open it up, it crash.

    say it has a problem.

    Anyone else have this problem when you click on the netflix icon."

    I'm having this exact same problem. When I click on a movie to watch, it crashes on me. I uninstalled the Netflix addon and Silverlight, and then installed them again, but it still crashes. Haven't found a solution yet.

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  24. The video quality was definitely higher than standard def. I would say it was 720P. Looked great to me on my 46" Panny. It did drop some frames but it seemed to drop less once it was about 10 minutes in.

    Overall it was a great experience. I would like to see support for extenders and 5.1 sound.

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  25. I haven't been able to watch a Netflix movie in Media Center yet because like Edward, I installed Netflix and Silverlight just fine, got into my account, but as soon as I try to play the movie, it crashes all of Media Center.

    I'm using Vista Ultimate x64 on a Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop with Nvidia 8600GT, drivers fully updated.

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  26. 1. To get the Netflix update, force a guide update in Vista Media Center. The icon will appear in the menu bar and it will open a link to install the Netflix app.

    2. The Netflix Silverlight app has bad horizontal tearing in the video like it does in all in the web browser. Netflix needs to debug their app and fix this bad tearing. There's a workaround hack to fix it in Firefox's info.plist file on a Mac. Set "False" on CGDisableCoalescedUpdates.
    References to the tearing:
    http://silverlight.net/forums/t/52514.aspx
    http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn2005/tn2133.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. According to this post, Microsoft knows about the tearing and says it's Netflix problem.

    http://silverlight.net/forums/p/52871/139916.aspx#139916

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  28. Just installed it and it's working great. Nice addition!

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  29. In the past I could readily watch Netflix movies from the instant play selections. Since the announcement of Netflix added to Windows Media Center and the implementation of Windows 7 RC, I can no longer do that. Appears that I need to reconsider my Netflix subscription.

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  30. I have been waiting for a very long time for this to happen. I went to install the app, but when I clicked on it, it said "Sorry, this application is not available on Media Center Extenders."

    My Media Center is installed in a closet and has no monitor connected to it. I have two Linksys extenders and on Xbox360 which are connected to it.

    This really needs to work with all extenders.

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  31. who has it running properly on windows vista 64x? because mine wont let me watch a movie

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  32. Just another hand in the air for Windows 7; my wife and I were sorely disappointed that this was incompatible considering less than a quarter of internet users are using Vista.

    Windows 7 is the future, like it or not.

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  33. windows 7 is still a RC so I can definitely see why it isn't supported. Once it goes gold I am 100% sure it will be supported. You can't expect Netflix to add the functionality to a Beta product. It just doesn't make sense.

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  34. I can't install it. I keep getting "Unable to install Netflix: There was a problem during installation. Restart your computer and try again." I've restarted and tried again, but it still fails. Anyone know how to fix this?

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  35. To those asking if anybody has it working on Vista 64, it worked fine for me. The only problem I had installing it was that it popped up some boxes outside of VMC that I had to alt-tab to...

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  36. Bottle Shock isn't streaming, hopefully someone sees this and relays to admins. =)

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  37. I fixed my problem with netflix,it would crash when clicking on the icon in media center.

    Turns out it was SP2,once I unistalled it it work great

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  38. If you guys get the ROKU you will have no problems watching from your INSTANT QUEUE!

    It works great, had it for a while and only one movie had problems with Audio.

    It takes a couple of seconds for the movie to downwload and start and we do not have fast broadband.

    we love it!

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  39. Suggestion: Please include an option to turn off the overscan protection.

    Otherwise, thanks for showing support to the Media Center users out there! Sometimes, it can get a little lonely here.

    Thanks again,
    John

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  40. Failure to support Extenders makes this useless. This is what separates MS from greatness, the lack of compatibility across products and neutering others from shining. Netflix Extender support should be a no brainer. Same deal with the Sports Channel shipping without Extender support - what a waste and a great way to limit the market. Crap - if they want to pimp Netflix on 360 to push Gold Memberships, just make that a requirement. i.e. Require your XBox Gold ID and Netflix ID to use Netflix on an Extender, but do not kill the exerience that my wife would want - MCE as a one stop shop.

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  41. @ Phil
    I can't install it. I keep getting "Unable to install Netflix: There was a problem during installation. Restart your computer and try again." I've restarted and tried again, but it still fails. Anyone know how to fix this?
    ***********************************
    I had the same problem. The application installed and I could use the netflix interface in WMC, but when I tried to watch a movie it would not play. What I think happened is that the installer did not install silverlight 2.0. I had to go to the website:
    (http://silverlight.net/GetStarted/)
    to download silverlight 2.0 and then install it. Once I did that I was able to watch the movies

    ReplyDelete
  42. Finally got around to trying it out. The install is smooth, the interface is fantastic but the video quality with Silverlight is unwatchable on a 1080p TV. Such a pity. I can't believe Netflix is letting this opportunity slip through their hands. I'll stick with Amazon when I want something off the internet. Their quality is excellent and Netflix is unwatchable with Silverlight.

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  43. I still don't get the Netflix tile and that is even after forcing a guilde update. Can anyone help me. Thanks!

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  44. I would LOVE to see linux support - anything planned? Other than that, good job guys! Keep it up.

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  45. If there's no extender support, than it's a waste of my time. I'll stick with other alternatives, thank you. (My cynical side is thinking this omission is just a ploy to make you keep shelling out for the Microsoft XBox Gold subscription - but that couldn't possibly be the real reason...right?).

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  46. I've actually had a problem where two copies of the application were pushed out to my Windows Media Center machine running Vista Ultimate. Initially, both icons pointed to the down and install pages. Once I installed, one worked as expected, while the other still keeps asking to install it. I can't remove the second plugin in MCE. Anyone else seen this issue and know how to remove the extra Netflix plugin? Seems like a bug in Microsoft's push patch process.

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  47. When I try to use the netflix plugin i get there was a problem retrieveing data please check your internet connection, but I can watch movies using Internet explorer and media player. This is on vista ultimate 64, anyone know how to fix this

    Richard

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  48. Vista x64 here, crash. Hilarious how some dude somewhere wrote a better app for this that Netflix themselves. And I wrote you jagoffs a letter 3 years ago telling you to do this. Way to go idiots.

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  49. I have Windows Vista Ultimate and Silverlight but the Netflix menu does not appear in WMC. What gives?

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  50. It's not there. I've looked, searched, updated windows, updated media center. Is this article verified?

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  51. Same problem. Can sign in and have internet connection but get no internet connection error when trying to list New Movies or any other category. Please fix.

    ........When I try to use the netflix plugin i get there was a problem retrieveing data please check your internet connection, but I can watch movies using Internet explorer and media player. This is on vista ultimate 64, anyone know how to fix this

    ReplyDelete
  52. I have Vista Ultimate and Silverlight on my desktop and laptop. I get the Netflix on laptop but not on the desktop. Any suggestions?

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  53. I can see the icon just fine, and have clicked on the "Install" button, installed the software, restarted my computer and everytime I click on the netflix icon, I just get the same install page again. Any fix for this?

    I'm using Vista Ultimate x64 if it makes any difference.

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  54. I've watched about 2.5 movies via Media Center. The first two were of very good quality. I have very high bandwidth through Comcast, both upstream and downstream, and the third movie looked like a well worn VCR tape and I finally gave up on it. This technology is cool when Netflix can provide the bandwidth (the issue was not my internet connection last night) but no replacement for a physical disc, certainly with more Blu-Ray content becoming available (I have a PS3 too). Please keep trying...

    ReplyDelete
  55. Please, can anyone help me?! I have been looking for the appropriate place to post this, but anything remotely close has comments disabled. There is a movie which I think should be a part of Netflix. It's called "The Legend of Billie Jean" and was one of Christian Slater's first movies. But this is not the REAL ISSUE. Rather, under Christian Slater's filmography, the movie is listed as "The BALLAD of Billie Jean", which is totally incorrect. Is there no place to contact Netflix to let them know of this kind of thing? And also, is there a place to put in a request for a movie, because even "The Ballad of Billie Jean" doesnt come up in the movie search. Sorry guys, but I have been searching the site for half an hour and this is the only place I could leave a post.

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  56. Where's the HD streams? Come on Netflix, don't hold out on the HTPC users. PC users were the first to adopt your streaming service, don't hang us out to dry.

    And for Pete's sake, charge us an extra $5 a month and increase your encodes' bitrates...the quality of many of the streams is utterly terrible.

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  57. That's neat. Now can you lower subscription prices for blu-ray access again?

    Thanks.

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  58. i hate to toss out some nay-saying, but i recently built a Vista Media Center machine which (with the right codecs) can play 1080p content wonderfully, yet my experience with netflix is absolutely atrocious and unwatchable.

    oddly, playing the same videos diretly though IE8 yields slightly better results - i'm guessing a little less overhead.

    it's obviously SD content, so i won't bag on that, but as far as performance goes, the horizontal tearing and dropped frames are downright shameful for such low-grade visual quality. i'm guessing the codecs aren't happy and it's pummeling it with a software renderer.

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  59. I really like the interface and the idea that I can do this from Media Center. It's a BIG win in convenience. However, I found the video quality on the 3 movies I tried to be totally unwatchable. Normally, the video quality is not as good as the actual DVD of course, but it's OK. Not so with the MC plugin.

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  60. Why has there been a great increase of unavailable titles the past week.

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  61. Is Netflix technical support aware that since adding BluRay to the "available" formats, no actual date available appears for either one, even though one's queue indicates the month the movie becomes available.

    I couldn't find a way to either send this info directly to Netflix or to originate a post of my own on a technial difficulty

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  62. Hey Netflix: It does not work! I have Vista Home Premium. I updated the guide. I applied all Windows udates. There is no new tile for Netflix. Fix it!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Again...I am patiently waiting for the Netflix tile to show up. Nothing...nada...zilch......

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  64. Can't watch instant cue in Media Center. Cue comes up and I can browse and manage the cues, but whenever I click play Media Center crashes. Have uninstalled and reinstalled the plugin and silverlight to no avail. This was the reason I joined Netflix. Someone needs to post a detailed How-to to explain these issues and fix them.

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  65. I've tried forcing an Media Center Update, and I still don't have it. What the hell. It would have been better to have placed an installer in Windows Update.

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  66. I have installed it and logged into my account. When loading the Que or any data i get Internet connect not found or Issues with your internet connection. Vista Ulitmate. Internet works great. I do have Clarkconnect but this machine is exempt to that. I see others have this issue. Anyone know why?

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  67. Does anyone know if they have plans to include this to Windows 7RC soon?

    Also a note on Netflix/Silverlight. I have an HTPC which plays BluRay flawlessly but Netflix stream was jerky in full screen, especially with lots of content change on the screen. After changing my display resolution from 1080p to 720p it now plays flawlessly. NO mention of this in the Instant watch FAQ. It's pretty obvious that it is NOT a bandwidth issue (they ask you to contact your ISP??) but rather a Silverlight issue; it does not use any graphics acceleration but rather puts all the load on the CPU.

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  68. oooh 720p worked but not 1080p. i may have to test that out sometime as well

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  69. The convenience outways the lack of quality... It's great for little kids. They don't care...

    One thing... How do youget rid of the installation ico from Media Center after you install the plug in?????????

    ReplyDelete
  70. have a 64-bit Windows Home Premium. Everytime I try to view a movie instantly, Windows Media Center crashes. I have no idea how to fix this.

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  71. So I have tried several different installs, updated to SP2 for Vista, reinstalled the OS, and pretty much done this about 10 times and it still crashes Media Center when I try and play a movie. The queue comes up fine, but when I click play or resume, it crashes. That is a shame because it seemed like a pretty cool add on to Media Center. Fix it now, or I will cancel my Netflix subscription.

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  72. wow, there are a lot of needy netflix users aren't there? Do you really think that angrily threatening to cancel your subscription is in any helpful of productive?

    ReplyDelete
  73. Wanted to try this out, was genuinely excited, then found out that it doesn't work with our Xbox360 where the majority of our instant streaming takes place. I don't use media center normally, and I probably won't, but this was a good attempt. Microsoft got our money when we purchased a computer with Vista (otherwise I would have loaded up my copy of XP from my fried computer and they wouldn't have made an extra dime from my OS), why should they require more for an extra, pointless service? Isn't that like tripple-dipping (paying for the Xbox, the live subscription, AND the Vista OS)?

    ReplyDelete
  74. This works flawlessly on the 4 machines I have VMC on. All you guys have to do is update. If you're crashing, etc. Clean the crapware from your computers. It's not Netflix or MS's fault that you don't know how to take care of your machines.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Yeah same here, I didn't have any problem with the previous plug in. But the new media center plug in plus silverlight is pretty terrible performance wise. It will tear, drop frames, run at 1 frame per seconds sometimes, plus there's visible banding (color gradients are not smooth) compared to the original Netflix player.

    I think this was not really ready for prime time.. Or the customers with HTPC were deliberately sacrificed to cost reduction or to the incentive from Microsoft.

    Hopefully the old plug in will still be allowed to work for some time, else I won't be able to watch any streaming video as intended which would be another big step back (after the blu ray debacle).

    ReplyDelete
  76. Thank you Netflix for the ability to "view now." Also being a Apple/Mac User, most companies do not bother to make applications work on Macs. It's a Friday night and I had nothing to watch and decided to try the "Watch Now" feature and saw "Constantine's Sword" and it was GREAT, perfectly smooth and crisp and clear.And free! THANKS NETLFLIX YOU'RE THE BEST

    ReplyDelete
  77. Netflix and silverlight :

    http://imjtk.com/netfilx-silverlight-
    suxor.php

    http://www.crn.com/software/215600285;jsessionid=VOFGUNMPUOPIQQSNDLPCKHSCJUNN2JVN

    http://silverlight.net/forums/p/93943/226567.aspx

    http://www.themediamall.com/node/530

    http://nobosh.com/sr/netflix-stands-behind-microsoft-silverlight/190069/

    http://thirdpipe.com/2009/03/02/new-beta-netflix-silverlihgt-player-underwhelms/

    http://www.techspot.com/news/33761-netflix-takes-heat-over-silverlightbased-player.html

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/03/netflix-updates/

    ReplyDelete
  78. Completely unrelated, but I'm at wits end. I'm trying to change my address and your website is not allowing me to. I'm in the Armed Forces currently living in Iraq and your system won't accept the address I give it. You no longer have an email option on your customer service site and I don't have the option to call your 800 number. This is rather frustrating. Please assist, thank you!

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  79. When are you going to add closed caption feature on instant watch movies? Time is running out...

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  80. If it doesn't appear in Windows Media Center here is a safe link I found that will start the download:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=147175&clcid=0x409

    ReplyDelete
  81. http://www.hectorramos.com/journal/2009/5/31/netflix-excludes-puerto-rico-charges-full-price.html?SSScrollPosition=0

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  82. I've got Vista x32 and the player randomly crashed my entire system before SP2, and now it crashes every time I try and play something from inside WMC and IE and it is very very choppy in Firefox.

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  83. I would like to recommend a set of DVDs to be made available on Netflix, (Kissed By The Grape, by Fred van Dijk [kissedbythegrape.com]). However despite my best efforts I was not able to find a contact form, forum or web app dedicated to user recommendations. Please consider adding this feature of making it more prevalent... I have a feeling am I not the only Netflix user who would really appreciate seeing our recommendations taken into account...

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  84. so if this is the official Netflix blog, can we expect some official response? Many of us are having real problems.

    I would love to be able to submit bugs, extract debugging information, etc. in order to help make this a better experience for myself and for everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I love that there is now an official netflix plugin for media center. I use media center for EVERYTHING. It is a great system for TV/Movies/Music/Videos... My only gripe (and I understand this may be a hardware issue) but this feature MUST be available on extenders! Including the Xbox 360. I DON'T want to have to exit media center on the 360... ever!! Please make this a reality. My media center is in a back room and I am relying on extenders. This is basically useless to me now. :-(

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  86. I just wish it worked for me! I fired up Windows Media Center on both my machine (Vista Home Premium SP2 64-bit) and my wife's machine (Vista Home Premium SP2 32-bit) under Internet Explorer 8 and saw the NetFlix icon. I clicked on it and ran the installer (including Silvelight) and restarted WMC and now the Netflix icon is gone on both machines and I can't get it to come back.

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  87. Crashes Media Center when I hit play every single time.
    Vista 64

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  88. Same issue as Anonymous. Every time I click "Play" or "Resume" Media Center stops working. Also Vista 64 bit.

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  89. This might be helpful: A detailed look at Netflix download service and Windows Media Center. Check it out: http://windows.about.com/b/2009/06/03/netflix-and-windows-media-center-in-detail.htm

    Cheers, Joe

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  90. We found the Netflix tile today and did the installation process, but now when we try to play movies in Media Center it keeps telling us our SilverLight plug-in is out of date and asks us if we want to update. We click Yes, and then it downloads an installer, which completes just fine, but it still tells us we're out of date. System restarts do not fix the problem. Also Microsoft's main Silverlight site says we have the latest version. Infuriating!

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  91. So, I have an HP Touchsmart PC and I recently tried the Windows Media Center client vs. the IE 8 browser. Obviously, the Windows Media Center interface is lot better than the web site on a touch screen. However, the video quality is much poorer on Windows Media Center vs. launching a streaming movie from the PC's web browser. Why is this and can I fix it somehow?

    ReplyDelete
  92. Works great on my Vista 64 PC, but the tearing is awful, I'm not sure if it's an Nvidia issue, a Silverlight issue or something with the Netflix encoding, but "watch instantly" is more like "Headache Instantly"

    ReplyDelete
  93. Thanks for this great service. The only problem I have with it, is that you can't use keyboard shortcuts while playing a movie. Not sure why you cant. I can get back into the menus and what not. But I can't control playback. Like pause, volume, skip, fast forward, etc. Hopefully this will get implemented soon.

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  94. I was really excited to hear about this, but now I see that it's actually lower than the already lower than VHS quality of the rest of the streams. Ugh.

    There's this little thing called "HDTV". It has been out in the wild for more than 10 years. It would be very cool if Netflix streaming to PCs would support it.

    ReplyDelete
  95. I also have the same "internet connection error" whenever I try to use the Netflix plugin.

    The login to my netflix account goes without any problems. Whenever I click on any of the queues or search for a movie I get:

    "There was a problem retrieveing data. Please check your internet connection"

    My internet connection is pretty fast (15Mbps) and I am able to watch movies from the Netflix web-site.

    The OS I'm using is Vista Ultimate 64-bit.

    I've seen many posts about this, but no where an explanation of what might be the problem?

    ReplyDelete
  96. How to I remove Netflix from Windows Media Center? The current count is two instances of Netflix loaded into the media center menu. Will there be another added with the next guide update?

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  97. Alright, I have been a netflix customer for 6 years and used to enjoy watching instants on my PC, then I had to install silverlight which has awful video quality. Due to an unfortunate crash I now have vista home premium (awful software)but alas no Netflix menu comes up on Media Center which would be my only reason to use it..what gives??? why the reversal of quality using silverlight. My computer graphics are great on every other media player

    ReplyDelete
  98. The install didn't appear for me either, but this link posted above did the trick:
    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=147175&clcid=0x409

    I also downloaded Maxifier as I have a dual screen setup, which also fixed the problem of not be able to work on my primary monitor while watching something on the secondary monitor:
    http://www.mods.com.au/Maxifier/

    Thanks Netflix! The app is nice.

    ReplyDelete
  99. I'm running Vista32 Ultimate and I just installed the "Netflix on Windows Media Center" app. I love the interface, but I'm having a big problem that makes this unusable. I have a 4:3 standard defintion TV (PC at 800x600 connected through s-video) and the video is showing up in the wrong aspect ratio. 4:3 shows have pillar boxes (black vertical bars on each side) and the image is squished horizontally. Widescreen movies are also squished horizontally. The typical Zoom modes (under the more info menu) aren't available. I don't know where to configure this. Everything else in media center shows up correctly. Please help. It's times like these that I wish Netflix had email support.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Actually since I'm connected over s-video I'm running at 480i (720x480 interlaced). Also I have the Media Center app configured to underscan (since I told it I was connected to a TV over s-video). When I turned off the underscan, then the aspect ratio improved a bit and fullscreen content filled the screen more. However, then there is a lot of stuff cut off on the sides (due to the TV's overscan). Viewinig Netflix videos through the web page works perfectly.

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  101. POOR SELECTION on streaming. Please enable more. It's wasteful and offensive that no progress is being made on this.

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  102. F*** Windows Media Center. How about getting the ball rolling on Linux support, please?

    ReplyDelete
  103. I was working with a 3rd party thing for Netflix and WMC, and then saw the tile last Sunday. I installed everything (the installers practically held my hand) and it worked perfectly. The movie we watched (Blindsight I believe it was called) looked great, sounded awesome, and had only one small problem where the audio and video didn't match up for a few seconds. The video quality was much better than the product I was using - and the remote worked perfectly! No more hooking up the kb to my HTPC.

    I don't mean to be rude, but I'm surprised that Netflix develops anything new with the way some of the people in the comments whine and complain.

    ReplyDelete
  104. The Media Center integration is, for me, entirely unwatchable. I ran some experiments on this and basically I'll have to stick with Xbox 360 or standard integration due to the stuttering seen in the Media Center player.

    ReplyDelete
  105. I downloaded all the plugins and was able to watch one movie instantly. Now I still can't watch anything from netflix on my PC, I am running Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit Edition. I can't watch it through Windows Media Center or through my browser. I think switching to Silverlight was a bif mistake for Netflix.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I am somewhat afraid to try this, since it necessitates the silverlight version of the player.. I've yet to hear anything good about it and don't want to be forced in to it across the board.
    Also, are we ever going to see linux support? I would far prefer using this inside of mythtv than Media Center.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hi I was wondering why only 100 titles show up for each category when lets say 314 titles are available for action and on the media center only 100 show up. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  108. If you've been having the problem with Media Center crashing when you try to play content, take a look at this page:
    http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistamedia/thread/00f7805d-4e5f-41f4-b968-055528283ef9?prof=required
    Here's what they say:
    Problem: I cannot play content - I get a dialog saying that Windows Media Center has encountered an error and needs to close.
    Trouble shooting steps: There is a known issue on some machines that have a very long user agent string in Internet Explorer (over 260 characters). For more information on user agent strings please refer to the following MSDN article. There is currently no supported workaround for this issue as manually editing the user agent string can cause compatibility problems with certain websites.

    I never use IE. Seems like there should be a way around this problem...

    ReplyDelete
  109. How do I use the Netflix "Streaming Now" feature with Windows Media PLAYER on Windows XP ? Going through the netflix.com website with IE only plays movies at 2 frames per second with choppy audio. Every since the May upgrade, I have been unable to Stream Now.

    This is infuriating; it used to work fine.

    ReplyDelete
  110. pos is one word to describe this.

    damn silverlight and its lack of hardware accelerated playback creates choppy video on my big screen. and i am running a dual core decent cpu and plenty ram.


    why would any company develop something against silverlight and ruin the user experience. the movies used to play extremely well on old dwindows media player and any 60$ gpu with a directx 9 support.

    ReplyDelete
  111. I used to be able to watch NetFlix Instant Watch in my living room using my XBox 360 and vmcNetFlix, but somehow I got magically opted into the new Silverlight player which does not work with extenders.

    This silverlight player is ruining NetFlix. Why can't we stream from our PCs to our XBox 360s with it? Why can't we pre-download the DRM-protected movies for a smoother playback experience later?

    This XBox Live stuff is greed. I already paid for a PC, paid for Vista to get VMC, paid for an XBox 360 and pay my monthly NetFlix subscription. Now I have to pay to watch my already-paid-for online rentals on my already-paid-for Xbox 360? I might as well cancel my NetFlix account and sign up for cable, at least that I can watch in rooms other than just the one my PC is in.

    ReplyDelete
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  113. HI, I'VE ENJOY WATCHING MY MOVIES ON MY PC BUT, LATELY THE MOVIE STOPS 10 MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE. IT SAYS WE ARE UP DATED OUR SYSTEMS PLEASE BE PATIENT. THEN IT SAYS WE ARE BUFFING UP OUR SYSTEM PLEASE BE PATIENT. WHY DIDN'T THEY FIX THE SYSTEM BEFORE I PUT THE MOVIE ON. YOUR OLD SYSTEM WAS JUST FINE AND ENJOYING WATCHING MY MOVIES. I DON'T LIKE YOUR NEW SYSTEM. IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT// M. FREE

    ReplyDelete
  114. I tried this out and can't see the improvement over Netflix's own video player. The picture quality was no better and it seemed to take more clicks and more time to get a movie going than working directly from the website. I still prefer the disc.

    ReplyDelete
  115. This doesn't appear on my TV & Movies category in my media center. Any tricks to get it to show up?

    ReplyDelete
  116. @Joe Levy

    Force a manual guide update. You can do this in settings.

    ReplyDelete
  117. I used to have the netflix tile, but it is now gone, do you have any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  118. I tried a manual guide update - nothing. This is so frustrating. Isn't there just a link I can go to download the app?

    ReplyDelete
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  121. Anyone else having issues with Media Center and Netflix? Problem just started recently (last day or two) where I can click on a movie in my Instant cue, MC appears to be loading, but instead of starting the movie it goes back to the info screen instead. If I close out, open web browser and select same movie, things work fine. When I reopen MC and try again, it also seems to work fine. It seems as if the license isn't coming through via MC or something. Again, anyone else experience this? Will try a few tricks to see if it helps and then I'll call Netflix and let them solve it.

    ReplyDelete
  122. My MCE version of Netflix just stopped working as you described, too.

    Still works in a browser, but that sucks because I can't get the remote control to work in the browser like it does in MCE.

    I can't relaunch MCE to get it to work, though. It just starts to play the movie but then dumps back out to the "launch" screen without showing it.

    This is with Vista MCE.

    I miss being able to pause/fast forward with a regular remote control. Sucks to use a mouse to pause a movie.

    ReplyDelete
  123. I just spent 3 hours and 19 minutes trying to fix windows media center to show me a movie and frankly at 3:19am I am pissed off and tired. I am just going to watch my movie from browser and stay angry until they fix this problem

    ReplyDelete
  124. Same here as well. I use Netflix on WMC (VU) daily, so I know it was working prior to yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  125. This is in response to the movie dumping you back to the info screen after clicking "Play". I had the same problem, but in the Netflix application inside VMC, I "logged out" of Netflix and logged back in. The movie would then play. Even though inside the Netflix app it said I was logged in, it appears that I really wasn't.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Netflix has been completely down for a few hours now. What is a-goin' on?

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  133. Anyone else having an issue with the watch instantly on VMC showing only the first 47 titles?

    I have checked to VMC machines now. My Instant Queue shows 71 as does the RSS for my Instant Queue.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Hey guys, what type of cable do I need to hook my television up to my computer to have access to Media Center? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  135. anaonymous -
    that's a highly off-topic request. it's up to you to handle your hardware. there are many ways up the same mountain.

    ReplyDelete
  136. The quality of all of the "Starz Play" movies are really bad. Not even worth watching...

    When are they going to have XP MCE support?

    ReplyDelete
  137. I've been having problems with the Windows Media Center plugin for about two weeks now (Vista Home Premium x64). I go into my instant queue, click on a movie, hit "Play" and WMC crashes completely. I can restart WMC, try again, and crash it again. Everything works great through the browser, but the Netflix plugin just crashes WMC for no apparent reason. I've tried logging out and logging back in, still crashes. It did work originally, and I didn't change any settings on my PC, so I don't know what's going on.

    Oh well, at least WMC works for everything else, and I can get Netflix in the browser, but what's the point of the WMC plug-in if it doesn't work?

    ReplyDelete
  138. ok, windows 7 is now RTM, no more excuses

    although i'd be ok with waiting if there was actually a point to it - time for HD now?, or should we all just pretend like we're still watching movies on a 19" tv so we don't notice how poor the quality is

    ReplyDelete
  139. The Reason I quite Netflix is that they did not offer Widescreen for my DVD's and when watching instantly my computer DSL service was too slow and every 1min. 50 sec. or so It would take a couple minutes to download again. It should be a complete move the downloads and plays independant of the internet connections. Locally I can order Blockbuster or RedBox and it is a lot quicker and I can see more movies for less than Netflix offers. I do not want to buy a new computer or device to watch streaming video or change my DSL service to cable or etc. It should work on any OS and any Internet service. I was in my trial period and I tried and found the service lacking! I am going to mention this on my web site!

    ReplyDelete
  140. The reason I quit Netflix is it takes to long to get the movies and return them for the price. Streaming Video worked for 1min 50sec and then had to take 2 minutes for the next 1min 50secs of viewing with my DSL. They do not offer the DVD choice of widescreen versus what they send, full screen. It is cheaper to go to RedBox or Blockbuster and you get more for the dollar.

    ReplyDelete
  141. I hate the new "View all". We used the have the option of viewing list mode or detail. NOw it only has list mode. That sucks. Put the option back on there.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Has anyone else had problems with Windows Media Center? When I watch instantly it stops because of connection but I never had the problem before. It is really irritating to have a 50 minute TV episode stop 7 times for connection. Didn't experience before. Microsoft needs to work on this so it doesn't happen now!

    ReplyDelete
  143. I'm atill waiting for the Windows 7 "Windows Media Center" functionality. It was good on Vista. Like many, I'm chucking Vista for Windows 7. Netflix needs to come along.

    ReplyDelete
  144. I tried this out on Vista Ultimate, and immediately signed up for a Netflix account. I LOVE THIS SERVICE. Netflix gained a new customer by having done this. Then, I upgraded to Windows 7 RTM. No support. Cancelled my Netflix account. I'll be back when you are Netflix!

    ReplyDelete
  145. I've been using this for months now for my kids' shows on Netflix and the quality SUCKS. I've never seen such pixelated video or crappy quality. I use Netflix via VMC and the quality is terrible on newer movies, my kids can tolerate the quality for their cartoons, but adults are always saying that the tearing and pixelation is awful with silverlight. I keep marking the video quality as unwatchable on Netflix's surveys they send out but nothing has improved.

    ReplyDelete
  146. I dont get why i would want this id rather watch online no point in this in my pov.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Justin, it IS online. it's just through the media center interface which is great of you feel like using a remote and not a mouse/keyboard with your tv.

    ReplyDelete
  148. I have found this Vista MCE plugin to be quite useful. While it can be slightly slow (expected due to required network interaction), and the volume isn't as loud as I'd like, overall it is a really nice interface and works fine on my TV via the MCE remote.

    ReplyDelete
  149. I've been using the WMC Netflix plugin for several months now and had very few problems. Picture quality is great, sound is rather low, but overall it works well.

    One thing to remember is you should have a really decent and stable highspeed connection. If the signal speed goes up and down regularly (i.e. DSL located far from the CO) then you will get poor quality.

    ReplyDelete
  150. So its August 28th and we are moving into September. Windows 7 has been in RC for months and it has now gone RTM. So my question is what's the problem here? Where is the Netflix plugin for Windows 7 media center? This has been asked about a great deal and it seems that we are being ignored. If you aren't going to support this thing on a major up comming OS then I'll start looking at 3rd party vendors who despite being infintesimal compared to you still manage to keep their software up to date.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Glad I found this page. I just picked up an XBox at Target to use for a Media Center Extender. I didn't realize that it was so limited that it couldn't stream NetFlix. Good thing I didn't open it yet.

    I guess I could just move my Mac Mini down to the basement... I really did want to have the rest of my Media Center content available though.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Great news for fellow "bleeding edge" Windows 7 adopters...
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2351075,00.asp

    It looks like Netfilx will be supported in 7, after all. I hope it's sooner than general availability, selfishly ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  153. here is the quick fix for those who want to watch instantly through media center but it crashes when you hit start. create a new user. after days of searching the internet and calling netflix I tried this last night and I'll be tarred and feathered. It works fine under the new user. It's a little annoying but hey it works for me..

    ReplyDelete
  154. I have been using Netflix for a LONG time. I've never had a problem. I have two high end laptops that for months I've used to watch movies with friends. Last two weeks I've had so many problems and NO help from anyone in tech support. I have the same internet, same speed, same computer, same everything that I had in the beginning......and I'm getting all sorts of error messages and "your internet connection has slowed/changed" messages every two seconds! If you ask me it seems as if perhaps netflix is trying to keep lower numbers on servers. I really really wish that they would do something about that issue. Like i said...I have an AMAZING computer system and nothing has changed between now and months ago when I was watching movies all the time....so it has to be something on your end netflix! It'd be so much easier if I could get someone to admit that and work with me to solve the problem!

    ReplyDelete
  155. For those of you who don't see a Netflix tile in Ultimate 64:

    Close WMC, go to Computer Management and stop all services that start with "Windows Media Center". Don't change any properties, like startup method. Just stop any services that are marked as "Started".

    Start WMC and the Netflix tile should show up. As did a bunch of other things for me.

    ReplyDelete
  156. I have a desktop and a laptop with Windows Vista ultimate. I have never been able to get the Netflix interface in WMC on the desktop. The laptop worked find the first time I used it with Netflix several months ago. This week the picture is clear but it repeatedly blinks and is not watchable. One time I have a message to install updated Silverlight. That was done, but no improvement.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Was having problems with Media Center crashing whenever I tried to play a movie. This website was right on. http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistamedia/thread/00f7805d-4e5f-41f4-b968-055528283ef9?prof=required.
    It has to do with MSDN. Follow the link to see the command to look at your MSDN then shorten it by deleting some program listed in the MSDN. It has worked for me twice now and I am willing to bet when I add another new program it will happen again

    ReplyDelete
  158. Thank you very much! This is EXCELLENT!

    ReplyDelete
  159. Netflix works on Vista's version of Media Center, but NOT Windows 7. I called Netflix and was told I needed to talk to Microsoft. After a full hour on the phone to someone in India who spoke remedial English, he said it was a "third party application" and I needed to talk to Netflix. Again to Netflix, and was told it wasn't supported by Netflix; it was Microsoft or a third-party application. I said, give me a break--Netflix paid for it; it didn't just magically appear and MS isn't doing it because they're generous. No joy.

    ReplyDelete
  160. When I type in my email and password it says no netflix account this this information exists. I can assure them it does. I can not find a way to fix this. Anyone have any ideas?
    Doug

    ReplyDelete
  161. I've tried Netflix for windows media center on windows 7 and the quality is really bad compared to using the browser. There is no HD streaming, the compression is terrible, and it's not a joy to watch. Why waste time making something that has half ass quality?

    ReplyDelete
  162. I just found the Netflix access in Windows Media Center and it works pretty good. I'm using Windows 7 RTM 64bit. The quality looks the same as if viewed in Internet Explorer or Chrome. I haven't tried any HD content or looked for any yet (as someone else said it wasn't available).

    ReplyDelete
  163. In vista I just started getting a message "Not designed for windows media center" in when I try to watch a movie in media center. Now this just started happening in the last week or so. Called netflix, they have no clue. Still works fine in the browser though.

    ReplyDelete
  164. I just started having same problem- in Windows Media Center I can navigate netflix menus, but when I try to play, I get the "not designed for media center" and it locks up on red netflix screen. Still plays fine in browser. I tried a system restore back to when I think it still worked, but did not fix.

    ReplyDelete
  165. I, too am having the same problem. It works find in the web browser, but not in Media Center. I called Netflix, who directed me to Microsoft who directed me back to Netflix, or I can pay $60 to have a Microsoft tech fix it, but I'm not paying $60 for a tech fix on a free piece of software that I didn't break.

    ReplyDelete
  166. Okay... after playing around with other areas of Vista Media Center I'm finding that Internet TV, or any of the other internet driven services in Media Center are NOT working... black screens everywhere... seems like Microsoft has a problem on their hands?

    ReplyDelete
  167. Anonymous said...

    In vista I just started getting a message "Not designed for windows media center" in when I try to watch a movie in media center. Now this just started happening in the last week or so. Called netflix, they have no clue. Still works fine in the browser though.


    ^^^^^
    I am having the same problem. I've been using Windows Media Center to use my pc remote to watch Netflix on my pc to tv connection until Netflix is (hopefully) available with Panasonic VieraCast. I have Windows Vista and this worked fine for me before, but began freezing on the red Netflix screen in the last week or so. I've tried restarting the system, but nothing works. I decided to find this announcement on the blog to see if anyone else was having the same problem. Lo and behold, you are! Is this some ploy to get us to buy Windows 7? If so, it's a horrible marketing ploy for Microsoft and an awful partnership for Netflix.

    ReplyDelete
  168. same problem here. maybe due to an update to VMC that was done recently??

    ReplyDelete
  169. Around November 5, 2009, I acquired the infamous Red Netflix Screen freeze in Vista Media Center. I believe this was the result of some Microsoft updates applied around this date.

    I fixed the problem by installing the latest version of the vmcNetFlix plugin from:
    http://myweb.cableone.net/eluttmann04/projects/vmcNetFlix/default.htm

    ReplyDelete
  170. ^^^^
    That worked for me. Thank you for posting!!

    ReplyDelete
  171. Strange I was getting the red screen of death 4 days ago and today it just started working again with me doing nothing.

    ReplyDelete
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  173. Windows 7 ultimate/Media Center/Netflix App

    The Netflix website offers Dexter Season 1&2 for instant access streaming, but within the Microsoft Netflix app the play button is missing and streaming is unavailable.

    Also missing: Penn and Teller Bullsh*t! Season 4
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    Has anyone else found similar issues with Netflix content?

    Let me add that I think the addition of Netflix to Windows Media Center is awesome! Please improve the app.

    ReplyDelete
  174. Under Vista the Media Center plug-in for Netflix was always a much lower quality than playing directly from IE8. I was hopeing with Win 7 this would be fixed. Recently installed Win 7 and while the Netflix plug-in is imporved over Vista, really it's still not as good as directly in the browser. Since they're both Silverlight it really makes no sense to me. I flat out refuse to buy a third party device when I've got a PC hooked to my TV that should be perfectly serviceable. I really wish someone (MS? Netflix?) would fix the damn Media Center plug-in.

    ReplyDelete
  175. Windows 7 ultimate/Media Center/Netflix App

    The Netflix website offers Dexter Season 1&2 for instant access streaming, but within the Microsoft Netflix app the play button is missing and streaming is unavailable.

    Also missing: Penn and Teller Bullsh*t! Season 4
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    Penn and Teller Bullsh*t! Season 6
    Heroes Season 4
    Office Season 3
    Office Season 4
    Lost Season 1
    Lost Season 4
    Weeds Season 1
    Weeds Season 2
    30 Rock Season 3
    Californication Season 1


    Has anyone else found similar issues with Netflix content?

    ReplyDelete
  176. Finally got Netflix in Windows Media Center in Windows 7. Had to go to tasks and initiate a download to get it. The foregoing procedure did not work when I had Visata on the same machine. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
  177. seems nbc is able to stream HD via silverlight just fine.....hmmmm

    ReplyDelete
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  179. Netflix on Windows 7 Media Centre is very cool and flawless. But way to find info on how to install this plug-in is not easy :(. This link would help: http://www.microsoft.com/video/en/us/details/bc2e36bc-dcb2-48bc-862f-cdb31cee413c?vp_evt=eref&vp_video=Getting+Netflix+in+Windows+Media+Center

    ReplyDelete
  180. I am also having the same problem with the missing play button on Windows 7 Media Center. If I used my browser and not Media Center, the play is there, but if I go through Media Center for the same title, the play button is not available!

    ReplyDelete
  181. Who did design the interface for this application? It is probably one of the worst interface ever. in order to navigate and see the first 4 movies in the queue you have to use 3 different remote or keybord buttons instead of left&right or up&down buttons.

    Please let designers of this interface sit down and let them try to navigate the queue and let all of us know how they feel about it.

    Why dont you guys use one line for movies and list them side by side in queue instead of two lines? if you must have two lines why can't we use one set of buttons(left&right or up&down) to navigate?

    ReplyDelete
  182. Any clue as to why my Vista Premium Media Center(s) has stopped talking with Netflix? I have two machines, one desktop & one laptop, both using Vista Premium. Sometime over the past couple days, I started getting "INTERNET CONNECTION There is a problem retrieving data. Verify that your internet connection is working and try again." The MSNBC.com News works fine. And no matter how far back I "system restore," the problem persists.

    Suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  183. For the past week I am facing the same problem as Barry - every time I start Netflix I get a message saying "Data problem - check your internet connection" My internet connection is working just fine, and I have tried downloading again Silverlight etc. - nothing works. Fortunately, I found Netflix on Boxee and am using it that way. Solutions anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  184. I am having the exact problem as the last two posters ("INTERNET CONNECTION / There is a problem retrieving data. Verify that your internet connection is working and try again.")

    Happened only over the last week or so for me. Appears intermittently when in the Netflix area; I get two such warnings when I try to play anything (90% of the time it starts to play it anyway; 10% of the time I get "authentication problem"); usually 1-2 errors when coming back to the menu after the movie is finished playing.

    Makes using the official Netflix plug-in hugely annoying, particularly because of the "ding" error tone. I really liked it before, but now it's almost unusable.

    Called Netflix customer service and was told that many people are reporting this problem and the authentication error, and I got a Netflix email acknowledging a Media Center problem and offering me 3% off my month's bill.

    ReplyDelete
  185. PS: I'm using Windows 7 Home Premium Media Center on a Dell dual core Intel PC.

    ReplyDelete
  186. Don't know if this helps at all, but I noticed that since having this problem ("internet connection" error messages and authentication problems), the info pages for movies are no longer showing how much of the movie has been watched (before there would be a graphic of whatever % was finished).

    Could this be the data the plug-in is unable to retrieve? I seem to get the error any time it would be looking for that and maybe not getting it.

    ReplyDelete
  187. I have a netflix membership and can watch movies through Media Center on my PC, BUT when I hit the netflix button on my Windows Media Extender I get a error message that says; "APPLICATION CAN NOT START This application not availabule on Windows Media Extenders" The only reason I tried netflix was this feature. please help!

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  188. If this doesn't start working soon, I might as well change over to the Blockbuster alternative...

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  189. Anonymous - Try switching from Media Center to Boxee. It has a good Netflix facility and many other good channels.

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  190. Can't access movies through media center using Netflix too. Get same error "there was a problem retrieving your data". It appears to be as a result of patch Tuesday. Hasn't worked since 12.9.09 Tried uninstalling, reinstalling, nothing works. I can't find solutions anywhere.

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