nullstream weblog - May 2008

Streaming Netflix

Home Theater

May 29, 2008 12:38 AM PST

So I've been watching a bit of 'watch instantly' streaming content from Netflix. It is pretty handy and doesn't cost anything extra. But it only works with PCs, so when Netflix announced a set top box I jumped. I placed my order for a Roku box the day after it was announced. I figured it would be a handy way to get the content streamed to my projector without having to drag my laptop over. When it arrives I give a full account.

Of course what I really want it just to be able to stream Netflix through my 360. I figured if that ever happens I'll just move the Netflix box to another room. Well my Roku isn't even here yet and as of tonight I'm streaming Netflix through my 360!

George sent me a link today to a media center plug in called vmcNetFlix. This add on only works with Vista Media Center, but it allows fully queue management, streaming, searching, browsing as well as downloading the streams for watching later. It is the Author's first media center application, and it is currently pretty slow and a bit buggy. It is only beta, but it looks very nice, and best of all - it works. It 'copies' your DRM authorization to the 360 so it can play the content without using up another device slot on your account.

As for the Vista part, I guess the timing is right. My XP Media Center machine died last week and I'm in the process of building a new Vista box to replace it anyway. Actually to test this you don't need a full media center setup anyway. You just need Vista Premium or Ultimate - no tuner. You must first make sure your PC can play Netflix content, then make sure the media center app runs. After that get your 360 connected to it. And finally install the vmcNetFlix add on and follow the instructions.


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