Netflix: Watch Instantly..Unlimitedly

netflixLately I’ve been taking major advantage of the Watch Instantly feature that Netflix offers to their valued customers! They have a fairly large selection of films that you can stream over the Internet and watch while you are waiting for your DVDs to be mailed to or from Netflix.

The only down side to the service is that it requires Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player 11. This may not be a problem at all for the vast majority of you, however, I’m a very proud Opera browser fan and on top of that my operating system is not Windows. I’m using Ubuntu, which means that I cannot install and use Windows Media Player 11 to view the movies online. Luckily I do have Windows XP installed on my laptop, so I can still boot up and take advantage of this feature on my mobile PC. It’s just not the same, though, as having your dual monitor PC running with a nice quality streaming movie from Netflix on the right and your favorite browser on the left so you can still browse the net.

It would be nice if they would either switch to a flash based player (which would allow streaming in any web browser and on every platform) or at least allow more plug-ins than Windows Media Player 11. I can patch the Internet Explorer requirement with some Javascript, but allowing alternative plug-ins would basically open this feature up to the world!

So far I’ve found a method to install Internet Explorer on Linux operating systems. The project is called IEs4Linux and is maintained by Sérgio Luís Lopes Júnior. The installation takes advantage of a program called WINE that is an open source implementation to the Windows API. In English, this means that it allows you to install and run programs that were made for Windows on a Linux or Unix based machine. The next step in getting Netflix to work on my Ubuntu computer is getting Windows Media Player 11 installed. So far I’ve had no luck. I’ve been able to bypass the “required” windows validation process, however, the installation encounters several errors that are preventing the whole process to work. Rest assured, I will get Windows Media Player 11 installed and be watching Netflix movies over the Internet soon!

5 thoughts on “Netflix: Watch Instantly..Unlimitedly”

  1. using Opera 9 Opera 9 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
    Opera/9.50 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; en)

    I was considering that a while back, but it would be a lot more convenient if I could get it working with Wine so that it would tie in with my OS a bit more than it would if I installed Windows virtually. I may end up resulting to that shortly. 😀

  2. using Firefox 3 Firefox 3 on Ubuntu 9.04 Ubuntu 9.04
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.0.14) Gecko/2009090216 Ubuntu/9.04 (jaunty) Firefox/3.0.14

    I don’t know if you ever got Netflix streaming going under Wine – it doesn’t appear so, since you never posted a follow-up, but I did just get it running with Virtual Box.

    It’s a challenging thing sometimes. I couldn’t get Slingbox software to run under Virtual Box or Win4Lin, but it runs under Wine. Netflix streaming, however wouldn’t run under Wine, but it works w/ IE running under Virtual Box.

    So, though I had to juggle virtualization solutions to run all the software I want, I didn’t have to run Windows natively. Yay!

    HTH,
    Cosmo

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