My One Year Anniversary With Netflix

As you can tell from the goofy title, I’ve been with Netflix for one year now!

I must say that I’ve loved the service! I use the Watch Instantly feature daily and get two in the postal mail every 3-4 days!

I recommend it to all of my friends if you don’t have it already. If you’re even the slightest bit tech savvy then you’ll also find that it’s easy to stream movies from Watch Instantly to your television!

My laptop has an S-Video out and my television at home has an S-Video in. If you’re not sure what S-Video is then here’s an image.

s-video-port s-video-cable

The image on the left is the port that you should look for on your television and computer, while the image on the right is the cable that connects the two. You can click on the images to view a larger version.

The only problem that some of you may run into after getting the two connected is figuring out how to switch the computer view to an output source. I won’t go into too much detail on that since there will be far too many computers and layouts for me to cover, but simply put there is typically a button on your keyboard up on the top row that will toggle output sources. You may need to use a key combination such as the function key and the output source key which for me is Fn+F4.

I hope that helps and for those of you who suddenly realized the potential of Netflix (and other video sources such as Hulu), I hope your on your way to streaming more. 😉

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!