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Author Topic: What makes Neflix streaming tick?  (Read 1077 times)
techidave
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« on: October 11, 2011, 07:37:55 PM »

I had a friend ask me today about using Netflix, or rather not being able to use it.  A couple of months ago, he lost the ability to strream videos.   He says nothing happens after he chooses his title by clicking on it.  He has contacted support but after they couldn't figure it out, they told him it was his computer.

I don't use Netflix and the only thing that I can find out is it uses MS Silverlight.  "In its simplest form, video is streamed to the user using standard PC hardware, and requires Microsoft's Silverlight software to be installed."  You can read the whole article from Wikipedia here


Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?

Dave
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40hz
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 08:31:35 PM »

Is his ISP blocking Netflix streams?

I don't think it's 100% dependent on MS Silverlight since I can watch Netflix streams on my iPhone. Yes, there's an app for that.

Oh yeah...real dumb question. He does have a stream subscription right? (I'm assuming he does since he already spoke to Netflix's support who would have told him if he didn't, correct?) A few months back Netflix unbundled streaming services from the standard DVD subscriptions. If you didn't switch over (or add it on to your old subscription for $8.99/mo.) you can no longer watch Netflix live.
 smiley


« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 08:56:49 PM by 40hz » Logged

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app103
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 08:34:13 PM »

Without knowing what browser he is using, it could be difficult.

First, whatever browser he is using he should clear the cache and check to see if 3rd party cookies is turned on. If he is using an older version of a browser, upgrade it.

If he is using Firefox, I would suggest checking to see if he has the silverlight plugin installed in his browser and that it is activated.

If it is, I would then see if he has an ad blocker or noscript installed and see if you can set it to allow the netflix site in the exceptions list.

Finally, I'd check the firewall if he is using something other than or in addition to the Windows firewall. Some of them block all kinds of stuff. What initially made me switch to Firefox was when Zone Alarm's script blocking locked me out of GMail and I had no idea that was the problem. (this was back when gmail was still in beta and you needed an invite to have an account)
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techidave
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 08:41:02 PM »

40hz, I don't know that they are blocking it but it could be possible.  I wondered about this.

Good ideas, App!  He is using Vista Home Premuim, so he probably has at least IE7.  But it may be time to upgrade to the latest browser.

I didn't know if it needed anything else other than Silverlight.  Requirements for it are not very easy to find. which is why I asked here.  I figured someone had this experience before.   smiley

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40hz
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 09:28:05 PM »

But it may be time to upgrade to the latest browser.

I just checked on this box I'm currently on. It's a  2.4Ghz P4 with 1.5Gb RAM running a fully updated copy of Win7Pro 32-bit. This is strictly an 'office productivity' machine. It only has a Gateway no-name video card. And this card gets a measly 1 from Win7's performance test. Not exactly a home media system with specs like that...

But....

The movie popped right open in FF 6.0.2 (w/most current Silverlight plug-in) and ran smoothly despite coming in on a "fair" connection through an 802.11G USB wireless NIC.

From this I get the feeling that whatever problem your friend is experiencing is definitely not hardware related since the above proves it doesn't take much in the way of hardware to get it to work.

I'd definitely go with app103's recommendation to verify that the Silverlight plugin (v4.0.60531.0/ May 30,2011) is installed. Then follow her other suggestions regarding security blockers and the firewall.

If it's still stalling after that I'd be very inclined to suspect the ISP is doing something to it.

Luck! Thmbsup
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 09:36:21 PM by 40hz » Logged

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