Netflix Streaming

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Use VMware and IE for watching Netflix in Windows XP under MythTV

I just updated my system using VMware and IE and the CPU usage went down to 80% and now the movies have no jitter. The first section of this wiki covers that. My hardware is an Asus M3A with an AMD 5400+ processor and a Nvidia based 6200 graphics card with SPDIF audio. For spdif sound install see AllensDigitalAudioHowto Allen (4/16/2010) PS. I am the author of the original VirtualBox/ Firefox system but seem to be logged in under a different user name.

Install VMware and Windows

Go to their web site and follow the instructions. The version you want is VMware Player and it is free. [1] You will need to register. Be sure to download the instructions but they are really easy.

Documentation needed

Getting Started Guide

Page 22 of the Getting Started Guide -- Installing VMware Player on a Linux Host

Page 23 of the Getting Started Guide -- Start VMware Player

Installing Guest Operating System

I used page 21 -- Windows XP

Install Windows

Follow the instructions from VMware. It is also very simple and the extensions install automatically so don't worry bout that when you read it in the instructions. Be sure to update your SPs and IE.

Setup Windows

Run IE and set Netflix.com as the home page. IE runs Silverlight faster than Firefox or Chrome.

Setup Netflix

When you run Netflix you will need to sign in and when you try your first movie, you will need to install Silverlight. They guide you through the process so it is painless.

Put IE in start

Put IE in the start menu so that it will start automatically.

Create button in MythTV

  <button>
    <type>VIDEO</type>
    <text>Netflix Streaming VM</text>
    <action>EXEC DISPLAY=":0.1"  /usr/bin/vmplayer /home/dad/vmware/WindowsXP/WindowsXP.vmx</action>
  </button>

WindowsXP is the name I gave my virtual machine

I copied the mainmenu.xml file into my home directory under .mythtv. I edited it there to add the button. This way it will not be changed with updates to myth.

Running

From myth, click the menu button you just created. You will probably need a keyboard and for sure a mouse to actually select the movie. Click on Full Screen and enjoy the movie.

Shutdown

You can suspend the session by clicking on the "X" in the top VMware Player control panel that shows up when the mouse goes to the center top of the screen. In this way the session will continue when you start next time, even if in the middle of a movie. For a normal shutdown, shutdown windows like you would on any windows computer.

How to watch Netflix instant movies in Firefox in XP in Ubuntu

Note: I consider this part out of date but leave it here until I get the above method fully documented

I recently installed Netflix and can now watch streaming movies in Ubuntu. This tells how I installed on my Ubuntu 8.04LTS Myth System. My hardware is an Asus M3A with an AMD 5400+ processor and a Nvidia based 6200 graphics card with SPDIF audio. For spdif sound install see AllensDigitalAudioHowto
This setup really taxes my hardware. TOP shows 106% cpu which is about 5x the load for Netflix streaming directly.
Allen Edwards (2/17/2009)

Install VirtualBox

I selected the not-free version not the open source one. It is advisable to download directly from VirtualBox.org as it is very well organized and more up to date than other sources. I would advise using the gui version of the install and not a command line or an get-apt version as the gui version guides you through the process and all the command line guides seem to be out of date.


From inside your Ubuntu system open a browser

Go to VirtualBox.org

Select Downloads

Select (at least as of this date) VirtualBox 2.1.4 for Linux hosts

Click on i386 on this line: Ubuntu 8.04 LTS ("Hardy Heron") i386 | AMD64
Note: if you should actually click on the AMD64, you will know it.

It will put an icon on your desktop. Click on it and install VirtualBox

Set up your virtual machine

Install a virtual machine
Just follow the on screen installation guide. It is as good as anything on the web that guides you through it and I am sure has the advantage of being up to date. I followed the default suggestions with the exception of setting the memory to 512MB.
I set up a Windows XP machine with CD-ROM and ALSA sound.

Install Windows XP

It takes forever but just do it like you would on any computer. Don't forget the updates and service packs.

Install Guest Edition Drivers

I did this to get the ability to go full screen and any screen resolution.
Select DEVICE at the top of the VirtualBox window toolbar
The "Install Guest Additions"

Install Firefox

Open IE, Download and install Firefox.

Install Silverlight and Netflix Streaming

Get the Netflix streaming plugin for firefox using Silverlight by going to:

http://Netflix.com/silverlightoptin

You need to be in the XP version of firefox!

Integrate into Myth Menu System

Add button to Myth Menu System

Copy the myth menu you wish to overide to your .mythtv directory

 $ sudo cp /usr/share/mythtv/mainmenu.xml  /home/<your home directory>/.mythtv/mainmenu.xml

Edit your menu as desired putting this command in the menu

 <button>
    <type>VIDEO</type>
    <text>Netflix Streaming</text>
    <action>EXEC DISPLAY=":0.1"  /usr/bin/VBoxSDL -fullscreen -vm   "VirtualDad"</action>
 </button>


"VirtualDad" is the name of my Windows XP VM The DISPLAY instruction is optional. In my case, myth runs on display 1 and display 0 is a control center.

Set up Windows XP to autostart Firefox

To add Windows Task Manager (or any program) to your Startup folder (that will make it work each time you start the windows and you will see it in the system tray), please follow the below instructions:

1. Click Start>Programs, then right click on Startup folder and choose Open.

2. On the Startup window, go to File menu and choose New>Shortcut.

3. In the dialog box click the Browse button to specify the Task Manager program, it's by default at C:\windows\system32\taskmgr.exe (Where C is the partition that your windows XP is installed on).

4. After specifying the program path, click next and finish. Then you will see a new shortcut (computer icon) in the Startup folder.

5. Right click on that shortcut and choose Properties, select Minimized from the Run combo box, and click Ok, then close the Startup folder.

6. At the next time you start your computer the program will run automatically and you will see it in the system tray.

Setup Firefox start page to Netflix Watch now

Alternatively, you can edit the instructions in the start menu above. This exercise is left to the reader

Watch Instantly

To watch manually:

Start a movie