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Author Topic: Netflix problems in Canada  (Read 3368 times)

Vocalpoint

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Netflix problems in Canada
« on: October 01, 2014, 11:15:49 am »

madVR image scaling and debanding, combined with Media Center's VideoClock feature can greatly improve the quality of low resolution/low bit-rate video. Passing the audio through Media Center's audio engine allows you to use room correction and VST plugins to improve audio playback. (this should at least be possible with Loopback or a WDM driver)

This entire paragraph  - I think - sums up all that is wrong with the MC "mindset" and it's attempt to address "media in the future". While tech-talk is always cool by me (here in this forum) - no Netflix fan living in the real world could care less about any of this. :)

My wife as a prime example - all she wants to do is load Netflix (on her iPad), find a movie and hit play. In that order. She could care less about debanding, videoclock and all the rest. In the "big room" downstairs - Netflix HD from our Oppo BDP-105 looks stellar. That's all that matters.

MC would never - I repeat never - be used for Netflix here. The issues with it are simply too much to deal with from a "family wants to watch a movie on Friday night" angle. We have zero tolerance for failures when the popcorn is hot and big screen at the ready. To it's credit - MC has been rock solid for playing back digital movies but that's as far as we go.

Ideally Netflix would release a plugin for Media Center, but I don't know if they would consider JRiver "big enough" to allocate those resources. While I don't personally use Netflix, I think it would be a big loss if it's no longer supported. A lot of people I know now use Netflix as their only source of Movies/TV content, with a few others also subscribing to Amazon video.

Netflix was/is so flaky in MC - it's been dead to me for a long while.

VP
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Matt

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Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2014, 11:36:11 am »

Netflix was/is so flaky in MC - it's been dead to me for a long while.

That's news to us.  Please start a thread to investigate.
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Matt Ashland, JRiver Media Center

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Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2014, 11:55:43 am »

This entire paragraph  - I think - sums up all that is wrong with the MC "mindset" and it's attempt to address "media in the future". While tech-talk is always cool by me (here in this forum) - no Netflix fan living in the real world could care less about any of this. :)

My wife as a prime example - all she wants to do is load Netflix (on her iPad), find a movie and hit play. In that order. She could care less about debanding, videoclock and all the rest. In the "big room" downstairs - Netflix HD from our Oppo BDP-105 looks stellar. That's all that matters.
Quality is the primary reason that I don't use Netflix.
 
Using madVR to improve the video quality, and Media Center's DSP to improve the audio quality is a big improvement in this regard.
There is also something to be said for a "one-box" solution that handles everything rather than loading separate apps or using separate hardware devices.
Media Center is the only thing I use for media playback. I don't use anything else now.
 
That said, even with madVR's video quality improvements, Netflix is too low bit-rate to be worth it right now, in my opinion.
I'd use it if it were free and ad supported (at the start, without ad-breaks) but not pay a subscription fee.
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Vocalpoint

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 02:29:16 pm »

That's news to us.  Please start a thread to investigate.

Matt,

Apologies but there are tons of threads already out there - but if you insist - after successfully connecting JRiver to my Netflix acct (using V19) and then adding the Netflix item to Theater View - when I click on it - two items appear Recommended and Instant View. Neither of them do anything, have anything in them or display anything on screen - like ever.

Even if this did work - I fail to understand what the Recommended and Instant View are supposed to do since this UI bears zero resemblance to the current Netflix front end and as such - makes it a bizarre and confusing addon.

The "real" Netflix apps (iPad, Oppo) have no such restrictions or issues of any kind - we log in, we see whatever any other Netflix user sees worldwide and it just works.

Note: If you are coming into this from a "US" perspective - please note I am in Canada. If JRiver's Netflix implementation is "US" only in nature - that needs to be well communicated prior to any use of the Netflix piece within MC. As it stands right now - seems like any NetFlix user from anywhere in the world can hook up - but sees nothing. This is the real reason that Netflix is dead to me via MC (UI weirdness is only part of it)

VP
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JohnT

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 02:54:38 pm »

Apologies but there are tons of threads already out there - but if you insist - after successfully connecting JRiver to my Netflix acct (using V19) and then adding the Netflix item to Theater View - when I click on it - two items appear Recommended and Instant View. Neither of them do anything, have anything in them or display anything on screen - like ever.
Instant Queue and Recommended are the only two calls still supported in the API.  Mine populate fine, I suppose yours don't because you're non-U.S. (see the next answer).
Quote
The "real" Netflix apps (iPad, Oppo) have no such restrictions or issues of any kind - we log in, we see whatever any other Netflix user sees worldwide and it just works.
That's because those are hardware devices which are actually supported by Netflix.  Software apps like JRiver have  lost support from Netflix.  They've been gradually phasing out the public API (no new sign-ups are allowed) and it never did support non-U.S. customers.  We'd love to support it better if Netflix gave us a chance.
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John Thompson, JRiver Media Center

Vocalpoint

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2014, 03:16:46 pm »

Instant Queue and Recommended are the only two calls still supported in the API.  Mine populate fine, I suppose yours don't because you're non-U.S. (see the next answer)

Well - this was known to me long ago. Hence my "dead to me" comment.

That's because those are hardware devices which are actually supported by Netflix.  Software apps like us have long ago lost support from Netflix.  They've been gradually phasing out the public API (no new sign-ups are allowed) and it never did support non-U.S. customers.  We'd love to support it better if Netflix gave us a chance.

Totally understand. However - regardless of reason - you clearly understand why - for any "non-US" citizen - Netflix remains pointless within MC. 

This from the Video Trends thread this says it all...

"Further, I think the time will come where, if JR doesn't cough up the coin to get proper access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO etc. MC will fall behind in terms of sheer convenience and ease of use, making things like ROKU or the new Google TV or AppleTV boxes a more viable option (at least for video / online consumption). Of course, AppleTV and GoogleTV have access to itunes / GooglePlay library as well, which is a major advantage to them. That is obviously a choice JR will have to make, based probably on the bottom line.

Just sayin....

VP





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CountryBumkin

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2014, 04:31:12 pm »

Instant Queue and Recommended are the only two calls still supported in the API.  


It really doesn't work so good in US either (at least for me). I know its not JRiver's fault.
I can load up my Netflix queue with movies and TV seriess from the Netflix website, but most of the Netflix TV series don't work in MC (the show's cover downloads but there are no episodes to select from).

My solution, I just got an Amazon FireTV and I now access Netflix (and HuluPlus) through that. I use JRiver for Movies, Music, Photos, and recorded "OTA" TV, and FireTV for Netflix.
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JimH

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2014, 04:36:17 pm »

The series problem was solved about a year ago.  It works for me.

If you'll give me a couple to try, I'll let you know what I see.
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Vocalpoint

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2014, 05:26:26 pm »

My solution, I just got an Amazon FireTV and I now access Netflix (and HuluPlus) through that. I use JRiver for Movies, Music, Photos, and recorded "OTA" TV, and FireTV for Netflix.

+1. Here's it's either iPad or the Oppo BDP-105 for Netflix and JRiver for digital movies, music and soon to be photos!

VP
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nwboater

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2014, 10:46:41 am »

We have very successfully been using Netflix in Canada for most of this year. It's working great for us using Theater View, although it's a little frustrating that Netflix has degraded their API so not all features work in MC. My wife is the movie buff and she loads up our Instant Que and deletes most of the ones we have watched using a browser. When we restart MC all Que changes she has made are shown in Theater View. Series are also working fine for us.

What many people in Canada and many other countries do is to pay a few dollars a month for a VPN like UnoTelly. This makes the computer appear to be in the US.

I am dreading the day when Netflix disables their MC API.

Cheers,
Rod
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Vocalpoint

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2014, 11:58:56 am »

What many people in Canada and many other countries do is to pay a few dollars a month for a VPN like UnoTelly. This makes the computer appear to be in the US.

We have been doing the VPN redirect for a long time too and it makes no difference to MC - it remains unusable - regardless of where Netflix "thinks" we are.

That said - Netflix has worked hard to offer a consistent,  universal and "expected" interface for our family across our hardware devices and any deviance of that UI unfortunately - will be ignored.

Even if it did work for us - my wife and son have no idea (or any patience) on how to load Instant Queue or use the MC version of Netflix in any way.

They just want to fire up the "Netflix" they already know, search (or simply press on) something and hit play.

VP
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JohnTitor

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2014, 12:26:03 pm »

In Canada as well, and am having the same issues as Vocalpoint.

I understand workarounds are possible, but stability, quality and ease of use (for the family) are the reasons why I migrated from XBMC.

I'd love for JRiver to be my single A/V solution/source. Right now, it does everything I want it to, except Netflix.

Not to complain, only trying to inform.  ;)
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Vocalpoint

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2014, 12:32:14 pm »

I understand workarounds are possible, but stability, quality and ease of use (for the family) are the reasons why I migrated from XBMC.

Ease of use is far and away our biggest driver. That's the beauty of having a non-techy family unit. As soon as I see struggle in any way - out it goes. I have learned to stop trying to train my brood and let them find their own way.

Unfortunately - MC does fall into this category - although when we use it for movies and digital music - it's always wrapped up in Theater View or JRemote so the wife and son are thoroughly shielded from the harsh realities of using the UI.

VP
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nwboater

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2014, 12:41:50 pm »


Even if it did work for us - my wife and son have no idea (or any patience) on how to load Instant Queue or use the MC version of Netflix in any way.

VP

My 74 year old wife is as non-techie as they come and she has no problem at all selecting the movies she wants and putting them in the Instant Cue. She also has no problem using Netflix in Theater View.

Cheers,
Rod
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Vocalpoint

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2014, 12:54:06 pm »

My 74 year old wife is as non-techie as they come and she has no problem at all selecting the movies she wants and putting them in the Instant Cue. She also has no problem using Netflix in Theater View.

Hey - that's great. Glad your wife can make use of it.

Mine on the other hand - would simply ask (now moving toward a slightly snarky tone) why she has to put "anything" anywhere (and she would have a very good point BTW) - and then fire up Netflix on her iPad and walk away.

Can't blame her really - ease of use wins every time.

VP
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Vocalpoint

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2014, 01:12:02 pm »

With this interface in MC -there is no indicator or help of any kind to let the user know that they have to do anything.

Instant Cue and Recommended show up completely empty.

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CountryBumkin

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2014, 01:29:15 pm »

The series problem was solved about a year ago.  It works for me.

If you'll give me a couple to try, I'll let you know what I see.

I'd be happy to try if there is something JRiver wants to work on - but this problem is one JohnT is aware of http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=86279.msg590973#msg590973 and there has not been a fix (that I know of).
Anyways, I have a work around, and I'm okay without Netflix in JRiver.
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Vocalpoint

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2014, 01:31:09 pm »

Over here we tell Netflix exactly what we want by using their established UIs on the iPad or the Oppo apps. And about 2 minutes later (after a quick confab) - Netflix gives us what we want.
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JohnTitor

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2014, 02:52:20 pm »

I would be happy to help with testing as well.

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rpalmer68

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2014, 05:04:59 am »

I've just started testing Netflix under MC as a way of finding movies for the kids.

The video/audio quality is average, but the kids don't mind.

After some testing, I can see MC is very limited by the netflix API which is a shame, but it is usable.

I'm fine with having to login on my iPad or tablet to add movies to my list, but I really don't understand why I should then have to exit MC and close my MC server and then restart MC to get the instant queue in theatre view to update. That is anything but user friendly.

Can't MC reload the queue automatically when the instant queue is loaded?

Thanks
Richard

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CountryBumkin

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2014, 06:02:48 am »

How about adding some functionality for YouTube?  In Theater View there are a couple of built in categories - but nothing that can be configured.

I would like to see the categories you get if you go the You Tube website (such as News, sports, TV, Music, Spotlight, etc.)
Give us all the choices you get at the YouTube website (https://www.youtube.com/).

With Netflix and Hulu no longer working fully in MC (Theater View), maybe you c/should focus on YouTube. IMHO
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balky

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2014, 08:09:21 am »

Netflix problem in MC doesn't seem to be limited to Canada alone...

I had a thread where users from across Europe confirmed the same thing...

I'm happy I bought the linux version as I use it in conjunction with JRemote for my 2-Channel audio set up only...

I bought a windows v15 license and upgraded to v17 but never really made any use of the license because MC as it stands is not a family (non techy person) tool... the same feedback has been provided since as far as I can remember... but MC just keeps getting techier...

At first, I cancelled my Netflix subscription out of annoyance because the service wouldn't work with MC in Europe, but after some good hammering from my sons, the jail-broken ATV2 is back in action... Netfilx, Plex client and XBMC all work hassle free... a new ATV3 is on its way for the bedroom, 

MC is definitely a wrong choice for anyone looking for a one solution does it all for family use...

It is of course a good choice for those who care about the finicky picky image details and have the time to set it up and manage resulting issues... 
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CountryBumkin

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2014, 09:40:29 am »

Netflix problem in MC doesn't seem to be limited to Canada alone...

MC is definitely a wrong choice for anyone looking for a one solution does it all for family use...

It is of course a good choice for those who care about the finicky picky image details and have the time to set it up and manage resulting issues... 

So what's the "one solution" choice" for the techno-challenged family that wants everything in one (place) Theater View experience?
Is there one?
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newguy1

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2014, 10:58:04 am »

I use Netflix a lot.  I tried it in JRiver, and I love figuring things out, but I gave up. 

I really want to be able to use MadVR and the JRiver audio engine with Netflix....
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balky

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Re: Netflix problems in Canada
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2014, 11:58:02 am »

So what's the "one solution" choice" for the techno-challenged family that wants everything in one (place) Theater View experience?
Is there one?

I am not sure if you have seen a jail-broken ATV2 (for example) or any other decent streamer that has a Plex client or supports XBMC... you will see how easy it is to switch between Netflix or other online streaming service and media you have locally... with inbuilt remote support et al...
Not sure why it is particularly called Theater view in MC, but all the decent streamers around present more or less the same top level view... except of course, MC uses names and others use icons (with names)

Ease of use is the keyword here...
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