Netflix Watch It Now, Windows Media Center Edition

I have Vista Ultimate, with Media Center Edition. I also have an Xbox 360, which I use as an extender for MCE. I also subscribe to Netflix. They have a “Watch It Now!” feature, which allows you to watch some of their collection online. Well, It just makes sense that you would be able to watch within MCE, but that would just be too easy right? Netflix needs to come out with plugin!!

Anyways, I tried to get it to work. You can actually get it to work in straight MCE, but not using an extender.

First, I did a little Googling and found this, which has some good info on the Watch It Now feature. In the past, I have used MCE Browser, which is a cool little plugin written by Anthony Park. If you install this, then on your MCE box, hit Netflix, login and do the Watch It Now feature, it will first ask you to install a plugin for the Watch It Now (even if you already have it installed). Do that, and then go back to the site. It should work! You can open it full screen, etc.

Next stop, Xbox 360 as the extender. Got to Netflix, Logged in, Got to Watch it Now, hit Play. Starts up, the Netflix banner shows in the media player. MCE Browser locks up. Doh. My guess is it can’t save the stream or something, or something wacky with the plugin (Netflix player).

Maybe Netflix can make a plugin of their own, or maybe MCE Browser can be tweaked, either way, this functionally would be really sweet.

Update: Anthony Park has created the plugin called MyNetflix for MCE that we all want – check it out here –

Update 2: another plugin lets you watch netflix on your xbox 360 – prayers have been answered! vmcNetflix

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By Steve Novoselac

Director of Digital Technology @TrekBikes, Father, Musician, Cyclist, Homebrewer

7 replies on “Netflix Watch It Now, Windows Media Center Edition”

I have been wondering (and waiting to see a follow-up message about this from you) if this will ever happen… I hope so, or hope someone figures out a way to do it.


Me too — I’ve been dreaming about a plugin for Netflixs / MCE (Vista) — just like the current My Netflix plug-in but one that would allow you to surf via a typical MCE interface (which the wife loves) and allow us to just click on a movie in the Watch it Now section — ideal it would just run within MCE similar to a MSIE browser.

Is the dream real?


I bet this has to do with the user that the extender is running under on the MCE box. Have you tried to modify the permissions the extender user has? It logs on as a restricted user and I bet that means that the user cannot execute the ActiveX control required to play the netflix movie.


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