Silverlight – still waiting for the silver lining.

What many Netflix users see when Watching Instantly

What many Netflix users see when Watching Instantly

So I’m enjoying a few days off during the Christmas/New Years’ holiday and then it dawns on me.  I’m not enjoying my new Netflix account, because I’m troubleshooting it instead. But wait.  Isn’t that what I do for a living?  So, I’m not really enjoying a few days off – I’m working and not getting paid for it.  I guess my free trial membership wasn’t so free after all.

 It seems that Netflix has turned to Microsoft using their Silverlight technology.  And like most Microsoft products, its not even close to being ready for prime time.  All I get is an error 1001 after the movie buffer.  I’ve narrowed it down to a DRM problem (digital rights management).  And before anyone responds with the usual, assume I’m not an idiot here.  Yes, I performed a clean uninstall/reinstall, cleaned temp files and caches, and yes I even performed the daunting task of rebooting my PC.  I’ve done things in the registry that no decent human being should ever have to experience.

I did research and further testing and the bottom line is this: Netflix “Watch Instantly”  is not watchable for any Mac users prior to Intel processors (PowerPC), and plagues a significant number of users on Vista.  Other anomolies include a number of hardware specific scenarios such as specific laptops that seem to have this problem as well.

Its a shame that a feature that had me at “watch” will translate into a cancelled account before Netflix makes dollar one from me. They have 12 days and counting…we’ll know soon.

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4 thoughts on “Silverlight – still waiting for the silver lining.

  1. Are you using the Roku device? Craig set up Roku & his house & had no problem at all. Tom & I have been using it ask long as it’s been around & have never had a problem either. We went from XP to Vista. Guess we’ve just been lucky though because I know you know what you are doing. Oh well, good luck!

  2. No, this is playing directly from the PC. I can play Netflix movies directly from my Xbox 360 without any problems.

  3. It sounds like Netflix-Silverlight might not be the happiest marriage (haven’t tried it myself) but I do give Netflix props for making a multifaceted entry into digital viewing options with Roku, Xbox, Tivo, etc. I think the early entry will serve them well.

  4. Thanks. this was very helpful and really entertaining. You are about as sarcastic as everyone else I know in the software industry including me. ha ha!

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