Michael. O
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Known issues and limitations using Netflix in Media Center on Vista

Netflix in Windows Media Center Overview

 “Netflix in Windows Media Center” is available for customers in the United States within Media Center on Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate or Home Premium, and Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008. With a Netflix subscription “Netflix in Windows Media Center” provides the ability to watch Netflix content instantly, manage both instant and DVD Queues, search the entire Netflix library, filter searches by titles that are available to watch instantly, and navigate it all with a remote control.

 

This article will list the known problems, and steps to resolve common issues found with Netflix in Windows Media Center.

 

KNOWN PROBLEMS

Installation

Note: The supported Windows Media Center versions are on Windows Vista Ultimate, or Home Premium, and Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008 within the United States. It should appear in the “TV + Movies” section of the Windows Media Center experience to the left of Recorded TV.

 

Problem: I am in the United States but do not see the Netflix in Windows Media Center entry point within Media Center

Trouble shooting steps: There are multiple reasons the entry point might not appear. These steps do not cover every scenario, but should work for most.

1)      Ensure you are on Windows Media Center on Microsoft Windows Vista, or Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008

2)      Select “Download now” within Media Center to download the latest Netflix in Windows Media Center entry point

a.       Within Media Center, select ‘Settings’ under the Tasks row in the main Media Center menu, then go to “Tasks->Settings->General->Automatic Download Options”

b.      Select “Download Now”. If Media Center prompts to set up Internet connection complete the steps listed

c.       Select “OK” on the “Start Download” dialog. This download can take a few minutes to complete

d.      When the download is complete restart Media Center, and look to see if the Netflix entry point is to the left of Recorded TV in the “TV + Movies” row

3)      If this did not work, then ensure your localization settings are set correctly to United States

a.       Open the “Regional and Language Options” dialog (search for “Regional and Language Options” from the Windows Start Menu search box)

b.      On the “Formats” tab, ensure “English(United States)” is selected under “Current format:”

c.       On the “Location” tab, ensure “United States” is selected under “Current location:”

d.      On the “Administrative” tab click on the “Copy to Reserved Accounts” button, in the dialog that pops up, ensure that at least the System accounts (local system, local service, and network service) check box is selected, and choose OK.

e.      Restart the computer

f.        Then select “Download now” as in step 1

4)      If this did not work, try the following

a.       Shut down Windows Media Center

b.      Open an administrator command prompt by hitting the windows key, type cmd, right click on the command prompt item and choose “Run as Administrator”

c.       Run the following commands:

                                                               i.      cd /d %WINDIR%\ehome

                                                             ii.      start /wait mcupdate -u  -nogc

d.      After this command has completed, start up Windows Media Center, and the Netflix entry point should be to the left of Recorded TV on the TV+Movies row

5)      If this did not work, try the following from an administrator command prompt

a.       schtasks /delete /tn "microsoft\windows\media center\mcupdate"  /f

b.      cd /d %WINDIR%\ehome

c.       start /wait mcupdate -u

 

Note: Some unsupported third party Windows Media Center menu editing utilities can impact the ability for the Netflix in Windows Media Center entry point to appear. If one of these utilities is installed on the machine, it is likely this is the cause of the issue, and uninstalling the tool does not always resolve the issue.

 

Problem: I am not in the United States, but I do see the Netflix in Windows Media Center entry point within Media Center

Trouble shooting steps: This can happen if the “Regional and Language Options” dialog is set incorrectly for your locale

1)      Open the “Regional and Language Options” dialog (search for “Regional and Language Options” from the Windows Start Menu search box)

2)      On the “Formats” tab, ensure the correct format for your language is selected under “Current format:”

3)      On the “Location” tab, ensure your correct location is selected under “Current location:”

4)      On the Administrative tab click on the “Copy to Reserved Accounts” button, in the dialog that pops up, ensure that at least the System accounts (local system, local service, and network service) check box is selected, and choose OK.

5)      Then select “Download now”

a.       Within Media Center, select ‘Settings’ under the Tasks row in the main Media Center menu, then go to “Tasks->Settings->General->Automatic Download Options”

b.      Select “Download Now”. If Media Center prompts to set up Internet connection complete the steps listed

c.       Select “OK” on the “Start Download” dialog. This download can take a few minutes to complete

d.      When the download is complete restart Media Center, and look to see if the Netflix entry point is to the left of Recorded TV in the “TV + Movies” row

 

Problem: I see two Netflix entry points

Trouble shooting steps:

1)      Select “Download now” within Media Center to clear out the second Netflix entry point

a.       Within Media Center, select ‘Settings’ under the Tasks row in the main Media Center menu, then go to “Settings->General->Automatic Download Options”

b.      Select “Download Now”. If Media Center prompts to set up Internet connection complete the steps listed

c.       Select “OK” on the “Start Download” dialog. This download can take a few minutes to complete

d.      When the download is complete restart Media Center, and confirm there is one entry point to left of “Recorded TV” in the “TV + Movies” row

2)      If this does not correct the problem

a.       Open an administrator command prompt by hitting the windows key, type cmd, right click on the command prompt item and choose “Run as Administrator”, then run the following commands

                                                               i.      cd /d %WINDIR%\ehome

                                                             ii.      start /wait mcupdate -u  -nogc

b.      Restart Windows Media Center and confirm there is one entry point to left of “Recorded TV” in the “TV + Movies” row

 

OTHER PROBLEMS

Problem: I cannot play content - I get a dialog saying that Windows Media Center has encountered an error and needs to close.

Trouble shooting steps: There is a known issue on some machines that have a very long user agent string in Internet Explorer (over 260 characters). For more information on user agent strings please refer to the following MSDN article. There is currently no supported workaround for this issue as manually editing the user agent string can cause compatibility problems with certain websites.

Problem: I want a different set of movie lists

Trouble shooting steps: These lists are generated based on your preferences, go to http://www.netflix.com/TastePreferences, the four primary lists you rate as watch “Often” will appear in the list in Media Center.

Problem: My username/password did not work in Windows Media Center, but it does work on the Netflix website.

Trouble shooting steps: This could occur if your name has extended characters in it such as certain accents (e.g. õ). You can work around this issue by changing your username on the Netflix website.

 

Other known issues

·         Netflix in Windows Media Center is not supported on Microsoft Windows Extender devices

·         Netflix in Windows Media Center is not supported on Windows 7

·         Netflix DVD and Instant Watch queues are limited to 200 items within the Netflix in Windows Media Center, queues larger than this will continue to be accessible on Netflix.com

·         Some hardware configurations will result in playback quality lower than the Netflix website


Michael
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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cm -az
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cm -az replied on
Micheal,

I have been streaming netflix through Media Center for many months now.  About 2 weeks ago it stopped working.  I'm using it on two different machines and both fail with the same error message "INTERNET CONNECTION There was a problem retrieving data. Verify your Internet connection is working and try again. <OK>".  I've tested the internet connection in Media center and everything is fine.  I can watch Netflix from IE from the same machines even while media center shows the error message and it works fine.  I now see two netflix icons in media center.  I have reloaded the plugin, I have tried your two steps above for the "Problem: I see two Netflix entry points".  When I run "start /wait mcupdate -u  -nogc" it completes with a Done. messsage.  I still see two netflix icons, and it still does not work.  I have called netflixs but they say that this was a MS developed plugin and I should get support from MS.  I'm running vista ultimate 64 bit on one machine and 32 bit on the other machine.   Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thanks,

CM
testtech2522
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testtech2522 replied on

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cm-az,

I have the same problem the only difference is mine never worked. Please post you fix here when/if you find one. I will do the same

MakeSilverlight4Linux
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MakeSilverlight4Linux replied on

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I am having the same exact problem. It seems to have started last week, maybe Wed or Thursday.

I see two instances of Netflix in my menu and I get the error message:
INTERNET CONNECTION There was a problem retrieving data. Verify your Internet connection is working and try again

I even tried a format and clean install. The above fix does'nt work for me either. I called Netflix and they told me there had been an update to WMC from Microsoft that messed it up. I called Microsoft and as they always do, they told me to call my Gateway since I have an OEM version of Windows. I am soooo tired of the lame support from Microsoft. It's about time to stream through the PS3 and install Linux on all my machines.
nonperturbative
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nonperturbative replied on

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Same problem here. It had been working fine and has recently stopped. Argh!
GaitherJ
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GaitherJ replied on

I uninstalled my Zune software.  It works now.

testtech2522
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testtech2522 replied on

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I installed all updates works fine now.
HTPC_ARGH
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HTPC_ARGH replied on

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Same problem here, started about a week ago...  I've installed all windows updates and I still get internet connection problem while in Netflix / Media Center


But it works fine from IE.
Springslady
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Springslady replied on

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same problem...its driving me crazy...i'm not all that computer literate...but sure wish i could fix this....i did install a new modem....but its working....any help is appreicated
Compuman00
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Compuman00 replied on
Second Netflix entry point Fix, the second fix did it for me, THZ Much!
RickClark
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RickClark replied on

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I started getting the error that "there was a problem signing in.  Verify your internet connection is working and try again."  I checked everything out and it is kind of obvious that my internet is working.

 

Thansk!

Networkguy

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