Tag Archives: Netflix

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Install Netflix on Arch Linux

Netflix is a well known internet streaming service. There are 2 ways of installing Netflix on Arch Linux, one of them is using Pipelight for native use and the other one is using wine.

The method that we are gonna use its the one based on wine, for this purpose we are gonna use the AUR helper packer.

First of all we are going to install packer

To install Packer:

Open up your terminal:

# pacman -S base-devel fakeroot jshon expac git bash curl grep sed
# wget "https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/pa/packer/PKGBUILD"
$ makepkg
# pacman -U packer-*tar.xz

and now lets install the package netflix-desktop with packer

$ packer -S netflix-desktop

After installation is done, you can open it with “netflix-desktop”, select Netflix and log onto your account and have fun.

Warning: This will download source and compile the package netflix-desktop, it has a lot of dependencies.

The compiling time will vary depending on your hardware but it will take around 1-2 hours.

Notes: # means run as root, $ means runs as user on the terminal emulator.

Netflix

Netflix CEO lashes out against ISPs like Comcast that do not follow ‘net neutrality’

It was only last month when Netflix paid a hefty amount to Comcast to ensure faster and more reliable access to its subscribers. The deal evidently attracted a lot of attention as for the first time in the history of Internet a content provider (Netflix) was paying for access to the customers of a particular broadband provider.

However, the company CEO has now altered his view on net neutrality. Most likely fearing pressure from other ISPs, the company’s CEO has written an official post that has been worded very strongly, calling out ISP giants for bad behavior.

Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO wrote, “Net neutrality must be defended and strengthened. The essence of net neutrality is that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast don’t restrict, influence, or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make. The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient. This weak net neutrality isn’t enough to protect an open, competitive internet; a stronger form of net neutrality is required.” Hastings chose strong words to express his concern.

Following a 14 January ruling that almost bashed the FCC’s existing net neutrality rules, big ISPs have been supporting the spirit of net neutrality, however, their actions have indicated otherwise.

Hastings has harped about the fundamentals of net neutrality in his post, talking about networks that work together in sync to deliver customers with its service. While the company paid Comcast when it asked for rent, it doesn’t take pride in its decision now it seems. “Netflix believes strong net neutrality is critical, but in the near term we will in cases pay the toll to the powerful ISPs to protect our consumer experience. Comcast has been an industry leader in supporting weak net neutrality, and we hope they’ll support strong net neutrality as well.”

Hastings went on to write, “Some big ISPs are extracting a toll because they can — they effectively control access to millions of consumers and are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay. While in the short term Netflix will in cases reluctantly pay large ISPs to ensure a high quality member experience, we will continue to fight for the internet the world needs and deserves.”

Clearing its stance, David Cohen, Comcast executive VP exclusively emailed The Verge, saying, “There has been no company that has had a stronger commitment to the openness of the internet than Comcast. The FCC’s open internet rules were never designed to deal with peering and internet interconnection. Providers like Netflix have always paid for their interconnection to the internet.”

Source: The Verge

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How To watch Netflix on Ubuntu based distributions

This tutorial will walk you through how to watch Netflix on your Ubuntu based GNU/Linux operating system natively on your Chromium browser.

One of the reasons, when I first started using GNU/Linux, which I was hesitant to “make the switch”, to GNU/Linux as my primary operating system was it’s lack of native support for Netflix. When you try to open up a movie in Netflix with a typical browser, like Firefox for example, you will be taken to a page with an error message. This tutorial is designed to show you how to watch Netflix natively in Chromium in your Ubuntu based GNU/Linux distribution.

Netflix wants you to run a commercial operating system in order to take advantage of the subscription that you pay for. There has been a petition for some time that has gathered over 30,000 signatures, but this seems to have no effect on Netflix’s decision on native GNU/Linux or FreeBSD support.

Thanks to some great people with a project called Pipelight we have a way around their obstruction. Our objective is to use Google Chromium, which is required for this method, and Silverlight from Microsoft to trick Netflix into thinking that we are using a commercial operating system on their site. You can easily install Chromium in the terminal by running this comman:

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

The first thing we need to do is install the repositories for Pipelight. You will want to open your terminal and type the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pipelight/stable

The terminal will ask you if you want to add the repositories for the Pipeline project’s stable release. You want to press “ENTER” to continue. Update your system with the usual:

sudo apt-get update

We then need to install Pipelight:

sudo apt-get install --install-recommends pipelight-multi

then update update the Pipelight plugin:

sudo pipelight-plugin --update

After the update you’re ready to enable the Silverlight plugin for Chromium. We will use:

sudo pipelight-plugin --enable silverlight

Use Y to accept the licenses.

Now that we have Microsoft’s Silverlight installed and enabled we just need to use an User Agent Switcher for Chromium to make Netflix think we are running a different browser on a different operating system. Go to the Chromium store and search for User-Agent Switcher for Chrome by Glenn Wilson. Or click here.

In Chromium you should now see the User-Agent switcher in the top right corner. You want to select Firefox then Firefox 15 you should see F15 on that corner icon after the switch is complete.

Now we will navigate to Netflix, sign in, and select a movie. You will get a message on a gray screen saying Silverlight Plug-In needs your permission to run. Just right click the screen then  Run this plug-in.

You still need an active Netflix account to watch Netflix using this method. This simply allows a user of a Ubuntu based distribution, ex: Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Bohdi, etc. to watch Netflix on your operating system.

Please note although this tutorial is written for Chromium you can also use an User-Agent switcher in Firefox and produce the same results. Also note that I have come across issues using this method in live sessions and believe it has something to do with user_xattr not being enable in the filesystem during live sessions.

Sources: FDS-Team Pipelight – Installation , Netflix-Desktop

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Netflix, Comast deal bad for net neutrality

We all suspected it and it has been written all over the interwebs, but now we can confirm it thanks to a report from the WSJ, which states that Netflix has indeed signed a multiyear agreement with Comcast to allow direct streaming to their users. The sum of money being paid to Comcast has not been disclosed, and Comcast, expectedly, has refused to comment on the sum in question.

The agreement was first stumbled upon by Bryan Berg, when he discovered a more direct route between his provider, Comcast, and his Netflix service. A few days later and it has been confirmed by the WSJ, and not only them, but Comcast has also made the announcement official on their site. Said Comcast, “the companies have established a more direct connection between Netflix and Comcast, similar to other networks. Netflix receives no preferential network treatment under the multi-year agreement, terms of which are not being disclosed.” In their statement, Comcast has not mentioned the financial details of the agreement, but we are sure that the sum was enough to make them change their stance regarding Netflix’s access to bandwidth on their network.

This may be the beginning of a horrid and strenuous relationship between ISPs and companies that provide streaming content on the internet. What’s to stop Verizon and TWC from seeking and striking similar deals with Netflix in the future? What’s to stop them from doing so with YouTube and Hulu as well? Herein lies the problem with the recent ruling against the FCC and, in fact, against net neutrality.

With Comcast’s impending take over of TWC, we all sit and wait with bated breaths, hoping that the deal does not get the approval it needs. In the mean time, we’re all trying to get into contact with Google, and we’re asking, “where do I sign up for Fiber?”

Sources: WSJ

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Verison and Comcast are slowing down Netflix

Netflix has expanded in leaps and bounds, and they show no signs of slowing down in 2014. Digital media and streaming are now well underway and all seemed well for the media giant, until Verizon started messing up. You see, every month, Netflix releases a table showing the 17 top ISPs in the US, and how their streaming service performs on each. The ISP with the fastest average speed is of course ranked as number 1, and it continues all the way to number 17. Verizon’s FiOS speed has fallen each month over the past three or four months and this is a source of great concern for not only Netflix, but for all who hope for an open web.

If you’re wondering why this is such a big deal, then you’ve come to the right place. The US Government recently ruled that the FCC did not possess the power to regulate ISPs and how they provide their services. Netflix, YouTube and all other streaming services feared for this ruling, as it would give ISPs the power to throttle the speeds and then possibly demand payments for the resumption of normal services. Please note that we are in no way saying that this is the case, but the charts and speed changes do raise a hint of suspicion.

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Netflix shows the monthly rank of ISPs and the steady fall in speed of FiOS. 

The above table shows the January ranking as measured by Netflix, and both Verizon’s FiOS and DSL have decreased in streaming speeds for the fourth straight month. FiOS went from over 2.2Mbps in October, to a lowly 1.82 in January via one unforgiving fall. It’s important to note that only At&t’s U-Verse and Mediacom had reduced speeds while everyone else either stayed the same or gained places. If I didn’t know any better, I would say that Verizon were throttling the Netflix service. It might be that they want Netflix to pay them a fee of some sort, or there might be some other sinister reason for the action. What we do know is that VZW’s two services have seen drops and they are unwilling to accept any blame.

In an effort to cover their tracks, Verizon attempted to subtly shift the blame towards Netflix. They said:

How the Internet works can be complicated, and consumers should be aware of the fact that the integrity of their home Internet connection is only a portion of the streaming video quality equation. If their broadband connection is functioning correctly, the source of their frustration and the content they wish to see may be one in the same.

In another twist — one that goes against Verizon’s claims, Google Fiber has actually increased its speed over the past four months in a row. It bears great testament to Google’s commitment to offering better services over time, and as a result, they continue to sit at the top of Netflix’s charts both now, and for the foreseeable future. With speeds increasing from 3.41Mbps to 3.78Mbps over the period, we continue to become more envious of all those who have Google as their ISP. We also wish that everyone had access to their services, but that is most definitely a huge swath of wishful thinking.

There are two things that we can deduce from Netflix’s data. Verizon’s speeds have been decreasing while Google’s have been increasing. Reason’s for these changes are unknown to us at this moment, and anything said earlier is purely speculation. As Verizon tries to lay blame on Netflix, Google shows that their services work just fine and can be improved. Try as they (Verizon) might, I think it’s clear to see that something is definitely afoul with their recent trends, and I hope for a speedy end to it. Hopefully, this paves the way for a reversal on the decision regarding net neutrality and the future of the internet as we know it.

Sources: ArsTechnica, Netflix

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Netflix snags first award at 2014 Golden Globes

Robin Wright takes home the Golden Globe for Best Actress award in a TV Series, Drama Sunday night. This is Netflix’s first Golden Globe win with Wright in original series House of Cards.

Beating out fellow nominees Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black), and Kerry Washington (Scandal), Wright won the award for her role as the wife of grasping politician Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) in House of Cards.

In her speech, Wright thanked director David Fincher — who directed the first two episodes of House of Cards, the crew, Netflix and Spacey. The 47-year-old called her co-star “the best playdate ever”. She wrapped up with, “Thank you everybody; I really appreciate this. Thanks”.

In all, Netflix was nominated for Golden Globe in six categories — four of them for the political thriller House of Cards, and another two for Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black.

House of Cards already won three Emmy awards last September. It will be back for a second season on February 14.

Roku

Roku set-top boxes now rootable and modifiable

Roku’s set-top boxes which were known for being cheap and simple to use have now been rooted thanks to hackers from GTVHacker.

GTVHacker have created a tutorial called “Breaking the Secure boot on Roku”. They have also released a video on how to gain root. The team now expects to see ports of popular home theater suites like XBMC which improves the value of the 40$ setup box.

Roku is a company that makes set-top boxes for IP TV (Internt Protocol Televison) that streams from the popular sites such as “Netflix” and “YouTube”. The setup boxes cost as little as 40$ and had a minimalistic interface that was easy to get used to and users could jump right onto and get started on. Roku players do support powerful media player apps such as Plex but due to hardware lockdown, leave the user with fewer choices.

Roku players have a grsec kernel implemented on a bcm2835 ARM chipset. The method involved modifying a portion of the system boot to reduce certain signature n verification checks and loading a new image in.

The method works for most recent Roku devices like the Roku 2 and Roku 3 but not some of the older ones like Sky TV’s Now TV player that runs an older version of the software. Roku 3 testers were report losing root on reboot of the system  while Roku 2 testers  root persists on the Roku 2. This is because Roku 2 uses the same Broadcom chip found on the Raspberry pi while the Roku 3 runs on different hardware, and therefore needs a the root command entered on each boot.

While the team is working on making Roku 3 root persistent, it expects this vulnerability to be patched by subsequent updates and encourages users to “exploit now or forever hold your peace.”

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HowTo: Run Netflix on openSUSE

Netflix needs no introduction. It’s the most popular on-demand media distribution service. Netflix is challenging the traditional and often non-innovative Cable TV by created series like ‘House of Cards’ which was available only for the Internet and entered Emmy Awards.

Ironically while Netflix’s infrastructure runs on Linux and Open Source technologies, the service doesn’t support Linux, the platform. Netflix is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Chrome OS ut not for desktop Linux. One of the reasons could be that Netflix still uses Microsoft’s Silverlight which is not supported on Linux.

However Linux users have managed to get Netflix work on their systems.

This tutorial will enable you to view Netflix on openSUSE installations. Currently Open Suse 12.2, 12.3, 13.1 and tumbleweed versions are supported.

Step no 1:

Install Pipelight and Wine specific dependencies. Pipelight enables Linux distributions to run Silverlight and some other libraries like Unity3D natively.

openSUSE offers an extremely easy one-click install feature which not only adds the respective repo to your system, but also installs the package. Open this page for PipeLight, choose your version of openSUSE and hit the ‘one-click’ install button – follow the instructions.

Step no 2:

Netflix uses browser User Agent (UA) string to identify what operating system & browser a user is using. Since Linux is not supported natively by Netflix, browser’s UA string has to be modified before connecting to Netflix.

For Firefox users:

Download either of these addons to change the UA string.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/uacontrol/

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/user-agent-overrider/

Use UA string like

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:23.0) Gecko/20131011 Firefox/23.0

For Chrome/Chromium users:

Download this extension.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/user-agent-switcher-for-c/djflhoibgkdhkhhcedjiklpkjnoahfmg

Change UA to Windows Firefox 15. If it doesn’t work, you can manually change UA by typing

chromium –user-agent=”Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20120427 Firefox/15.0a1″

These steps will allow an openSUSE user to stream Netflix on her/his browser.

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Netflix profiles come to Android, use it if you are a Netflix user

Netflix has updated its Android app brining one of the most demanded features – user profiles – to Android devices.

In case you don’t know what ‘Netflix Profiles’ is then you are missing a lot if there is more than one member in your family who watches Netflix.

Netflix filters content on the home page that you have added to your list or which is based on your. This content appears on all the devices that are logged into from that account.

What happens is if you wife or children, or any other member logs into your Netflix account he/she sees the same content that you have watched or is based on your presence.

If you allow your kids to watch cartoon on Netflix, then they also get to see the violent shows that you are watching.

Not only that Netflix also shows the content that you recently watched and allows you to resume it from where you left. So if four people of your family are watching 4 different shows your home screen is all messed up. It’s a bad experience for everyone, as you wife may only want to resume the show she was watching.

That’s the problem Netflix Profiles solves. All users of that account can create their own profiles and set their own preferences so when they log into Netflix they can choose their own profiles so from then onward only that content will appear on their profiles what the watched or which they prefer – including the watch-list. Rest So despite being logged into the same Netflix account each member of the family will have their own customized Netflix experience.

Netflix profiles was available for Desktop but not on Android devices and since my wife watches it from her Nexus 10 tablet of Samsung Galaxy S4 phone it was useless for me as I used to get to see her list or the shows that she was watching and she got to see mind. So even if I have no interest in Breaking Bad (which shows how messy US medical system is) I would always be greeted with it as my wife was watching it and her experience was ruined by the kind of shows I watch – which are mostly Indian movies.

Since now Netflix profiles is available on Android, she can log into her profile and make a list of shows she wants to watch so from now on we won’t be seeing each other’s shows.

If you have not used Netflix profiles yet, I recommend using it – it will enhance your Netflix experience. You can update your Netflix app from Google Play Store to get the latest version, which comes with support for profiles.

Marvel creating Superhero-Packed Original Series for Netflix

Disney-Marvel has teamed up with Netflix to create four new superhero series that will all air exclusively on Netflix, beginning in 2015. The four new serialized shows will focus on Marvel’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.

It is expected that at least 13 episodes of each series will be produced, and taking cue from Marvel series — they’ll eventually come together for a special event called ‘Defenders’ that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.

“This serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure,” Alan Fine, president of Marvel Entertainment, said. The series will unfold over several years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.

The deal is significant for both Marvel and Netflix as it’s Marvel’s biggest venture yet into television series, and it’s one of Netflix’s biggest commitments as well.