When I first heard about the dashboard update on the Xbox 360 I was excited about the new Netflix feature that would allow existing members to watch streaming movies using the Xbox (similar to those roku boxes). After upgrading I found that to use the Netflix feature you also had to pay for a Xbox Live Gold membership to use the Netflix feature on the Xbox. So I looked around on the Internet and found the vmcNetflix plugin for Xbox Media Center which promised netflix Xbox integration without requiring the gold membership.
My first problem was that I didn’t have a wireless adapter for my Xbox 360 (at 90 bucks I just never saw the point) and used my DVR’s five dollar wireless network adapter via Internet Connection Sharing and the ethernet adapter to connect to Xbox Live (silver). Unfortunately the laptop that runs windows media center is not the computer providing the Internet Connection Sharing and the DVR that is has no capabilities of running windows media center. What I found was that when using Internet connection sharing, only the host that is physically connected to the xbox can actually ping it. Other systems on the same network cannot. So setting up my Xbox as a Windows Media Center extender on my Laptop (running VISTA Home Premium) was not an option.
So, it turns out the only way to get the Xbox to communicate via Windows Media Center and thus the vmcNetflix plugin was to directly connect the Xbox to my laptop and use it for Internet Connection Sharing directly or to purchase a wireless adapter for the Xbox ($55 on ebay).
So I tried this, but even with this setup I ran into trouble setting up the vmcNetflix plugin properly on the Xbox 360. The plugin works fine on my vista notebook, but on the Xbox 360 I keep getting a failed to initialize the player error or a netflix license problem. I guess I’ll have to go out and buy that stupid wifi adapter after all.
I’ll update this post when I get it working!
I’ve officially given up on getting vmcNetflix to work with my Xbox360. It’s just too buggy (perhaps due to the recent xbox dashboard update) for everyday use. I can say that it works relatively consistently on my notebook now (with windows media center) so at least I’m able to download movies at night as watching them live over my connection is not an option.
One additional thing I’ve started looking into is a netflix addon for SageTV (my dvr software). The addon has been around for a while, but I’m curious to see what improvements they have made and how well it integrates into SageTV now. I’ll note my experiences in a separate post after I get it all working.