Netflix Canada

http://community.wdc.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/2178iA3D0A5E4306B5796/image-size/original?v=mpbl-1&px=-1

That is referring to the Netflix membership, which I do have a subscription for, and currently run in my house.  This disclaimer is misleading, and it should read “WD Live TV does not support Netflix in Canada”

Up_North wrote:

http://community.wdc.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/2178iA3D0A5E4306B5796/image-size/original?v=mpbl-1&px=-1

 

That is referring to the Netflix membership, which I do have a subscription for, and currently run in my house.  This disclaimer is misleading, and it should read “WD Live TV does not support Netflix in Canada”

What bit of ‘US only’ don’t you understand? To me ‘US only’ means not Canada or in fact anywhere else in the world even if Netflix ia available. That box was probably printed before Netflix even announced their intention of streaming in Canada.

Guys, let’s quit squabbling about semantics.   For me, I was aware Netflix is not offered in Canada, and this did not influence my purchase decision.  However, like most folk out there I am most perplexed, and annoyed, about why Netflix Canada seems to be so hung-up about offering streams to the same devices as offered in the US.  Surely, if the content’s can be streamed to the game consoles and Samsung TV’s here in Canada, there can’t be a licence/copyright issue, can there?  Anyway, the purpose of raising the issue was to generate as much discussion, as possible with the hope that Netflix/WD will realise there is a demand.  I’ll certainly try a Netflix account.

I’m also In Canada, and will also try Netflix when supported on the Live Plus here, as this is the only unit i have

that has that capability

Up_North wrote:

http://community.wdc.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/2178iA3D0A5E4306B5796/image-size/original?v=mpbl-1&px=-1

 

That is referring to the Netflix membership, which I do have a subscription for, and currently run in my house.  This disclaimer is misleading, and it should read “WD Live TV does not support Netflix in Canada”

Do you want them to list every country they don’t support? It says US Only - unless Canada became a State when I wasn’t looking, that doesn’t include you. How is “US Only” misleading?

I’m sure WD would love to have NetFlix in Canada - its only another selling point for them with little to no changes needed on their end. If they aren’t including it, than theres likely a good reason for it.

The reason for the delay / possible inability in bringing Netflix Canada to the WD Live range can be read on the Netflix blog:

http://techblog.netflix.com/2010/12/why-we-choose-html5-for-user.html

Netflix now use HTML5 to stream both the INTERFACE and the CONTENT now.  Whenever Netflix update the interface, it is immediately available to users without requiring a firmware update.  It’s a nice solution.

Pretty much any device capable of running an HTML5 capable web browser can run Netflix.  That’s why Wii and PS3 get updated so fast now.  That’s why AppleTV got Canadian access before any other set top box.  That’s why Boxee Box has Netflix Canada now.

The situation is vastly different for devices with embedded software like the WD Live units.

The WD Live units do not have any kind of web browser.  I’m not aware of any media players with Sigma chips that do.  WD have no plans of ever bringing a web browser to the Live range, stating the user experience would not be good.

It’s not an impossible situation; other manufacturers, like Roku, have released firmware updates that provide some of the latest Netflix features (e.g. Search).  However, the features are “baked in”, not dynamically provided via a thin HTML5 browser.  

That is likely the route WD must take, and Netflix seem slow to provide embedded solutions now that they’ve moved over to an easier and more elegant HTML5 platform.  Roku still do not have Canadian access, and they have always been a key Netflix partner.

I’m not sure why WD couldn’t just come out and say this. Their explanation (or lack of) just creates uncertainty and unhappiness about the product.  I’m guessing they don’t want to start pointing the finger at a key service partner.  

1 Like

@ PixelPower,

I think you are probably right. I wish somebody from WD would comment. 

Its interesting to note that Boxee supports HTML5:

http://developer.boxee.tv/blog/2011/02/developing-html5-o-boxee/

… and apparently Boxee’s web browser if for developer’s only:

http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?t=4480

Can’t WD also add a webkit based browser, without creating their own WebTV?

It’s certainly possible to run Webkit on the Live’s chipset; a company has already done so in partnership with Sigma. From the sounds of it, it should be part of the Sigma SDK… but an old video I saw had it as the ENTIRE player GUI, not just as a service. I don’t know if the Live has the power to run an intensive web browser app on top of the existing GUI. Here’s the link to some PR about it: http://www.digitaltvnews.net/content/?p=14694

A little confused.  In summary, the contention is that the Live player isn’t particularly capable due to Netflix using HTML5.  Is this the case for both Canada and the US?

I assume that the Netflix service in the US is working fine with the Live player.  I suppose my simplistic mind suggests that all Netflix has to do is stream in the same format for it to be received in Canada.

Well, we don’t know what WD’s thinking, because they hardly ever seem to tell us.

It seems as if Netflix is moving away from the “old way” (implemented on the Live Plus for the U.S.), and moving to the HTML5 interface (which needs an HTML5 browser to run on).

It seems as if Netflix is a sub-standard choice in Canada, compared to the U.S. version… and that telcos are doing everything they can (especially the bandwidth caps) to make sure that Netflix isn’t a viable competitor to Canadian TV and VOD offerings.

It could be that WD is just dragging their feet, waiting for the smoke to clear… to see if it’s “worth the bother” to try and re-write/re-compile their old firmware to connect in Canada… especially when WD seems to have a history of breaking something every time they try adding something :wink:

Until WD says “here, it’s now working” or “nope, we won’t ever implement it”, pretty much all we can do is keep guessing.

duckysan1 wrote:

A little confused.  In summary, the contention is that the Live player isn’t particularly capable due to Netflix using HTML5.  Is this the case for both Canada and the US?

I assume that the Netflix service in the US is working fine with the Live player.  I suppose my simplistic mind suggests that all Netflix has to do is stream in the same format for it to be received in Canada.

 

Netflix US works great with the Live Plus and Hub, it just lacks Search, Subtitle, Surround Audio and 1080p.  They could all be supported but would require extra effort on Netflix’s part and it seems to be low priority.

Netflix Canada uses the same technology and, yes, should in theory work fine on the Plus / Hub.  But the Canadian actual content is vastly different.  The sign-in servers are different.  The distributed content servers are, I believe, specific to Canada.  So there’s a lot of coding needed to make it work.  Again, implementing it requires Netflix to go out of its way to support an old platform.  

Unless WD can implement a thin HTML5 client, we’ll always be last to the party for Netflix features.

So this post says it should work with the new firmware.

http://community.wdc.com/t5/General-Discussions/Netflix-for-Canada/td-p/59328

And I can now login to netflix, and I can see reccomendations etc, but when I got to play a show I see a message stating

“This device cannot instantly stream from Netflix in your area.  Visit netflix.ca/NRD to see a list of devices that instantly stream from Netflix.”

It seems like Netflix is blocking the WD Live Plus form playing in Canada.  I’m called Netflix and they said the WD has not notified them of the upgrade, and that the forum post does not mention Playback in Canada, just search etc.  Netflix said that I should call WD to find out if Playback is upposed to be supported from Canada.

I called WD and got told that the fellow on the phone wanted to go home so he was escalating my call to a second level who may call me back at some point.

As it turned out, Netflix was a little behind us in turning on access for our Canadian customers.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  It should be working now.

For the record, its still not working.

Despite the initial excitement of being able to access Netflix and sign up following the firmware update, I get the same message about not being able to stream directly.  Anybody achieving sucess?

If you’re having issues getting Netflix to work in Canada, can you please PM me your Netflix ESN and tell me exactly what your problem is? You should be able to find the ESN in the About screen in Setup. Please also note roughly what date and time of day you were trying to use Netflix.

Thanks.

2 Likes

Just tried on April 14, 2011. Although the new firmware allowed me to run netflix on the WDTV Live Plus, when I selected a movie to play, it says “The device cannot instantly stream from Netflix in your area. Visit netflix.ca/NRD to see a full list of devices that instantly stream from Netflix”. I am in Ontario, Canada. Very disappointing…something I’ve been waiting for for some time…and the release notes of the latest firmware said it could happen.

Sean3 wrote:
Just tried on April 14, 2011. Although the new firmware allowed me to run netflix on the WDTV Live Plus, when I selected a movie to play, it says “The device cannot instantly stream from Netflix in your area. Visit netflix.ca/NRD to see a full list of devices that instantly stream from Netflix”. I am in Ontario, Canada. Very disappointing…something I’ve been waiting for for some time…and the release notes of the latest firmware said it could happen.

I assume that you have given the information that Guy asked for in the post above yours. If so I would assume that your wait will become shorter.

Netflix to Canada - “the problem is with WD, contact them”

WD to Canada - “the problem is with Netflix Canada, contact them”

Me to Netflix & WD - “My WD TV Live Plus is being returned to Costo tomorrow (they’ll take back anything). Netflix will be cancelled tonight”

Enough is enough already! I don’t care who is to blame, nor should I.

Not impressed.

CHARON wrote:

Netflix to Canada - “the problem is with WD, contact them”

 

WD to Canada - “the problem is with Netflix Canada, contact them”

 

Me to Netflix & WD - “My WD TV Live Plus is being returned to Costo tomorrow (they’ll take back anything). Netflix will be cancelled tonight”

 

Enough is enough already! I don’t care who is to blame, nor should I.

 

Not impressed.

You obviously care enough to post the same message twice. Lets remember that Netflix Canada only came on line officially with the latest firmware which was posted a couple of days ago. I assume that this is a teething problem and should be sorted out soon. Guy from WD is actively looking into it (see his message above).