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Comments

Jeff

I have a laptop with an S-Video connection that I connect to a JVC 36 inch CRT tv. I have an S-Video to RCA adapter that I then connect to the RCA input on the TV's front panel. For Audio, I have a stereo jack to dual RCA adapter that I plug into the PC's headphone jack.

Jay_cee

I can't use Watch Now. I've got my 37" TV hooked up to my Linux based MythTV box. If Netflix Watch Now worked, it would be the bomb! ...but alas no linux support...

Trav

I have my iMac connected to my 46" Hitachi RPTV in the media room via a 30 DVI cable (monoprice.com has cables in many lengths for DVI, VGA, Component, whatever) and a optical audio cable to my receiver. I then either use my bluetooth phone as remote or bring in wireless keyboard/mouse. Watch Instantly works great with XP via Parallels or Boot Camp. Can't wait for Mac support. Also can't believe anyone would want to add another STB when $50 worth of cables and wireless input devices add much more functionality, i.e. Apple's Front Row, Divx movies and big screen gaming.

user of things

I have a macbook w/ mini-dvi to hdmi out connected to my hdtv. I have windows xp installed with the boot camp drivers, works great in both mac and windows although the colors aren't as good on windows side as I'd like. The issue there is the video driver which I can probably update but have not spent time to do yet.

A tip for Windows users: Unless you're using VGA-out you probably need to boot windows with your video cable connected for it to recognize the external display/hdtv.

Matt

My PC is in the same room as my TV (I'm in college :-p) so I simply hooked the TV up via S-Video, and my stereo up via the optical port on my sound card. Total cost was about $30 for the two cables. Most modern video cards have an S-video out that can also do component, and sound cards can almost always be hooked up to a stereo via an adapter. I'm not too up on HDMI etc since I don't yet own the equipment needed to use it.

Nick

Vista-running MacMini connected to a Sanyo Z3 projector over a $5 DVI->HDMI cable. Works great. Can't wait to cross out the 'Vista-running' bit later this year :)

I'd love to use WatchNow on my TV, but I can't even use it on most of my PCs. Two out of my 3 PCs encounter a DRM conflict. I've got IE7, WMP 11, DX 9c, and I've tried all the corrective actions suggested by Netflix. But it always comes down to some DRM problem with the COPP content protection system. Netflix really needs to get this straightened out.

Spencer

I've got an HTPC connected via component video to my HDTV. I'm currently running MediaPortal as a frontend. I can't currently view Watch Now content, unless I bump the resolution down to 480p, because of the damn DRM.

MCWHAMMER

Someone here was nice enough to help me a couple weeks ago. I bought a monoprice DVI cable, I believe it is called (Monitor cable), and plugged it into the DVI in my TV. I also got a headphone cable (2 Male ends) and plugged it in to both TV and laptop. The Watch Now picture looks phenomenal on my HDTV, I just wish the sound was a little better. On surround sound, everything seems to only be in stereo, so it's a little muffled.

Other than that, it's much better than watching on a small laptop screen.

Robert

I'm running a small Shuttle brand PC in the living room. I'm putting out 1080p over DVI to an HDMI tip into my Sharp Aquous 42" LCD. We use Watch Instantly all the time and it looks great. Our only gripe is the occasional muddy encoding rate when displayed on such a large monitor. However, you can't beat free right?

Steve

I just use DVD Anywhere by X10 in conjuction with MediaPortal.
Easy to setup, inexpensive, wireless and includes a remote.
http://www.x10.com/products/x10_vk53a.htm
and
http://www.team-mediaportal.com/

George

Install a $75 GIGABYTE GV-NX73T256P-RH GeForce 7300GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Video Card into any PC you can find, and then buy a cheap DVI to HDMI adaptor, and you are DONE!

I've built two HTPC's with this card and they both work perfectly. This video card has no fan, so the systems are super quiet. I 've been using WatchNow since it was first released.

FYI, I'm using a 42" 1080p Toshiba LCD TV.

Darwin

I tried connecting my laptop to my 42" TV last night. I used my old vga cable and i was able to do watch it now on my tv. problem is, even if do "full screen" mode on my laptop, i couldnt get a full screen on my TV..its probably a resolution issue. Anyways, i browse thru the netflix watch it now movies and realized that they dont really have any good selection of movies.

Rahul

i use an svideo cable along with audio cables that go from the headphone jack into a splitter for component audio right from my laptop to my tv, or i've seen some people do it with an HDMI which doesn't require separate audio cables

Stephan

I'm a teacher, and my county lets each of us use Dell LCD projectors which I bring home for the weekend. Shows Netflix watch it now movies beautifully on a big white wall I have in my living room. Better than a movie theater.

junebug1701

Up until November, I had my JVC 27" TV hooked up to a Dell PC via S-video. Another cable from the sound card to the audio input. Worked very well and the picture quality was excellent with Netflix Watch Now even though the PC has a wireless connection to the router. In November, I replaced the JVC with a Westinghouse 42" HDTV and hooked the Dell to it using a DVI->HDMI cable. It looks incredible at 1080p! Since DVI has no audio, I'm still using the audio cable from the sound card.

Jane

I'll tell you what sucks big time: Netflix's decision to use DRM for it's Instant Movies. Argh!!

What a bunch of BS. All it does is penalize paying, valued customers who try to run it on a new computer system. It doesn't work with a new good computer, I have to get out the analog cables and monitor to get it to work. Outrageous.

I mean come on, we have to login to view the movie in the first place. Isn't that good enough? Where's the trust Reed?

Biscuit

Interesting that several people say most modern PCs have an S-video out. My new HP Presario, running Vista and includes the Media Center, has nothing of the sort. Though the software is clearly set up for receiving TV, the hardware isn't. There was a leaflet in the manual saying they recommend getting a USB TV tuner, that's it. Gee, thanks HP, thanks a lot...

Since my desktop is 25' from the TV, and my TV doesn't have a VGA in, my best options are to set up a 2nd monitor on my laptop. I have looked at other options, including upgrading my TV, etc...but that's a lot of money out just to watch "free"(included) movies.

Come to think of it, I haven't used the Watch Now service since December...because I didn't feel like sitting in the room where the desktop is to watch.

Ted Pendergrass

Macbook Pro running XP in bootcamp hooked up to my Sharp Aquos via DVI.

Works beautifully.

badasscat

60" SOny SXRD with HTPC(set -2 on the TV for overscan).

Connected by DVI-HDMI....at 1776x1000.

It's just stereo(alas),but still...I just use Instant for TV shows and older stuff.

And never had any issue with DRM as JANE says.....but then,this is the ONLY service I use that implements it.Connected at 3 megs/sec DSL,....I get almost DVD video,and now that it is unlimited....I can find something to watch when there is nothing on DISHtv.

BTW,P4@3ghz,ATI X800XT,XPPro.....my only prob is the SXRD TV has a short bulb life....one year,..it now has 4400 hours on bulb....grrr.

Cheers!

Jamie

Got a 27" LCD tv used as monitor (720p), dvi-hdmi from pc to monitor. Works lovely, looks great.

Michael

Regarding those that have DRM issues.....

I had this same problem with my XP Media Center Edition PC. The PC was connected to the TV via an S-video cable (Older TV). A quick phone call to Watch Now customer support informed me that the DRM will prevent the video from playing unless the display is connected via VGA, DVI or HDMI.

He said the work around for this would be to connect a monitor tot he PC and mirror the TV display to the VGA monitors. I snagged a 14" LCD off of Craigslist for $40. and tucked it next to the TV, problem fixed.

Kind of a hassle, but it does the job until I buy a new TV.

Mike

Edward R Murrow

I love this hacker sh!t.

My grandma tried doing this and after 30 minutes of profanity, we eventually had to pull the gun out of her hand before she shot herself and put herself out of her WatchNow to TV misery.

David

Steve,

Your DVD Anywhere set-up sounds interesting. Can you tell us more about it? How's quality?

greg smelser

i have samsung 50" dlphd;heres how i connect to pc--
d-sub cable
1.d-sub cable between PC IN on tv/PC OUT on computer
2.PC audio between PC IN audio on tv/AUDIO OUT on computer
HDMI/DVI cable
1.HDMI 1 on tv/PC output on computer
2. 1STEREO/2RCA cable between DVI IN on tv/AUDIO OUT on computer
1024/768 resolution,60Hz frequency

Suresh

Vista PC connected to Panasonic 50' HDTV using HDMI to HDMI. PC has a graphics card with HDMI out.Works great.

Anonymous

Built an HTPC running Vista Ultimate with an ATI Radeon HD2600 XT graphics card hooked to an Onkyo SR605 receiver via HDMI. The receiver is then hooked to my Sony 46" XBR LCD TV using HDMI.

splitretina

I'm using a Nvidia GeForce 5500 FX with TV out via the s-video port. I ran into the COPP problem, "Microsoft DRM Software Error". A quick call to NetFlix confirmed that it was because the only output was to a television. So I built a simple VGA loopback dongle and that solved the problem. I followed the instruction here:

http://tvtool.info/go.htm?http://tvtool.info/english/dummy_e.htm

I also jumped pin 11 to 5 to show monitor type detection as, "Color monitor which does not support 1024x768"

The dongle works great and I can use NetFlix with no problems.

Bob

HP laptop with VGA out to 32" Olevia VGA port and headphone out to RCA stereo which has a bad screech which fortunately the humidifier noise muffels. Though with the somewhat limited Netflix selection I've been watching more Fox and NBC shows on their respective websites. Oh, and I have to click 2 licence buttons to watch anything on Netflix, which i just assumed was b/c this is my second computer accessing their site.

Michael

Nice hack, Splitretina. Far more elegant than my cheap LCD solution. Will set out to do that this weekend.

Thanks!

Michael

-DC-

I had problems using HDMI with my laptop and HDTV. The display resolution would not fit the screen, and even the Sony TV manual said not to use HDMI for computer connections (huh?). So I had to stick with VGA. Might try again using newer video drivers on the laptop.

knottykey

Hello everyone. I hooked up my laptop to my 50 inch Samsung dlp. The transfer works but the black bars on the top and bottom are huge. I tried the different screen sizes on the tv, but I still am unable to get full screen. Any tips.

Steve

David,

DVD Anywhere was a snap to setup out of the box. The quality is excellent. The only issue I have is occasional interference from my neighbor's wireless as it does share the 802.11 spectrum, though it has 4 channels so you can minimize/eliminated the interference pretty well. And forget trying to use it and and make microwave popcorn. But other than that I love it, have been using it quite reliably, and MediaPortal natively supports the X10 remote in its configuration.

I also have a laptop and desktop, and most of the time I just use "synergy2" to share out the keyboard and mouse of my laptop to the desktop which controls MediaPortal and broadcasts movies/music to my TV/Stereo.
Synergy is one of the slickest open source programs I've ever seen and works great for this purpose.

http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

Naturally, it would work with Meedio, XP MediaCenter as well or any other Home Theatre PC setup, I'm just very biased toward MediaPortal...

JD Johnson

I hooked my computer up to the pc plus the back of my 60 inch hd tv. Every thing was working fine until I tried to watch browse instantly. The video played on the hp laptop, but the video on the tv was blacked out. Anyone have this problem, if so how do you fix it.

JD Johnson

I hooked my computer up to the pc plus the back of my 60 inch hd tv. Every thing was working fine until I tried to watch browse instantly. The video played on the hp laptop, but the video on the tv was blacked out. Anyone have this problem, if so how do you fix it.

So, I've been struggling trying to get my computer hooked up to my TV for about 3 weeks now. First, I used DVI-HDMI. I had horrible overscan problems, and no matter what I tried, they wouldn't resolve. The Nvidia tools and fixes all didn't work.

Nvidia's solution: Use a component cable. Finally I caved in and bought another $30 cable. I hooked it to my HDTV, and after much tweaking and troubleshooting, I figured out how to resize my output to overcome the overscan (I had to make my HDTV the only active monitor for the controls to work).

I then victoriously loaded up Internet Explorer, and fired up Netflix on demand. I was greeted with an odd error... it said that my DRM was corrupted, and needed to be cleared out. I was prompted to download a program to this. I loaded it up, and it said it failed to clear the DRM cache. Now, whenever I tried to load an on-demand Netflix movie, it would crash IE.

I called up NetFlix support, and after a lot of troubleshooting, I got my DRM folder erased. It wouldn't let me erase about 3 files in there because they were "in use" by another program, although I had nothing running. The end result was booting into safemode and erasing the files. I fired up Netflix on demand, started a movie, and it worked. After being on hold for 30 minutes and 30 more of troubleshooting, I solved my problem.

So, I then made my primary display my HDTV and fired up another on-demand movie. Again, I got the same error. I couldn't believe it. I then rebooted into safe mode, erased the files, and loaded up another movie on my monitor. It worked fine. I tried another. Ran fine. I then made my primary display my HDTV, and lo and behold, I got the error.

I then firgured out what process wasn't allowing me to erase my "corrupted" DRM files. It was something called "wmpnetwk.exe" (Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service). If I killed this process, I could erase my DRM files and load a movie. However, as soon as I switched my primary display to my HDTV, the DRM files would "corrupt" and not allow me to watch anything... and also crash explorer whenever trying to watch one, on my regular monitor or on my TV.

Basically, the Netflix software coupled with Microsoft's DRM can tell if I'm trying to watch something on my television, and then stop it from running on my computer. I've tried all sorts of tricks to get around it, like starting the movie on my monitor, then turning my HDTV into my primary monitor. It pops an error up saying that it's not allowed to do this because a video is running, and i have to stop the video before switching displays. So even the Nvidia drivers are compliant in stopping me from using my HDTV as a monitor.... IF there is a movie involved.

My only workaround is to run "clone displays" and have the movie running on both screens. The problem is, the overscan is so bad that it makes it not even worth bothering with.

I'm fuming angry right now. I can't believe it's come to them snooping what type of fucking MONITOR I'm running on, and them deciding if I should be allowed to use it or not.

Jay

JD Johnson:

This happens on laptops when they are hooked to an external viewing device. Most laptops have 3 different viewing options when they are hooked up to an external monitor of some sort. 1) View on the laptop screen ONLY (default) 2) View on the laptop screen AND the external monitor simultaneously, and 3) View on the external screen ONLY.

The way you generally switch between these 3 different view is by holding down the "Fn" key and pressing the appropriate F-Key (like F2 for instance). The appropriate F-Key will usually have a picture of a monitor in or "CRT/LCD" written on it in blue.

The fix for the problem that you are having seems to be that you must have your laptop set to display through the EXTERNAL monitor ONLY. You are likely trying to view on BOTH screens at the same time. This creates the black screen problem that you described. Try setting it so that the external monitor (your TV) is the only monitor that you are using (as long as you are viewing the movie) and that should take care of your problem.

B Morris

I recently tried hooking up my laptop to my TV using an s-video cable. Everything except the movie was displayed. I could see the movie window, my pointer, IE everything but the movie itself was blank on my tv however viewable on my laptop. It was if it was being blocked. Does anyone have any idea? Do I need to reset my pc's resolution?

brad

I ran into this problem yesterday after re-installing Windows to try to fix it. I tried DVI-HDMI with my computer to HDTV and it worked just fine. Switched to ATI DVI-component dongle and started getting DRM errors. Reinstalled windows, still errors. Finally I thought it might be a DRM thing, dumbed the resolution down to 480p and it works just fine. Only problem is I have keep switching the resolution back and forth since windows isn't what I'd call 'usable' at 480p.

Lesson: DRM will not currently allow resolutions over 480p on component cable with NetFlix Watch Instantly.

Used Refurbished Laptops

We've already had some experience with big, wide desktop monitors. One of them, the Sony GDM-FW900, is a CRT with a 24-inch diagonal display (22 inches viewable), but it's no longer manufactured (you can sometimes find refurbished units for about $1,200). LCDs have begun appear in widescreen format in the past couple of years, and these typically cost several thousand dollars. One of them, the Samsung 240T, weighs in at around $2,000. The best price we've seen for another, Sony's 23-inch SDM-232, was a bit over $1,600. And apple's 23-inch Cinema HD can be found for under $1,600 if you look hard enough.
Now Dell has decided to drop the price bomb. The UltraSharp 2405FPW 24-inch widescreen LCD will cost a measly (by comparison) $1,199. It's the classic Dell approach: Not pioneering a new market or category, but entering it later and at high volume, usually with a significantly lower price.

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