Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Netflix for Vista Media Center (and Xbox 360)

There’s no need to wait for Netflix and Microsoft to officially ink an Xbox 360 deal. Yesterday, Lifehacker posted details of a new add-in for Vista Media Center, called vmcNetflix, that brings a plethora of Netflix features into Media Center, and consequently your Xbox 360. It’s the same concept I wanted to build for Hulu, if Hulu wasn’t doing it already. Some of the features:

  • Stream WatchNow movies directly to the Media Center player.
  • Download WatchNow movies to a "Watch Later" gallery.
  • Support for Vista Extenders on both x86 and x64 platforms.
  • Support for Netflix Instant Queue.
  • Support for Episode listings.
  • Search for movies by keyword.
  • Browse DVD and WatchNow movies by genres.
  • Sort Gallery by Title, Year, or Star Rating.
  • View your queue, history, and recommendations.
  • Add, remove, move movies in your queue.
  • Supports DVD/Movie Parental Controls

Just one more reason why Windows is a fantastic platform for software development. vmcNetflix is still a beta, although it looks like they are full-steam-ahead for a v1 release any day now. I’m not a Netflix user, so my testing it would be pointless. Any of you have any experience with this app? If so, drop me a comment.

[via Joystiq]

Update: Some people are calling this a hack. It’s not, it’s called an add-in. A hack makes it sound like you’re opening up some secret setting in the Xbox 360 or something. If this were on AppleTV, it would be a hack, because AppleTV is a closed system and not a platform. Windows Media Center is a pluggable platform from which lots of people build applications.

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