[Discuss] Netflix and/or other streaming services on Linux?

Alan W. Irwin irwin at beluga.phys.uvic.ca
Thu Nov 2 14:56:25 PDT 2017

On 2017-11-02 14:06-0700 Darren Duncan wrote:

> On 2017-11-02 1:46 PM, Alan W. Irwin wrote:
>> On 2017-11-02 11:54-0700 Darren Duncan wrote:
>> [...]
>>> I do plenty of Netflix etc and I don't think I've actually gone beyond
>>> 100-200GB/mo in actual usage.
>> For my entertainment needs, I have been pretty content over the years
>> simply watching movies and TV shows via DVD and sometimes TV shows via
>> Shaw TV, a converter box, and an old computer TV card.  And I have
>> gotten all of this to work without issues on my Linux PC running
>> Debian. However, from articles I have read it is pretty clear the
>> Netflix streaming approach for supplying entertainment needs is now
>> the dominant one or soon will be.
>> If your remark above means you have gotten Netflix and other
>> streaming services to work on Linux, can you refer me to a howto or
>> some other documentation about how you set that up?
> So, two answers:
> 1. While this is a VLUG forum, subject of ISPs is neutral to operating system 
> and I was responding as such; my comments were equally applicable to both 
> Linux and other operating systems.
> 2. Per https://help.netflix.com/en/node/23742 Netflix' modern HTML 5 based 
> solution ostensibly works on all modern web browsers on all modern operating 
> systems, unlike their older Silverlight based solutions.  Also, while Netflix 
> took the lead, it has also become or is becoming the case that other video 
> streaming sites are HTML 5 now and don't use Flash either, including Youtube 
> and ctv.ca etc.

I would like to discuss that URL reference a bit further.  One of
the options is the chrome browswer, but that appears not to be available
on Debian.  The other Linux option is Mozilla Firefox version 47 so
that looks promising.  It does have the qualifier

Supported on stable, official release builds from Mozilla. Non-Mozilla
builds are not supported.

If that means it doesn't work unless it is one of the official release
builds from Mozilla, then that is bad (since distros build their own
versions which have additional patches beyond what upstream Mozilla
provides).  However, if it simply means Netflix provides no customer
support for distro-built Mozilla, but normally that should "just work"
then that is OK.

So can you comment on whether in your experience Mozilla just works
for whatever Linux distro you are running?

Alan W. Irwin

Astronomical research affiliation with Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Victoria (astrowww.phys.uvic.ca).

Programming affiliations with the FreeEOS equation-of-state
implementation for stellar interiors (freeeos.sf.net); the Time
Ephemerides project (timeephem.sf.net); PLplot scientific plotting
software package (plplot.sf.net); the libLASi project
(unifont.org/lasi); the Loads of Linux Links project (loll.sf.net);
and the Linux Brochure Project (lbproject.sf.net).

Linux-powered Science

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