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Netflix and Roku

MikeGB :

The issue posted by Nards Barley back in 2013 must be an old issue because I had someone bring me a Roku 3 from the US last year (2015) and I was able to install Netflix without any problems and without using a DNS proxy or a VPN service. It works well for TV series and movies that are available both in English and Spanish. There are some movies that are only in Spanish though. Incidentally, the Netflix service was purchased for Canada.

Without a proxy or VPN you are getting the Latin America (Mexico) catalog of Netflix on your Roku.  A quick way to prove that is to search for the show Damages.  If you don't have it, you are in the Latin America catalog. Of course, since most of the content in that catalog is produced in the U.S., there is usually an English audio track.  While I only watch Netflix from the Latin America catalog, many people have told me there are many TV shows  that are only available in the U.S. catalog, probably because it takes time to develop a Spanish audio track and/or subtitles.

We have Netflix (as I mentioned before), but I seldomly use it.

Instead I download all TV series and most of the movies I watch via a Torrent site (http://kat.cr). There is more available via this mechanism than there is on Netflix for the US or Latin America. Likewise, I rarely ever use Kodi.

Netflix has been blocking the service of those who use proxies or vpns. Here is the message I received during my testing.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YGg0twQeGaU/VvGdpDtvCZI/AAAAAAAABQc/0JLR3iZQFSMXKaG9xamXGJVl0QeNG4VagCCo/s800-Ic42/upload_-1

Here is what the free DNS proxy service Portaller says on their website:

Sorry guys, Netflix is temporarily unavailable due to their new restrictions against unblockers. We'll see what we can do.

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The VPN and Proxy provider cactusvpn.com has an interesting article about it:

Netflix earlier announced that it will block proxy services from accessing Netflix and now they have started blocking VPN services. CactusVPN has been facing issues for quite some time; many of our customers have reported the connection and streaming error when trying to access Netflix. However, these errors are inconsistent as some users are able to access Netflix using the same service.
Because of this inconsistency, it is quite hard to determine how Netflix is blocking VPNs. It is not the case of blocking a specific VPN service altogether as some users are still using it without any trouble. It could be based on users’ behavior and usage patterns; for example, users who access Netflix services from different IPs during a short time period might experience problems. Or this blocking could be based upon the overall usage pattern regardless of the geographical region.

However, the inconsistency of this error is still the case here. Some users are able to access these services without any issue and some are not. We are trying to resolve this problem by switching IPs but this is a temporary solution that could not possibly last longer.

Netflix actions and stand on this situation is a mystery for VPN providers as Netflix is forcing people to not use its services (services, users already have paid for) because people are not going to compromise on their online privacy and security by ditching VPN services. Ironically, VPN providers are considered Netflix ally for two main reasons; first of all, they encourage users to pay for Netflix services even when they are overseas and secondly they increase the connection speed for Netflix streaming when others like Comcast deliberately slow it down.

The main idea behind using VPN services is enjoying the freedom of internet even on public networks without putting yourself out in the open and making your data and devices vulnerable. For example, people who travel overseas frequently use VPN services to connect with hotel network and other public networks without turning their guard down.

Of course we would love to open a dialogue with Netflix to resolve this issue but obviously Netflix has ultimate control over its services and to whom it want to provide those services. Our goal is to provide uninterrupted access to geo-restricted contents and protecting our customers from cyber attacks at the same time. Hopefully we’ll resolve this issue in the near future.

The posting from Cactusvpn does not present a correct picture:  Neflix does not want to limit who has access, but rather they are being forced to limit access to their US service in other countries because of media licensing issues. Basically, their are countries that are not paying the media content companies to make their content available in those countries. So, it's not Netflix that is causing the problem. You can still use Netflix here in Ecuador without using a VPN. But you will not see the content that is available only in the US. However, there is still lots of content available in English. Lots of current TV shows and movies as new as 2015.

But if you want to get around these licensing issues and see any content regardless of media licensing issues, you can always use KODI. But with this method you will either have to pay someone to set it up and make periodic modifications for you or learn how to do it yourself. It is not difficult to install, but setting up the addons can be somewhat challenging depending on your experience-level with technology.

I have also heard that there are some VPN services that still work. They claim that because they use a dedicated IP address for each client that their service will still provide access to US Netflix content. But I am not so sure this will work for much longer. It would be a simple task for Netflix to learn which addresses are valid and which are not. All they have to do is lookup the company name that the IP addresses are registered to and that is not a difficult thing to do.

While trying to get over a bad cold, I read an article from wired.com that discusses the issue of why Netflix is blocking proxies and vpns.  It raises a couple of arguments apart from licensing violations of tv/movie content.

For the company, this may be a way to put pressure on content distributors. Want your shows to be streamed around the world? Netflix can say. There’s a demand for them, and we’ll pay for it, but you have to give us the global rights. By enforcing the content licensors’ rules, Netflix is meanwhile showing a willingness to compromise in the meantime. But the opportunity to reach the global audience Netflix is setting out to command may be too good for studios to pass up. If a worldwide television network exists, and you make TV or movies, wouldn’t you want to be on it?

Meanwhile, in the short term, blocking VPN proxies could very well elevate Netflix’s originals. In certain parts of the world where Netflix is newly available, the company’s third-party content offerings may feel limited. Netflix’s originals, however, are high-quality shows and films that have proven successful around the world already. And since they belong to Netflix, the company can show them wherever it chooses. By blocking users elsewhere from accessing more content available in, say, the US, it can funnel new users towards its originals, which helps build Netflix’s global brand not just as a deliverer of content, but as a maker.

Most of all, however, the move may be a sly way of targeting a much-desired audience in a very special place: China. According to UK research firm GlobalWebIndex, Netflix’s service was accessed by 21.6 million users in China via a VPN proxy in late 2014. (For context, the company has more than 70 million paying subscribers.) If that figure is right, that means there’s a very real demand for the service in China. By restricting VPN access, Netflix may be trying to put pressure on regulators in the country (who themselves are reportedly fans of Netflix originals like House of Cards) to give the Chinese access to its service.

I have setup a few people with these streaming boxes which you can use with a number of IPTV services, but the one I have been configuring is this one. While It isn't perfect and at times there is buffering, everyone so far thinks it is worth it.  However, given the nature of the beast, the service could disappear at some point. I would only get one of these boxes if I had fiber optic and at least 10Mbps of download speed.

Given the fact Netflix is causing problems for those who use a proxy service or VPN these days, it is not a bad idea to have an alternative service whether it be Hulu, Amazon or one of these boxes.

I'm setting up my viewing pleasure and so far I have Netflix, US account and everything streams fine, including ultra HD. You can access 4 screens at once anywhere. I'm not sure it's limited to South America version as some have claimed here and honestly I can't tell, but there are tons of TV shows and Movies in English. Previously I would simply download the torrents but the convenience of netflix is unbeatable. 

I also subscribed to NBA league pass premium (only option) from Ecuador, and it's cheaper than up north as you get the premium package here for the same price as the basic. Here's a hint, don't buy the annual package, it's cheaper to buy on a monthly basis unless you want off season stuff. So if you subscribe do it any time after the 18 of the month because they bill you on a monthly basis and the season starts on Oct 25th, and the finals end June 18. So if you subscribe before the 18, they will charge you an extra month if the finals go to a game 7.

Now i just need an HD or ultraHD source for news, and I'm straight.

vsimple :

I'm setting up my viewing pleasure and so far I have Netflix, US account and everything streams fine, including ultra HD. You can access 4 screens at once anywhere. I'm not sure it's limited to South America version as some have claimed here and honestly I can't tell, but there are tons of TV shows and Movies in English.

Do a search for the Andy Griffith show in Netflix. If it is not available, you don't have the U.S. catalog.

Here is a comparision by region (source) of titles available.

USA: 5760
Canada: 3606
Argentina: 3579
Brazil: 3558
Mexico: 3550
Colombia: 3526
UK: 2990
Ireland: 2984
Switzerland: 2185
Denmark: 2146
Norway: 2119
Sweden: 2118
Finland: 2093
Australia: 2092
New Zealand: 2043
Belgium: 2037
Luxembourg: 1971
Netherlands: 1900
France: 1882
Germany: 1813
Austria: 1778
Japan: 1776
Spain: 1291
Italy: 1187
Poland: 783
Portugal: 767
India: 751
Russia: 734
South Korea: 664

According to this website, Ecuador has 3,881 titles in its Netflix catalog while the U.S.  has 5,310.

http://unogs.com/countrydetail/

Nards Barley :
vsimple :

I'm setting up my viewing pleasure and so far I have Netflix, US account and everything streams fine, including ultra HD. You can access 4 screens at once anywhere. I'm not sure it's limited to South America version as some have claimed here and honestly I can't tell, but there are tons of TV shows and Movies in English.

Do a search for the Andy Griffith show in Netflix. If it is not available, you don't have the U.S. catalog.

Here is a comparision by region (source) of titles available.

USA: 5760
Canada: 3606
Argentina: 3579
Brazil: 3558
Mexico: 3550
Colombia: 3526
UK: 2990
Ireland: 2984
Switzerland: 2185
Denmark: 2146
Norway: 2119
Sweden: 2118
Finland: 2093
Australia: 2092
New Zealand: 2043
Belgium: 2037
Luxembourg: 1971
Netherlands: 1900
France: 1882
Germany: 1813
Austria: 1778
Japan: 1776
Spain: 1291
Italy: 1187
Poland: 783
Portugal: 767
India: 751
Russia: 734
South Korea: 664

No Andy Griffith Show. So we have about 1500 less titles. Oh well.

vsimple :

No Andy Griffith Show. So we have about 1500 less titles. Oh well.

The bright side is it is better for Spanish learning since I have often found that U.S. catalog has fewer foreign language audio tracks and subtitles available.  You would think that the same title in both catalogs would have the same audio and subtitles tracks available, but that isn't the case for some reason.

Nards Barley :

According to this website, Ecuador has 3,881 titles in its Netflix catalog while the U.S.  has 5,310.

http://unogs.com/countrydetail/

Nards is spot on. I stream Netflix every day. Works like a charm. But then one day, I noticed that if I logged in using my EEUU account all I got was (paraphrased) "This stream is not going to work". Well, I'm resilient, so I VPN'd off. Hey here's Netflix... Latin America. Wow they have Suits. The only show I would have watched from the USA, which you get (subscribed to CNE TV, Direct TV, Dish, etc.) and can't get in the EEUU feed because of those licensing things. What I've found is that the TV shows appear a couple of weeks later. Yes, I'm going to be two weeks late on NCIS, but time is pretty much irrelevant here... at least for me, or is that irreverent? No, I meant irrelevant :-)

Now for the real hard facts... my wife is still in the US, using Comcrap. I watch everything I want from X-Finity that I need. I will be watching the CHC/LAD game tonight on FS1. Go CUBS! (sorry for my editorial, but darn it, this is for Harry) So, if you need "right now", "live" action, you are going to need a subscription to some sort of EEUU service and a means by which to receive it (slingbox, etc.) Me, if TV doesn't fire me up, I just go on Facebook and make fun of people (not in a malicious way of course) :-)

Do not base anything on the TV stuff. This is a wonderful country (as are many). There are wonderful people here. The Mercado has fresh... um... everything. Meet some folks, live a month, or 5... take time to go to the park, just sit. I was a Type A person. After 3 years, I'm almost down to a Type C-. When I hit an F, I will know that I've been facilitated :-)

HTH,
symo

Nards:

"I would only get one of these boxes if I had fiber optic and at least 10Mbps of download speed."

There is no need to have 10Mbps for streaming. It works fine at 3Mbps. What is most important is that you have minimal contention for bandwidth and that is going to be hard to predict whether you have fiber or not. It depends on how many people have signed up for service with a specific ISP in your area.

MikeGB :

Nards:

"I would only get one of these boxes if I had fiber optic and at least 10Mbps of download speed."

There is no need to have 10Mbps for streaming. It works fine at 3Mbps. What is most important is that you have minimal contention for bandwidth and that is going to be hard to predict whether you have fiber or not. It depends on how many people have signed up for service with a specific ISP in your area.

I have 3 Mbps with Etapa DSL and it always freezes when I have tested them at home, so I guess contention is the issue.

I read 5 Mbps as a recommended minimum at an IPTV forum  which makes sense to me considering that some of the channels are supposedly high definition and even Netflix recommends 5 mbps for HD.

I said 10 Mbps and fiber optic on this thread to be conservative and because I don't want to be blamed if it performs crappy.

DSL is probably the poorest type of connectivity you could use. The reason is that DSL operates over telephone wire which is very subject to electrical interference and moisture. It also has a very limited cabling distance. If your house happens to be close to the initial DSL equipment of your ISP (out in the street) then DSL can function fairly well. If you happen to be farther away then you can expect things not to work very well.

Coaxial cable is much better and of course fiber is even better.

Coaxial cable is more tolerant to interference because of the shielding that wraps around the core wire. It can also be used over longer distances.

But fiber is much better because it transmits light and is not affected by electrical interference. Fiber also allows transmission over much greater distances.

As to HD content, the bandwidth required depends on whether it is 720p or 1080i or 1080p. 720p seems to work OK over 3Mbps, but 1080 is a different story.

And that ladies and gentlemen is why we are here... not Ecuador, but rather to get answers to questions. I personally have not done a speed test on my DSL. I watched the first two games of the National League without a problem... GO CUBS!

Netflix is hanging my computer and I have to do a hard reset. Anyone experiencing this problem? I have no issues running Netflix on laptop but on PC which has higher specs, i7-6700, 16GB Ram, GTX 745, it crashes after 2-3 hours, I tried different browsers, updated drivers for graphic card, and uninstalled and re-installed newest Silverlight as I’ve read online as a possible solution. I like to play it on PC because I like the 24 inch screen, and don't have a TV yet.

How do you guys play Netflix? Gadgets, laptops, PC, smartTv?

I have mostly used a Roku or an Amazon fire tv.  I have read about people rolling back drivers for their graphics cards to older versions due to problems with Netflix.  I take it your PC is an all-in-one or you would hook up the monitor to your laptop?

Nards Barley :

I have mostly used a Roku or an Amazon fire tv.  I have read about people rolling back drivers for their graphics cards to older versions due to problems with Netflix.  I take it your PC is an all-in-one or you would hook up the monitor to your laptop?

Unfortunately, my monitor only has VGA, DVI and mini-DisplayPort. Laptop only VGA and HDMI. The only way to connect the two is VGA and not great resolution wise. I’ll try the rollback. Thanks Nards.

For live USA televisión, I recently signed up for ustvnow.com

The 45-day trial was so successful, I became a paid subscriber this week .. and will consider upgrading to the fancier level of service that includes DVR recording.  There is no hardware involved beyond my laptop.

The free trial period gives you access to half a dozen channels including programing of NBC, CBS, Fox and others.

Access to ustvnow.com, in my case, involved switching web providers from Movistar to CNT in Quito.  Poor quality of Movistar ‘service’ in Centro Quito produced too much buffering for Netflix or ustvnow.

One big advantage of ustvnow is getting English-language audio for all sports -- including the MLB World Series which is telecast with Spanish audio only vía my DirecTV setup.  NFL games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights are also shown with Spanish audio only .. on DirecTV.  Whereas English audio is the norm on ustvnow.

cocmedia in Centro Histórico, Quito

I looked at ustvnow, and it looks pretty good. Definitely a good complement to netflix with access to news and talk shows.

ustvnow.com :  Once you graduate from the trial period to paid subscription, you have access to dozens of English-language channels and networks.

cccmedia in Quito

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