Good news for families (like ours) that use VMC (Vista Media Center) in their living room (or I guess anywhere you watch TV). Over the next 48 hours, Microsoft will be rolling out a new plug-in for their software that will allow you to watch content from your Netflix Instant Queue. I mentioned back in December when the NXE update arrived for the XBox 360, that it would be nice to have a better player for the PC.
I only wish that the PC player was as good. On a PC, you need to disable the screen saver otherwise you’ll be moving the mouse periodically. The quality is good on the PC player though. There are a couple Vista Media Center plug-ins for viewing shows, but they aren’t on the same level as the XBox player. I’m going to continue looking at them since the browser based player doesn’t work well from 10 feet away. Not being able to use the remote to pause and fast forward the movie is very unattractive on an HTPC.
Looking at the feature list, this plugin will support the pause, fast forward and rewind using the remote that I’ve been looking for and will also include a rather snazzy interface. There is a Microsoft video that will show the new VMC Netflix plugin in action. There are a couple of unofficial plugins that provide for Netflix viewing, but none of them look this good.
The only downside with the new plugin is the lack of extender support. However with Linksys and others discontinuing their extender devices, the whole extender ecosystem seems to be falling apart at the seams. Note to Microsoft: please produce a version of your XBox 360 that is quiet. Regardless, thanks for sharing the love with my VMC. Now we just need Netflix to step up to the plate and provide fresh content on a regular basis.