Monday, February 11, 2008

Now Playing - SageTV Netflix Plugin with Watch Instantly Support

With Netflix beginning to work with vendors on integration of their "watch instantly" movie streaming, Home Theater PC Owners have been longing for support for their HTPC's. Starting today, you can manage your Netflix Queue, browse movie previews and even play "Watch Instantly" movies right from the comfort of your living room sofa using a remote if you have SageTV or Vista Media Center.



First off we have the SageTV (SageMC required) Plug-in that was originally developed by a user known as DwarF Pullen on the SageTV forums and now updated and improved by Morgan111.  Morgan released this version of the plug-in (still a beta version) with the following features:

  • Browse and manage your Netflix queue (move up/down, add to queue, remove from queue, move to top/bottom)
  • Watch Previews of movies that have previews available on
  • Browse through movies that are listed in the many NetFlix RSS channels (Top Movies by category etc)
  • Search For Movie by title
  • View recent activity (previously rented movies etc)
  • View movie descriptions, ratings, trailers and more
  • Launch Watch It Now movies
  • Add movies to rental queue and manipulate queue items

I've been trying the SageMC plug-in out and it works great.  It's really makes Netflix more accessible when you can watch the previews and streaming movies from your TV instead of a laptop.  We'll be using this feature to catch up on a few TV show episodes we've missed (The Office for example) and the preview feature will come in handy as well.  One thing to note, for viewing instant-watch movies, you can launch the movie, pause and play (with the enter key on your remote) and exit playback all using your remote control, but you can't rewind or fast forward using your remote.

Here's some screen-shots of the SageTV plug-in:

Movies (channels) by category

Netflix Screen 1


Netflix Screen 2

Search by title

Netflix Screen 3

View Movie Trailers

Netflix Screen 7


Watch it Now!!!!!


You can read more about the SageMC plug-in in this SageTV forum thread and download the plug-in from HERE




For those of you with Vista Media Center, Chris Lanier mentioned that Anthony Park released his MCML plug-in called MyNetflix for Vista Media Center

  • View Netflix queue
  • Browse movies
  • View your history/recommendations
  • Add/remove/move movies to your queue
  • Browse “Watch now” movies
  • Play “Watch now” movies


Now we'll see what Netflix has in store for the watch instantly service once they and LG releases those set-top boxes.  Hopefully the service will carry improved movie content and these excellent HTPC plug-ins will still be able to work to watch those movies via the 10-foot interface we know as the HTPC!