Netflix on the Raspberry Pi 3 – How-to

A Simple Way to Get Netflix on Your Raspberry Pi 3!

netflix on raspberry piLike many others, I have longed for the day that the Raspberry Pi would be able to play videos natively from Netflix. And like many others, I have tried several different ways to make it work, to no avail, but I kept trying.

So, why keep trying?

Well because the Pi 3, should be able to play video from Netflix. It has the right amount of processing speed, ram and runs on a modified Debian based Linux distribution. After all, it plays fine on a smart phone, with even less specs than the Pi. And it even runs in the Chrome browser on a Linux OS (albeit x86 based), and plays Netflix video, just fine.

So, I thought maybe Netflix just has some sort of block on ARMv7 based processors (which the Pi 3 has). Or a block on running on open source software, afraid they would get hacked or something. But many Linux distributions are open source, so that isn’t it either!

Then what is it?

Well, I am not exactly sure. I could go into a bunch of technical stuff to try and explain it, but I really don’t know exactly what I am talking about. I do understand it a little bit, but not totally. It has something to do with a Chrome plugin called widevine, that allows Netflix video, and other protected video content, to play in the Chrome browser. Widevine is automatically installed and enabled, when you install Chrome on your computer.


netflix on chromiumBut, the Chrome browser will not install and run natively on the Pi. Instead you have to install and run Chromium, which is an open source modified version of Chrome. Chromium however, does not come installed with the widevine plug in. But it is available through a code package that installs Chromium and the required patch for widevine to work, thanks to someone named krusti8 found on the raspberrypi.org forums. The code also installs a Netflix shortcut under the internet menu section on the Pixel desktop, called the Netflix Launcher.

netflix launcher

To install it on the Pi 3, it’s probably a good idea to 1st do an update. Open the terminal and type sudo apt-get update and hit enter. Once done and at the prompt again, copy and paste this code:

wget https://github.com/kusti8/chromium-build/releases/download/netflix-1.0.0/chromium-browser_56.0.2924.84-0ubuntu0.14.04.1.1011.deb
sudo dpkg -i chromium-browser_56.0.2924.84-0ubuntu0.14.04.1.1011.deb

It will start downloading and takes a little time installing. It actually installs in two parts, so you need to watch for when it finishes installing the 1st part, and then hit enter for the second part at the command prompt.

This was pretty simple! I got it up and running on my Pi with no issues! Now I can watch Netflix directly on the Pi! Without streaming from another PC or without using some other virtual windows emulator! Woo Hoo!!!! Thanks kusti8!

Enjoy!

NeoTV Prime and Raspberry Pi

Do you have one of these old Netgear NeoTV Prime Boxes with Google TV (GTV100) laying around, or still in use?

neotv prime1st, what is a NeoTV Prime box with Google TV? Basically, it’s similar to a Roku or Fire TV box, that you can connect to the internet and your TV’s HDMI port and stream online content, from many streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus. And, it comes with a handy little remote with a mouse pad and a keyboard on the other side.

The NeoTV Prime also has the ability to…

  • install and run other Android apps from the google play store.
  • surf the internet with the google Chrome browser from your couch.
  • connect to other devices like your cable or satellite set top box, DVD players, or digital stereo system, to play through the TV box via the HDMI IN port.
  • And, connect a USB mouse or keyboard, USB hubs and flash memory sticks, or other devices, through the available USB port.

kodiA couple of years ago I bought one of these, marked way down on clearance, from my local OfficeMax. I was thinking it was cheap enough that I wouldn’t be risking much if I crashed it, trying to hack it (supposedly, it can be rooted through the network setup). But there isn’t really much space (2 gig’s?) on the GTV100 model, so it’s really not worth doing. And, though it has the ability to install and run android apps from the google play store, there are a lot of popular apps that aren’t compatible. One of the popular apps I was hoping it could run, was Kodi. It says it’s not available for the GTV100 model, and side-loading these apps doesn’t work either. But I did sort of figure out a work around for Kodi!

So, it has a few limitations, though it’s great for streaming movies and TV from many of the services I mentioned before. And, it’s fine for surfing the web with the google Chrome browser. I do recommend however, connecting a wireless keyboard and mouse, because the remote/keyboard combo it comes with, can be a little tricky to use for browsing.

Do you also have a Raspberry Pi 3 or 2?

img_5479.jpgSo, what does this have to do with the Raspberry Pi 3? Well, if you have one of these NeoTV boxes, you can connect the Raspberry Pi to the HDMI IN and can set it up as a generic video source to run on the TV box. The picture on the right shows it running on my TV. It worked pretty well on the Raspbian OS.

Watch this video to see how I set it up.

Note: You will need a separate mouse and keyboard connected to your Pi to control things on it, just like you normally would, because the NeoTV Prime remote wont work on the Pi this way.
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With everything off, plug the HDMI cable from the Pi, to the HMDI IN on the NeoTV box. Plug the HDMI OUTcable from the box to an HDMI source on your TV. Turn on both to boot them up. Turn on your TV and go to the HDMI output source where your NeoTV box shows up on your screen.

Go to setting on the NeoTV menu. Choose Video Input in the list.
On the next screen, choose Generic video source. Then under Setup media device, if you see the feed from the Pi, choose Next.
The next screen tells you that the generic video source is not controllable with the NeoTV remote. Just choose ok. It will go back to the Setup media device screen, and you should still see the feed from the Pi again, and choose Finish. Then push the blue home button on the NeoTV remote to go back to your menu. Then to view and interact with the Pi, select the Live TV app, in the menu. You should see the Pi in full view. On mine, the screen for Kodi goes a little past the edge, but I am fine with that. Then use a mouse and keyboard, to use it. You can remove the Pi from the video source by going to the menu and under settings, choose Video Input and just follow the instructions on-screens to remove it.

Now, what you do with that, is up to you! I really just wanted to see if it was possible and it worked. And here is my “work around” for getting Kodi to work on the box. I installed LibreElec on an SD card and ran it on the Pi, connected to the NeoTV  Prime box. Though I did notice a little decrease in video quality and the screen size went just a little past the edges of the screen.

Anyway, it’s been fun! Good Luck!