Stream Netflix movies to an Xbox 360 with vmcNetflix add-in

vmcNetflixIt’s been long rumored that Netflix may be coming to gaming consoles like the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, you still have to wait for that to officially happen. Fortunately, at least for a few Xbox 360 owners, there is a work-around.

Lifehacker provides instruction on how to turn an Xbox 360 into a streaming Netflix player — as long as you meet a few requirements.

One: You own an Xbox 360.

Two: You have a Netflix subscription.

Three: You use Microsoft Vista with the Vista Media Center, included by default in Vista Home Premium and Ultimate editions.

Four: You download and install the freeware plug-in vmcNetflix, an add-in for Vista Media Center. You can find it here with instructions.

The vmcNetFlix instructions are, as you’d expect, for the technically inclined; they’re text-heavy, list-y, and filled with notes and revisions, which can confuse the average consumer.

See also: Netflix on PS3, Xbox 360 — pipe dream or in the pipeline?

vmcNetflix installedLifehacker speaks well to the consumer who is technically comfortable but not a full fledged hacker, so its instructions are a bit easier to follow. Lifehacker includes a link to a YouTube video that demonstrates what you can expect. With vmcNetflix you will be able to browse and watch movies in your Netflix Watch Instantly queue from your Xbox 360 or Vista Media Center, among many other features.

Why would you want to do this? For one, if you meet the requirements, you don’t have to shell out $99 for Roku’s Netflix Player to stream Netflix video to your TV. While the Roku box has received favorable reviews, it’s not as full-featured as the vmcNetflix add-in, which is also frequently updated.

And two, our living rooms are cluttered enough with multiple set-top boxes, digital video recorders, home theater equipment, media bridges, and several gaming consoles, so it makes sense to consolidate when possible.

Maybe one of these days the hardware manufacturers, software makers, and service providers like Netflix will get together in a Kumbaya moment, cooperate , and clean up this mess in our living rooms.

I know. A pipe dream.


last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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