There have been quite a number of big name firms that had received bad press over the last several months, and Netflix was among them. The trouble with Netflix that most people heard was with regard to a modest price increase for their service. In fact, according to an article written on readwriteweb.com, in the months following said announcement from Netflix, they lost over 800,000 subscribers. While the price increase annoyed me, like any increase in prices tend to annoy all of us, I was among a smaller group of folks who ran into trouble with Netflix a little bit before this announcement hit the Internet.
After being the victim of a Stage 5 CPU/Motherboard meltdown (that’s geek-code for “computer crash”), I built a new system using the–at the time–brand new Sandy Bridge i5 Core 2400 processor. I went with this processor because it was supposed to be really good with encoding media (helpful for my graphic, sound, and video editing work), and it had this brand new feature that allowed the chips onboard graphics processor to run in-tandem with my external graphics processor…kinda like multiple brains working for the same graphic output. All of that ended up working great. The trouble with Sandy Bridge, however, came in the form of built in (D)igital (R)ights (M)anagement aka DRM. That feature prevented my computer from playing streaming media from Netflix because the hardware thought that I did not have the “right” to play the media, even though I was a legit Netflix subscriber. I called Netflix about it, they said they were aware of the situation but had no fix for it, so with much woe did I relinquish my Netflix subscription. About a month later I followed up with their customer service. The representative said he knew exactly what I was talking about but that there was no pending fix for the issue. At this point, Netflix was a dead leaf on my media tree. Spring came early tonight though, and that tree of media grew a new Netflix leaf.
I called customer service once again. This time, “Jake” answered, and when I explained my previous issue, he politely explained to me that it’s very likely no longer a “Netflix” issue but either a Microsoft Silverlight issue (the software that actually plays the steamed media) or an Intel issue. Both of us having a strong IT background, we were able to strike up a pretty in-depth dialogue about how this problem came to be and what potential solutions might be. After considering updating software, drivers, etc., I had the thought to disable the Intel based graphics processing unit (iGPU) altogether and just run my computer through my external graphics adapter. He immediately said that he felt that would work and offered to enable my account for another 31 day free trial so that I could troubleshoot it. As it turns out, it worked. My computer now plays streaming media in full HD quality–no annoying error from Silverlight saying that “You do not have the digital rights to play this media!”
I’ll be subscribing after my free trial runs its course. Of the 800,000+ customers Netflix lost, one customer service representative, Jake, won me back. Cheers!