Netflix Profile Support Breaks Windows Media Center Plugin (Workaround Found)

Aug 3, 2013 by

When Netflix finally announced that they would begin rolling out support for separate user profiles most of their customers rejoiced. My household is one that could really use that. My daughter loves to watch kids shows, like Tinkerbell and Super Why, but I like to watch dramas like House of Cards and Battlestar Galactica. That makes for messy preferences, and even worse, the possibility of a kid watching something they shouldn’t.

Being big Windows Media Center users, it’s the only way television is consumed in our house, we also greatly depend upon the Netflix plugin for it. The plugin is pretty well done, but it hasn’t seen any major updates in years. That’s why when profile support for Netflix was announced I just assumed the plugin would continue to work as it always had. Imagine our surprise when we went to turn on Wild Krats for our daughter and were greeted with the image above. The first feeling was one of excitement. That was quickly dashed however when the remote control couldn’t be used to select which profile should be used. To make matters worse, after selecting a profile we were confronted with this error message:

We tried both buttons on the dialog, and neither of them worked. Of course we have the computer directly connected to the television, so we can minimize Media Center and run Netflix from a web browser. That is a far less superior experience though, and it’s not one that will pass the family-acceptance test.

When issues have cropped up with the Netflix plugin for Windows Media Center in the past it has always become a pointing match between Microsoft and Netflix. This time around it looks like something Netflix is going to need to fix. One can hope that the issue is resolved soon. For more discussion on the problem check out this thread over at The Green Button.tv.

Updated: A workaround has been found. If all of the profiles except for the main one, which can’t be deleted, are removed then Windows Media Center will work the way it did before. You could call this a solution if the Netflix Windows Media Center plugin is the only way you consume Netflix, but if you’re looking to use the new profile support across multiple devices you’re still stuck.

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