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Monday, July 07, 2008

NVidia, SVideo Out, Netflix and DRM

The other day I went to watch a streaming video on netflix, and I started to get DRM issues- and then I had to re-install the little add-on to make it work. It still didn't work. It popped up some kind of microsoft error web page which told me next to nothing.

If you have Netflix, an Nvidia video card, and are trying to use the S-Video out to watch netflix movies on your television, the bad news is that Nvidia goofed and you can't.

If you've called Netflix, their solution is to hook up a second monitor, blah blah blah. Nobody wants a second monitor in their living room.

If you don't use the pc for much more than just watching Netflix movies on your TV, there is a simple solution: uninstall the Nvidia drivers. They are what allows the DRM to "function", that is, block you from watching what you've paid to watch.

Restart your pc. Windows will start up with its native drivers, attempt to search for something better, and if you direct it correctly, it will fail and now you're done- you want it stuck with the 'generic' windows drivers because they don't support the built-in DRM on the Nvidia card.

Watch all the Netflix you want, and hopefully someday Nvidia will fix their dumb old driver issue.


At September 18, 2008 1:42 PM, Blogger Bix said...

When the driver's uninstalled, will I still have picture on my TV once Windows reboots and tries to find a generic driver? (since I don't have a separate monitor to hook it up to)


At September 18, 2008 1:49 PM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

That's how it worked for me, man. Windows will, without fail, come back up with a generic driver runing.

As long as your video card is roughly the same as mine- that is, the DRM is built into the driver- when the windows generic driver picks it up, it should work.

I am not sure whether you will have to tweak the display settings first to ensure that the svideo out is enabled... if you are on a network and have a second computer, you should be able to RDP to the machine or use remote gencontrol.

And of course, the worst case scenario is you have to put the driver back, and can't use that card.

but at least you tried.

At September 18, 2008 1:51 PM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

oh yeah, don't forget- it's going to try to re-install the driver- let it search, and try to make sure it fails to find a driver- when it fails, check the "don't try to install this again", and it should not bother you at the next reboot.

At September 18, 2008 2:47 PM, Blogger Bix said...

I tried and it works to a degree:

The Netflix video is choppy, I guess since it doesn't know how the properly use the card. Is there a way to adjust the settings so it knows the basics of the card without installing the nVidia drivers?


At September 18, 2008 3:03 PM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

Ow, bummer.

I'm going to guess your results may vary according to your system specs- I have a P4 2.8ghz system with 2GB of ram and I believe the nvidia card is a 256mb card with a fairly decent amount of ram- this may be why I am able to use the sub-standard windows driver and still get acceptable video output.

At September 18, 2008 3:09 PM, Blogger Bix said...

That makes sense then, I'm using a slower PC (2.0 Ghz P4 w/ 512 MB RAM) with a 64MB card. I guess the generic driver performance just really sucks, much worse than onboard video.

Thanks for your help, though.

At September 18, 2008 3:11 PM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

oh, sure, no problem.

it was worth a try.

At September 18, 2008 3:14 PM, Blogger Bix said...

Also, FYI, it's not a matter of Netflix not wanting you to watch their stuff on a TV without buying a Roku box. Netflix said ATi cards should work fine because it's all an nVidia problem. How such a major, major problem exists in all of their drivers with no fix I have no idea.

At October 28, 2008 8:51 AM, Blogger Dumb said...

Blah Blah Blah, it's not their fault. They're just a big company that makes big money. If they cared, they'd fix it. They don't.

Once blockbuster prices it's online movies appropriately, netflix will put it's ass in motion. Until then it's the king of online legal video and has no need to change.

At October 28, 2008 9:39 AM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

thank you for your valuable input.

I am sure none of us ever thought of that before. We're honored that you'd bother to let us know.

At October 31, 2008 9:55 PM, Blogger Dumb said...

What's a bit silly about this is that I've talked to Netflix numerous times about this. They've never blamed nvidia before. Not sure where Bix is pulling that from, but it should be called for the bullshit it is.

I'm not ungrateful for your post. It's the most useful post on this subject I've found in months. But I don't need excuses from someone who presumes to know Netflix's intent and the actual cause of this problem when the dumbass doesn't have the balls to adjust a single setting on his box without resorting to use you as tech support.

At November 01, 2008 2:02 AM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

That's cool.

I don't really care if people are clueless- who did what and the real reason why it doesn't work don't matter as long as I can make it do what I need.

Here's my scenario. Hopefully it'll be helpful for more people than just me.

At November 10, 2008 12:40 PM, Blogger Bix said...


Netflix blamed Nvidia and even told me an ATi card would work, so it's not just a matter of them trying to get me to buy a Roku box. The few sites I could find referencing this problem were using Nvidia cards. With Will being the only person who had any experience with this issue that I could find and my inexperience with video cards, I consulted him. I believe that I did try to watch other streaming DRMed Windows Media Video and had the same problem, so I'm guessing Netflix wasn't lying. I'm not sure how this makes me a dumbass.

Are you using an ATI card or an Nvidia?

At November 10, 2008 1:39 PM, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

I thought I had said this in my original post- I *did* have the support guy tell me explicitly that the DRM in the nvidia card I have was the issue.

So. Let's lay this one to rest. Nvidia might be the issue, and if you go with the default drivers, it might work.

At December 14, 2008 6:25 PM, Blogger dad said...

I have the problem also. Nvidia support was useless. After I fought my way through level 1 support (who could say nothing more useful than "reinstall drivers, reboot computer" over and over again), my ticket sat at level 2 support for... three months and counting. Worthless. Customer service is dead.


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