ATV 2 & UK Netflix

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by nindy, Jan 10, 2012.

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  1. nindy

    nindy
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    Hi,

    Quick question I have ATV2 jailbroken with XMBC and Nito how do I get the Netflix app to work as a UK setting. When I go to general -settings and ste the country to US Netflix appears but I'm not allowed to use the app.

    Has anyone got it working on ATV using the season pass jailbreak ?

    Also my wdlive tv doens't have the netflix app on it as well even though I upgraded to the lastest firmware.


    Thanks in advance
     
  2. gruffy

    gruffy
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    Try rebooting the ATV after you switch the settings. Had to do that before I could get access.
     
  3. nindy

    nindy
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    I have rebooted but still no joy !
     
  4. gruffy

    gruffy
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    You did set the iTunes store location to US right? Not the device location?
     
  5. nindy

    nindy
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    Yes mate set the Itunes store location to 'US' then booted it appears BUT when I go to select it it says ' netflix currenlty unavailable.try again later'
     
  6. Muttleyuk

    Muttleyuk
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    Are you running the latest 4.4.4 (ios 5)?

    I have two ATV2's, both jailbroken.

    Unit 1.) Running 4.4.4
    Unit 2.) Running 4.2

    On unit 2 I could set the iTunes location to US and the Netflix option appears and I could login to it, but gave the same unavailable message you mentioned. I pressed and held down MENU + DOWN until the lights flashed quickly. After it rebooted, Netflix works.

    On unit 1, I didn't even need to change the location to US. I just pressed MENU + DOWN again and the Netflix option appeared under Internet again. I am actually set to UK and can still use it.

    I'm not sure what the difference is between pressing MENU + PLAY/PAUSE to 'reboot' and MENU + DOWN to 'reset' it is, as the reset doesn't actually reset anything other than the very top menu. i.e no other settings are wiped.

    Incidentally on unit 2 I also had a problem where entering into Movies or TV Shows would make the screen go blank then crash back out to the main menu, but after the reset, it all works fine. :)
     
  7. gruffy

    gruffy
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    I'm on 4.4.4 as well so that definitely works. :)
     
  8. Muttleyuk

    Muttleyuk
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    Does your Store Location need to be set to US?

    Mine doesn't and I just wonder if doing the 'reset' queries Apple in some way on boot to ask which Menu options to display. It does take a second or so after the main menu is displayed to show Movies and TV Shows so it may well do.

    Maybe Apple have allowed the menu option to be displayed on the UK menu?
     
  9. gruffy

    gruffy
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    They could have. I haven't tried setting it back to the UK to see if it still works.

    I've been a bit busy evaluating different VPNs and setting up the back end to allow seamless access to the US Netflix repository while coexisting with Plex. :) :)

    Will test it tonight.
     
  10. Muttleyuk

    Muttleyuk
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    A bit cheeky, but I don't suppose you'd mind sharing your findings on the US VPN would you? ;)
     
  11. gruffy

    gruffy
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    Netflix accounts are global and allow the customers to roam. The content is merely filtered by IP which is great. I've tried VPNUK, HMA and StrongVPN so far. In terms of speed they are more or less the same but HMA and StrongVPN allow the use of UDP packets between the VPN endpoints when using OpenVPN. There is a noticeable boost in performance based on SpeedTest results.

    HMA is cheaper though when you sign up for a year and seems to be highly recommended on the net so I'll likely stick with them. :)
     
  12. Muttleyuk

    Muttleyuk
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    What kind of bandwidth are we talking about nowadays? Let's say on HMA?

    I remember trying a US VPN service about a year ago and struggled to get more than around 300KB/s.
     
  13. gruffy

    gruffy
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    About 2-3Mbps on TCP. Managed to peak at around 6 on UDP. Again, using SpeedTest as a benchmark. Not the most scientific but I don't really have much time in the evenings to get much fancier.

    I do not think that the sustained rates are enough for HD content. It's been lowering the quality in the handful of tests I performed on the desktop.
     
  14. peterjcat

    peterjcat
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    Remember though that once Netflix has a lock on your IP address you can turn off the VPN and it will keep playing at full speed. (At least that's how it's always worked -- not sure if the recent expansion has made any difference).
     
  15. gruffy

    gruffy
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    I'll do some packet sniffing tonight to see what happens when you drop the VPN. That would explain how services like unblock us works. Proxy the initial connection then drop it when the stream begins.
     
  16. gruffy

    gruffy
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    Well, after a bit of poking, I've found some very interesting facts that people might be interested in.

    1. As with most streaming services, there is an authentication and authorisation phase that happens. When you hit netflix.com, it passes your credentials over https to be authenticated, thereby allowing you into the site.

    2. You are then redirected to movies.netflix.com. Depending on what your originating IP is, you are routed to a different bank of servers. These host the index of shows you are allowed to see.

    3. When you start a stream, the server redirects you to akamai servers that serve the actual content.

    So what does this mean to someone non technical? :)

    1. If you use a VPN, it'll be slow and pokey but it'll give you access to US Netflix because you appear to originate from the US.

    2. If you use a VPN and unplug it in the middle of the stream, what happens is that the application forces you to re-authenticate (not reauthorise!), so your stream continues playing where you left off - at full speed since you no longer go through the VPN. However if you stop the stream, you are redirected back to movies.netflix.com and without the VPN, you'll be back in the UK. Right pain the butt.

    3. Now the people at unblock us are sneaky little buggers. They've set up their own bank of DNS servers that redirect movies.netflix.com to their on application servers. So you authenticate fine because you are allowed access to the authentication servers. However, whenever you are redirected to movies.netflix.com, the traffic is redirected to a transparent proxy so you appear to be in North America. Note that I didn't say US because I think their IPs are Canadian. But once akamai takes hold, you are directly connected and stream at full speed. HD content from the US works absolutely perfectly. This is a much more elegant solution than dropping the VPN connection.

    Option 3 is by far the easiest, least intrusive, cheapest and fast! As a proviso, let me just say that allowing someone to intercept your DNS traffic is a huge security hole, I would highly recommend against doing this on your PC where you want to keep your traffic secure.

    However for Apple TVs, this seems like the perfect solution.

    Hope this hasn't been too long or technical a read. :) My service to the community is done. Down with borders I say!
     
  17. nindy

    nindy
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    Brill thanks for that ! Think I'm going to try the menu and down option see what happens.

    I'm also considering moving to 4.4.4 seasonpass !


    Will let you guys know teh outcome :)
     
  18. Muttleyuk

    Muttleyuk
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    I should point out that my previous post was wrong. Only 4.4.4 works...

    That'll teach me for jailbreaking after a few beers... ;)

    With regards to 4.4.4, Seas0npass makes it very, very easy now.

    I would say that jailbreaking an Apple TV can be a bit hit and miss at the best of times, but if you follow these instructions, you'll be up and running first time without any iTunes errors:

    1.) Allow iTunes to restore your ATV to stock 4.4.4 first (important)
    2.) Download and run iReb, click on the AppleTV and follow instructions to get into PWNED DFU mode
    3.) Download and run Seas0npass and click 'Create IPSW'. When it has finished it will ask if you want it to automatically restore in iTunes? Click Yes.

    You can then plug it back into your TV. You will also need to install NitoTV if you want easy installs for things like XBMC (Google: how to jailbreak, install nitotv), first link.

    Oh, and remember to backup your SHSH blobs (Google: TinyUmbrella or iFaith)
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  19. Muttleyuk

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    Gruffy, very informative post thanks!

    I signed up for 1 month on HMA last night and tried it on my iPhone (PPTP connection to New Jersey).

    Like you say, Netflix does indeed connect you to the US servers if using a VPN to the US. The iPhone Netflix app even has a pop-up when you login which states that 'your content will change as you travel'.

    I was achieving ~3Mbps down from this server yesterday. I even watched a Walking Dead in HD on my PC (same PPTP setup) with no issues.

    Next stop, OpenVPN on DD-WRT!
     
  20. gruffy

    gruffy
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    Muttleyuk, you are quite welcome. :)

    I was planning to install DD-WRT over the weekend and create static routes for the Apple TVs.

    However, I did quite a bit more sniffing last night to figure out what was happening under the covers. If you do not need a full blown VPN (i.e. you don't really need to cover your tracks - which you don't since Netflix is legit!), I really recommend you check out unblock us. The simplicity of what they do is just brilliant. It's free to test it out for a week.

    There is a fair amount of overhead imposed by going through a VPN. (encryption, nat, contention, etc.) What I've also found is that the distribution happens through Akamai and they are a location aware service. The video stream is sent from servers as physically close to your originating IP as possible and it is clever enough to redirect to a physically closer server if your IP changes. Just brilliant! :) So as long as you are within a VPN, you get a double whammy because the content distribution servers are as far from you as your VPN endpoint.

    I've probably hijacked this thread enough with my geekiness so apologies to everyone else!
     
  21. Muttleyuk

    Muttleyuk
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    wow, that's incredible!

    I just tried Unblock US, all I've done is changed the DNS servers on my iPad and now I can login to the US Netflix...

    And you're right of course, full speed... genius!!
     
  22. bpsmith

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    Do you really need to do all of the above?

    It was my first JB and all I did was number 3 and all sorted very quickly. Plex installed and working well. Why the need for the rest of the steps? Why the need for the blobs?
     
  23. Muttleyuk

    Muttleyuk
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    It's a constant cat and mouse game between apple and the jailbreakers.

    Whenever you want to load firmware onto a device, iTunes checks with apple to see if the firmware you are trying to install is 'valid'.

    Currently, 4.4.4 is.

    It just so happens that 4.4.4 is also jailbroken
    Right now, apple are signing 4.4.4 because it's the latest version.

    When apple release the next version, the exploit that was used to jailbreak it will be closed and you won't be able to install anything other than 4.4.5 (or whatever it's called).

    That is unless you save your shsh blobs. This allows you to trick iTunes into reinstalling 4.4.4.

    So, the long and short of it is... If you don't have your shsh blobs and your device doesn't boot in 3 months time, you would have no option but to restore to 4.4.5 and lose plex etc. Whereas if you had the blobs saved, you can go back to the jailbroken 4.4.4.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  24. Muttleyuk

    Muttleyuk
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    I also didn't have to sign up for anything on unblock us, I just changed my DNS settings to 208.122.23.22 and 208.122.23.23 and I was in with the US Netflix...
     
  25. bpsmith

    bpsmith
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    Ok cool, I follow you. Didn't do it so no point worrying now!
     
  26. Muttleyuk

    Muttleyuk
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    If you jailbreak any apple device as you have done, as soon as its dome, backup your shsh blobs. It takes two minutes and could save you months of waiting for the next jailbreak.

    If your unit had some issue in say a months time and apple weren't still signing 4.4.4 then you would HAVE to install 4.4.5 which means no plex or xbmc until the new jailbreak is out, which could be months....

    The reason you only had to do step 3 was because it wasn't already jailbroken.
     
  27. bpsmith

    bpsmith
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    Thanks for explaining fella. It's the first time I have done it, so learning all the time.

    Not so worried about the blobs at this point as, although I would have backed them up, I am only relying on Plex for the look and feel along with matching watched lists with my Mini, etc. All TV content is in m4v.
     
  28. D-an-W

    D-an-W
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    Just an FYI, you don't have to be Jailbroken to backup your SHSH Blobs.
     
  29. chrisowe

    chrisowe
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    Out of interest, what is on the Us Netflix that isn't on the Uk one? There must be a better selection of films. The newest film I can find on the Uk is 'Drive Angry'!
     
  30. gruffy

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    A significantly bigger catalogue.
     

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