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Netflix Latest Addition to the BT YouView Box

Not sure about you, but my house is becoming swamped by devices that span a technological ice age. It was only a few weeks ago, that I finally persuaded my hoarder of a wife that we actually had little use for a VCR any more. It wasn’t easy, she still maintained that the fact we had several video tapes meant we needed to keep the VCR just in case. The fact that nobody had turned the thing on for over three years seemed irrelevant.

My masterstroke was to pick up copies of the aforementioned cassettes on DVD and then she finally relented – one more useless metal box consigned to the trash! My very next target is ironically the DVD player which also gets very little use, the occasional fitness DVD but not much else.

YouView

The reality is that the majority of our media is better stored on hard disks on devices at home or better still remotely. Most of us now have internet speeds capable of downloading and streaming media as we watch, so it makes sense to simply select and play rather than fill up our homes with disks of some format. There are still complications of course, media streaming is available on lots of devices but many have their drawbacks. My Sky box only worked for Sky, I used a Roku to access Netflix and the UK on demand services and a YouView box from BT to access my internet TV channels.

Lots of these devices could do other things, but none was capable of being the complete solution to my media streaming needs. The main annoyance of the YouView box was that it had most services except my favorite one – Netflix. Thankfully this has now changed from November 2014, most of the BT YouView boxes now can stream Netflix directly to your TV. This has meant I can now move one step closer to removing another media streamer from my lounge and watch BBC News Live on a streaming service.

There are still issues, the main one now is that I use different versions of Netflix quite frequently. The US version is far superior so I use this technique – How to Change Netflix to US Version, to access the American site. However I also watch some shows which are only on the UK version so need either to switch around often (which is a pain) or have something else linked to the UK version of Netflix. In my case luckily our games console (WII U Plus) is capable of streaming Netflix as well albeit by using a wireless connection.

It’s now becoming a matter of application and network connectivity rather than which physical media is supported. Smart TVs aren’t quite there in my experience and so other devices like the Roku and Chromecast are filling the gap. Inevitably you need to use software or workarounds to change your IP address, such as demonstrated here – http://www.changeipaddress.net/ although I’m hoping these stupid restrictions will change soon.

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