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       Netflix Firewall/Network Issues, Can't stream Netflix
    shadowace
    post Dec 15 2010, 05:19 PM
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    I am having an odd problem with my WDTV Live Plus. It won't stream Netflix from my weekend home. I get the Netflix interface, can select movies from my Instant Queue, but when I click on "Play" it says downloading content and then pops up a error window saying can't play the content, try again later. I am paraphrasing the error window since I can't remember exactly.

    In trouble-shooting this I have tried two different TV's an LG and a Sharp Aquos, both with HDMI inputs, no luck. I moved the WDTV to another location on a different ISP and it works. So the conclusion is some kind of network problem with the streaming protocols and my ISP. UTube works ok, streaming from my local NAS works, Internet radio works, but no Netflix. I did a simple packet capture and it looks like the WDTV is contacting Netflix on TCP/80 and TCP/443. And they are not blocked, since those destination ports work on my PC's. Also I can stream Netflix to my PC without any problems. So my conclusion is the WDTV is using different protocols than the the PC Browser/Silverlight application.

    Any help trying to figure out why I am getting Netflix streaming blocked or what protocols may be blocked would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Tom
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    post Dec 15 2010, 05:19 PM
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    Trendecide
    post Dec 15 2010, 07:11 PM
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    If you're getting the Netflix UI to load it's more than likely not the WDTV. You're running into one of two things:
    1. Netflix is having issues (this has been happening lately)
    2. Not. Enough. Bandwidth.
    My guess is the latter, but if you still believe its the WDTV, try restoring to factory settings and reset everything up and see if that does it.
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    shadowace
    post Dec 16 2010, 09:04 AM
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    Thanks for the reply. I have to disagree however with your analysis. I took back my first WDTV on suggestion of WD Support and got another unit. No difference with streaming Netflix. I have reset the WDTV back to factory defaults several times with no solution. Like I said in my first posting, I moved the WDTV to another ISP and Netflix streaming works fine. Moved it back to the original location/ISP and it fails again. So the problem cannot be the WDTV unit and I doubt Netflix consistently has this problem over several weeks of trying. So I have to conclude its the network streaming protocols the WDTV is using vs what the PC Browser uses. SInce the PC Browser works and the WDTV doesn't.

    I am hoplng an engineer from WD will hop in here and explain what the difference in network protocols might be so I can try and figure out a work around.

    Tom
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    Trendecide
    post Dec 16 2010, 09:48 AM
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    QUOTE
    I moved the WDTV to another ISP and Netflix streaming works fine

    AND

    QUOTE
    So the problem cannot be the WDTV unit

    That there is the indicator that there's nothing wrong with your device. And better yet, you know it. Problem solved! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) This is clearly a problem with your ISP (or now that I think about it, your router could be the culprit here too, but you said in your first post that wasn't the issue, but I'd recommend double-checking anyhow... even the best of us tend to forget or overlook something from time-to-time). I'm sorry you disagree, but having been a network engineer for over ten years, if the shoe fits.... The 'network streaming protocols' are the same for EVERY device according to the Netflix API and you've already admitted Netflix works on the device with another ISP, so there's no way the problem is the WDTV's 'network streaming protocols'. This is clearly a networking issue outside the WDTV's realm... leave those poor engineers at Western Digital alone so they can fix firmware bugs. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif) When you call your ISP up though, don't mention 'network streaming protocols'... they'll just laugh. Just tell them you're having problems streaming Netflix and you're more apt to get the help you need.
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    shadowace
    post Dec 16 2010, 03:15 PM
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    Oh and I should add, the bandwidth is plenty. 5-7Mb/sec. More than the second location that does work.
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    shadowace
    post Dec 16 2010, 03:40 PM
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    Thanks again for your reply. Since your a network engineer you will understand what I am trying to figure out. My router is a Mikotik RB112 on one end of a 900 Mhz Point 2 Point wireless link. It runs both dynamic NAT and static NAT with IP Filtering. I have changed from the WDTV using the dynamic NAT most of my inside hosts use, to a static NAT public IP address. I have opened up the IP filter ACL's for all IP protocols, UDP/TCP/ICMP etc for the device. Still no luck. Like I said, a quick and dirty packet sniff only showed TCP/80 and TCP/443 communication between the WDTV and Netflix. Other online content works, i.e. UTube, internet radio etc.

    My ISP (a school district) does use a content filter called UnTangle, but if its blocking streaming video, it should also block my PC and other streaming sites like UTube. Unfortunately I don't have access to the content filter or the Cisco ASA that is the firewall I am behind so I can't see a log if something is being blocked. If there is a IP protocol other than TCP/80 or TCP/443 that the WDTV is using for streaming that the PC doesn't use, I don't know what to request they unblock. I.e. they are not network rocket scientists so I have to explain it to them.

    So in short if you are correct that every device, PC, WDTV, etc. all use the same API/protocols, then I am completely stumped. I can look at my router configuration again for the umpteenth time, but I doubt I will find anything wrong. My idea for a possible work-around is a IPSec tunnel to a router I have control of that I know is completely open to the Internet.

    Help anyone.
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    WDUser
    post Dec 16 2010, 03:52 PM
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    I'd have said pretty much the same thing really - that the box seems to be fine since it behaves itself when connected to the net via another ISP. Plus you've stated that your ISP does filter content. I am not a network engineer however, so I cannot go into the nitty-gritties of the protocols being used. You can try asking your ISP and maybe one of them (possibly someone higher up the food chain) knows his job and can suggest something (you can show him the wireshark etc. results if required). If not, don't hold your breath for a WD engineer to come here and answer your post. If you'd like an official response, I'd advise you to contact WD Support or post on the official forum. If you do manage to figure out what the problem was, do let us know as well.
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    shadowace
    post Dec 16 2010, 04:25 PM
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    I did find this interesting analysis of the Netflix streaming communications here. It appears Netflix does use the same network protocols for every device and browser, at least at the transport layer, i.e. TCP/80 and TCP/443. So something else is going on here. You can be sure I'll share anything I figure out here.
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    Trendecide
    post Dec 16 2010, 07:30 PM
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    I promised I wouldn't comment on this thread any further, but ummmmm... you might look into this. The entire thread may also pose some useful insight.
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    shadowace
    post Dec 16 2010, 09:37 PM
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    Trendecide, you are da man! I was able to access the Untangle filter. Unchecked "disable HTTP resume" in the virus blocker and BINGO, I can stream Netflix now. WAHOO

    Thanks again,
    Tom
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    Trendecide
    post Dec 16 2010, 10:02 PM
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    (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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    WDUser
    post Dec 17 2010, 04:41 AM
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    Nice! Bonus points for you, Trendecide! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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