NetFlix offers Instant Watching of movies directly from their website so I decided to give it a whirl. NetFlix doesn’t currently support FireFox so I was forced to use Internet Explorer 6. After I clicked Instant Watching, I was notified that my Windows Media Player was out of date. I downloaded the 25Mb update to Windows Media Player and Microsoft demanded that I validate my XP Pro license.

After letting Microsoft sneak a peek of my machine I installed the Windows Media Player update successfully. Of course, this update required a reboot and after trying unsuccessfully without the reboot I acquiesced. I opened Internet Explorer again and tried Instant Watching. This time I was notified that movie playback required a component of Windows Media Player to be upgraded. I tried installing the component and was greeted with “Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close.”

Now I remember why I enjoy using FireFox so much. I tried one last time to Instant Watch and received the following error:

Server Connection Error
Make sure your computer has a live connection to the Internet and that security software is not blocking the Netflix Movie Viewer’s access. If you have an active, unblocked connection, close all browser windows, then try to play a movie again.
For further information, see our Internet and Server Connection Error FAQ. If the problem persists, or you would like assistance, please contact Netflix technical support and report the following error code(s):
MediaError(1503)

I wish I only wasted an instant. This whole fiasco was the result of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and the software to support it is not even half baked.