Now You Can Finally Search Netflix On Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 was the first video game console to allow Netflix subscribers to stream movies to their TV, but while the the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii have recently improved their Netflix apps, the Xbox remained stuck in 2008. That is, until yesterday’s update of the console’s software.

From Hacking Netflix:

The latest Xbox Live includes the long-awaited search feature for the Netflix app. You’ll have to go through the Xbox update and also update the Netflix app, but it only takes a few minutes for both. Search works a bit differently than I expected, and when you click on the letters across the top you’re spelling the search term, not seeing all of the movies that start with the letter.

Latest Xbox Live Update includes Netflix Search Feature [Hacking Netflix]

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  1. SerenityDan says:

    Now if only you could use it without paying for an Xbox live Gold account.

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      My feelings exactly. We have both the Wii and the 360 and I’d much rather use the 360 for this, but we have no need for a Live Gold account.

      • simonr27 says:

        I purchased my live access online for half price. There are always deals for half price 12 month subscriptions. I have not renewed in a while… thinking about it now i can browse.

        • SerenityDan says:

          Yeah deals are great, but I don’t like to play games online. Single Player only for me so it’s better to pay nothing. Luckily I have a PS3 that I got for the blu-ray player so I can do netflix without paying extra.

  2. c!tizen says:

    This is cool and all, but did everyone take the day off or something?

  3. bigdirty says:

    Before yet even more comments on “I wish I didn’t have to pay for this” appear, I want to say, I’m fine and dandy with the way it is structured. The Live service is the gated online community, and with very few instances other than the announced outages, I’ve never had an issue with it.

    Netflix just happens to fall inside the gates, so either suck it up and shell out the couple bucks, or don’t complain.

    • grucifer says:

      Agreed!

      • SerenityDan says:

        I paid for the xbox, I paid for the internet service, I paid for the netflix subscription. I don’t have to pay extra to Dell and Apple to stream netflix to my computers do I?

        • bigdirty says:

          Netflix is free on Apple TV, but for some reason for a week and a half, my instant queue couldn’t be accessed on it, however the 360 delivered it during the same time period. Worth the price I’m paying for the online play, netflix and last fm streaming, and knowing that it works when I want to do something.

    • pawnblue says:

      Also within the gated online community:
      -12 year olds who just discovered profanity and want to use it before it gets old
      -25 year olds who have apparently never talked to a girl before
      -Matchmaking, but not on dedicated servers
      -Fans who will defend their right to pay for what they should get for free

      • karmaghost says:

        Those first two points? Welcome to the Internet.

        Just throwing out the term “dedicated servers” doesn’t explain what it is that they add that you would miss out on using Xbox live. A more stable ping? Most likely. A more consistent experience? Definitely not. And besides, a majority of EA games have “dedicated” servers and are indistinguishable from other developers’/publishers’ games. Also, such games require a separate EA login and are subject to EA deciding whether they want to keep the servers running after the game wanes in popularity.

        And do I wish Xbox live gold was free? Hell yes. Am I bummed that the service I pay yearly for plasters advertisements all over the dashboard? Definitely. But what are the alternatives? PS3 has a smaller user base for the same games and is now slowly introducing paid online play. The Wii is a joke and PC gaming, while I love me some TF2, introduces as many problems as it solves.

        This Netflix app is no reason to upgrade from silver to gold, but if you have gold anyway, it’s a nice thing to have. If you were on the brink of upgrading to gold and don’t have another device connected to your TV (like a TiVo) that streams Netflix, maybe this is the time to pony up. Otherwise, move right along…

  4. Smiley Massacre says:

    What else is nice is that if you are using Netflix on your 360, and you search for a movie that is not available as an instant stream, you can queue it into your DVD queue right on the 360 instead of having to hop onto your computer.

  5. Chaluapman says:

    but it only returns 25 movies, with no pagination or options to see additional matches. Unless I’m Blind, and I’d like to be able to configure whether I see DVD results on the xbox.

  6. ToKeN2k6 says:

    Ok, this is a cool feature, and I love the fact that if it’s not available for streaming, you can add it to your regular queue.

    What I HATE is the fact that search only works for titles..like, you can’t type in an actors name and see all the films they’ve been in and chose from those. 9 times out of 10, you never forget the name of a movie, but if you want to broaden your horizons by watching different films your favorite actors are in you’re SOL..

  7. Chmeeee says:

    I like that it’s there, but I think I’ll still end up searching with my laptop. I find it easiest to do that, add it to the queue, and then it’s right there. I do prefer browsing on the XBox though, I somehow end up more likely to notice something good through that interface.

    • karmaghost says:

      Are you talking about DVDs or “Watch Instantly,” because this app isn’t designed for browsing and adding DVDs to your queue.

  8. dolemite says:

    At last!

  9. guspaz says:

    I tried it out last night since it’s the first time that Netflix is available on the 360 in Canada. The search is pretty crappy; the entirely linear alphabet means that it takes a lot longer to type things in. Splitting the alphabet into multiple rows would allow users to get to a letter much faster by jumping over the rest of a row (just like in the 360’s normal text input boxes)

    I hadn’t noticed the result limit, but that’s kind of unfortunate too.

    Overall, compared to the PC version, I noticed some differences:

    1) The video takes longer to start playing on the PC, but starts at the highest quality immediately. The PC version starts playing much faster, but starts at the lowest quality and ramps up from there.

    2) Changing quality on the 360 pauses the video for about a second, while on the PC it pauses the video for an extended period of time while it rebuffers

    3) The quality frequently drops below 4 bars on the 360, even when on a rock-solid connection with multiple times more bandwidth than is needed to stream the video, and it stays at the lower quality for extended periods of time without increasing again. The PC version drops quality much less frequently, and increases it again much faster.

    My overall experience with the 360 version is “Good concept, but execution is so flawed (especially the quality issues) that I’ll be forced to go back to PC streaming if they don’t fix it.”

    The quality issues is the only real showstopper, though. It could be that there was just some overloaded link between myself and AWS due to the launch.

    • Jonbo298 says:

      After trying both the updated Netflix on the 360 and PS3, I actually love the PS3’s updated version. Between the 1080p and 5.1 (when applicable) and the fact that the buffering to a higher or lower quality is basically done with no delay (from what I’ve used of it in my hours of time on the updated version), the PS3 version is the best now in my opinion. I hated having to wait for the 360 to re-buffer up or down at times. I’ll take a slightly lesser quality if my connection slows for whatever reason and then let it regain that quality as appropriate.

    • Ebriosa says:

      I just got it in Canada on the Wii and it’s been pretty stellar. I get some buffering during prime evening hours. Searching is halfway terrible – the wiimote can make it faster to select letters, but you also have to stand there and point it at the screen, which you don’t have to do for anything else. Hopefully they are going to keep updating it. Do we even have the queue option in Canada? I’d love to put movies in a section to watch on the computer and then watch on TV.

  10. Blious says:

    Netflix on the 360 has been an absolute god-send for me as I use it OFTEN if not daily

    Love it and use it to watch MANY things

  11. aloria says:

    Meh. Where are my subtitles, darn it?!

  12. pop top says:

    I’ve been using this for a while since I’m in the new XBL menu beta, and I like it. Although I really hate that they took away the feature where you press X to add a movie to your queue. Now you have to click the movie, click Add then click out of it. I also dislike the fact that it now shows me Recently Watched first instead of my Queue. Everything else is pretty cool though. I really love the changes they made to the TV shows so now you can just scroll over to the next episode instead of having to back out of one episode, go into another and then play it. It also automatically takes you to the next episode after you finish the first one (and it doesn’t even have to be 100% done, only 99%, so you don’t have to watch the credits). Someone on here said that it did that before the update, which was completely untrue.