Installing the Windows App
As mentioned in the product description, this BlackBerry app works by running a small invisible program on your PC and transmitting the video to your BlackBerry in real time over Wi-Fi.
Before the BlackBerry app will do anything, you need to install the corresponding application on your Windows PC.
The below link should be clicked on your Windows PC: (not your BlackBerry)
Start the BlackBerry App
Once the Windows app is installed on your computer, open the Flix app on your BlackBerry.
The app will automatically attempt to find your PC and connect. If all goes well, you should see a screen with two buttons: "Instructions" and "Browse Movies". If so, you can skip the next section.
If the BlackBerry app is not able to automatically find your computer, please see the Help page.
Selecting a Movie to Watch
I have released a free helper app named Flix Movie Selector which makes the process of choosing a movie to watch much easier, and replaces the built-in "Browse Movies" button in the Flix app itself.
If you haven't already, download the "Flix Movie Selector" app from App World on your BlackBerry.
Once RIM provides support for integrating the web browser directly into apps written using their Native Development Kit, this helper app will become superfluous.
For the sake of reference, here are the instructions for selecting a movie using the "Browse Movies" button in the Flix app itself.
Starting the Movie
Once you have selected a movie and returned to the Flix app, there should be a "Start Movie" button:
Simply touch the "Start Movie" button to begin playback. The screen should change to say "Buffering 10 seconds of video..." and start playback momentarily.
Some common issues that people have initially are:
- Connection Issues: The BlackBerry isn't able to connect to your PC.
- No Video / Black Screen on BlackBerry: You hear audio but don't see video.
- Audio is Pure Static: You may hear the audio ever so slightly, but it is obscured by loud static.
- After watching a movie, the PC's audio doesn't come out of the computer's speakers.
If you have any of these issues, the good news is that they are typically easy to fix. Please see the Help page.
If you right click on the tray icon of the Windows PC app, you will see some quality settings:
The speed of your Wi-Fi network will be the limiting factor for the quality settings that you will be able to use. For example, if the computer running the Windows app is hard wired into your router, then you will be able to use higher quality settings because the wireless bandwidth of your router won't be taxed as much. If your PC is not hard wired into your router, then there are three wireless transmissions happening at all times: The Netflix movie download from the Internet via the router to your PC, the Flix upload from your PC to the router, and the Flix download from your router to your BlackBerry. This triple download of data is significant, and so typically the higher quality settings won't work, especially if your BlackBerry is on a different floor of your house from your router. If you find that you are getting the "Buffering 10 seconds of video..." screen too often, then you will unfortunately need to try the lower quality settings.
Another important factor is how you hold the BlackBerry. For example, if you have the BlackBerry on your chest and wrap your hands around the top corners of the BlackBerry, you may significantly reduce Wi-Fi transmission speeds. For example, from our bedroom, the BlackBerry will actually disconnect from our Wi-Fi network if I place my hands around the top corners of the BlackBerry, but doesn't have any trouble maintaining a Wi-Fi connection if I hold it gently using my thumbs and index fingers lower down from the top. Another way to improve transmission speeds may be to put the BlackBerry on your night stand instead of holding it. If you own the rapid charge stand, it can be convenient to set the BlackBerry in the stand on your nightstand.
Adjusting the Volume
If you are finding the volume controls lag, or if using the volume controls introduces static into the audio, an update to the BlackBerry app submitted on May 18 (version 12.0) fixes this issue.
To pause playback, touch the BlackBerry screen. This will display a screen with a 'Resume' button. (new as of Version 12 of the BlackBerry app)
Flix doesn't yet support rewind or fast forward. While I hope to improve this situation, a workaround if you need to jump to a particular part of the movie is to start the movie, and then on your PC, right click the Flix tray icon (bottom right corner of the screen, and you'll likely need to click the little "up arrow" to see it), and select "Show Movie on PC Screen When Playing". A window should open showing the movie playing. Use the player controls to jump to the desired part of the movie. After waiting 10-20 seconds for the buffer to refresh, the video playback on the BlackBerry should sync to the appropriate location.
If you don't already have an Xbox or other device for watching Netflix movies on your HDTV, this app can be used to do just that. You'll need a micro HDMI cable.
Reviewing The App
If you enjoy this app, I'd be most appreciative if you'd submit a review on App World:
If you need help getting this app up and running, please send me an email, since there is no way for me to respond to reviews.