Netflix Error n8156-6013

Here’s an error a customer of mine received recently when trying to play videos on Netflix.  The problem persisted in all web browsers installed (Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome).  A quick search across the internet reveals a solution which works for most people:

Browse to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\PlayReady on Vista/7 machines and C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\PlayReady on XP machines.  Rename the file mspr.hds to something else, such as mspr.hds.old (the file is recreated automatically).

Unfortunately, in this case, this solution didn’t work.  Probing further, I discovered that this problem only began occurring following the installation of a recent Windows Update (KB2636927).  To correct the issue, I was forced to uninstall Microsoft Silverlight and then reinstall an older version of the plugin until the problem is resolved on this machine.  I also had to hide this particular Windows Update to prevent it from reinstalling automatically!

Normally this is unadvisable as plugin updates most frequently provide security fixes and enhancements to the user’s machine, but in this case, there seemed to be no other solution.

If you’re experiencing this problem and you’re having trouble locating an older version of Silverlight to use, let me know and I can provide the installer!

“Multimedia/Gaming Environment” setting on some wireless adapters

If you’re using a wireless network in your home or office (or you’re helping a customer with theirs), you might encounter problems streaming video or audio wirelessly without sutters and skips occurring.

This is a common problem with wireless networks due to the number of packets which are dropped during transmission, and in fact, it’s such a frustrating issue that many people consider wireless networks unsuitable for streaming media.

While it’s true that a wired network of nearly any type is superior to a wireless network for streaming purposes, there is something you can try that may solve the problem. It’s a little-known setting in the RaLink drivers of certain networking adapters which prioritizes packets more heavily.

This setting can be found within the Device Manager (Start > Run > devmgmt.msc) in theProperties window for the networking adapter. From there, click on the Advanced tab and choose the setting called:

“Multimedia/Gaming Environment”

Change the setting from Disabled to Enabled. You may also wish to disable Power Management on the adapter to ensure it is always alive and ready for action, at the expense of some battery life, of course.

Once enabled, it’s quite possible that your problems may simply magically evaporate.

If you’re looking for computer help in the Louisville area, look no further.  Call me today and get it done right!