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Mr G

Netflix on WebOS Browser

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We want to watch netflix on the browser not the app. The login page appears but when we click on the Play button a screen appears talking about HTML5 and Silverlight. We know what HTML5 and Silverlight are but find it strange that the WebOS browser does not support this markup language on its player. Oddly YouTube works fine in the browser.

Does anybody know how to get the WebOS browser to run HTML5?

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5 hours ago, Mr G said:

We want to watch netflix on the browser not the app. The login page appears but when we click on the Play button a screen appears talking about HTML5 and Silverlight. We know what HTML5 and Silverlight are but find it strange that the WebOS browser does not support this markup language on its player. Oddly YouTube works fine in the browser.

Does anybody know how to get the WebOS browser to run HTML5?

YouTube should run fine as it detects a compatible browser and then only uses HTML.  Silverlight like Flash is pretty much dead in the water and no manufacturer if their browser does not support it now is going to bother building in support for it.

Out of interest why do you want to watch it in the browser and not the app?

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Thank you George.

Yes YouTube runs fine but oddly not Netflix. I would have thought Netflix uses HTML5 for its browser and WebOS would display HTML5. No big deal just that we use the browser for everything else, email, YouTube, News channels, so we have simply got used to using Netflix from within the browser. Plus we have found Apps usually have limited functions, less security and more bugs so we avoid them. I would not want to get into a protracted discussion about whether to use apps or browser, just wondering, as you do, why a widely-used service such as Netflix would not work on a fairly-widely-used Operating System like WebOs and would there just be some simple setting that we are not aware of to enable Netflix to play content without leaving the browser.

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Hi Mr G,

No your are right there is no need for a long discussion, people do things the way the like doing them.  Nothing wrong with that.

As for Netflix not working in the browser, well it could be a few things:

1. Netflix's backend does not recognise the webOS browser, simple enough to cure in theory; just code in the browser ID string
2. The webOS browser does not meet the HTML5 requirements needed for Netflix, while it is pretty good it falls behind others such as Firefox, Chrome and Opera 
3. The most likely culprit is probably a plugin on the site that the webOS browser cannot handle, in this case it is more than likely cadmium-playercore which is a JavaScript based player.  While the webOS browser does support JavaScript it probably just does not like media players based on it, another user had a similar problem in this thread: https://www.lgwebos.com/topic/3555-ken43

YouTube uses HTML5 to play videos, not relying on anything else hence it runs happily in webOS.

 

 

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Hi George,

 

Thank you. So is it the WebOS developers or the Netflix guys? 

Your responses:

1. " just code in the browser ID string " Who codes? Me? The WebOs team?

2. You would think a worldwide corporation with millions of customers [Hundreds of millions?] would be able to write lines of HTML. It is not that hard. 🙂

3. Flash too.

George. We just bought the tv. Then we realise we have been forced to use their browser. Their privacy policy basically says we have no privacy whatsoever and never will, they can watch, record, sell everything we do forever. I suppose the gloves are off in the game of big brother. Looking closer at the browser there does not seem to any 'right'click' function so we cannot use tabs, for example. Facebook renders impossibly huge on the screen with the content displayed at full width. Is there another way to browse the internet? The developers are either incompetent or like I wrote earlier the gloves are off, management designed this deliberately, they do not care about complaints and they are out for blood. So any other ways to browse?

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12 hours ago, Mr G said:

Hi George,

 

Thank you. So is it the WebOS developers or the Netflix guys? 

Your responses:

1. " just code in the browser ID string " Who codes? Me? The WebOs team?

Reply:  It is down to Netflix to add the browser ID string in to their website's list of recognised browsers, it would also be down to them to ensure the site works in the webOS browser.

2. You would think a worldwide corporation with millions of customers [Hundreds of millions?] would be able to write lines of HTML. It is not that hard. 🙂

Reply: HTML coding is relatively straight forward, it is just down to the willingness of the content providers to move to pure HTML5/CCS3 when they have been wed to other technologies such as Flash and JavaScript for so many years that the change becomes too immense a challenge for them to consider.  This is where the app has the advantage over the browser.  webOS apps can be written as Packaged or Hosted, the former is installed in its entirety on the TV.  The later is installed on the content provider's server and is accessed via a browser (LG's terminology http://webostv.developer.lge.com/discover/discover-webos-tv/) essentially the app opens the webOS browser without toolbars etc and displays the remote content on the TV.  Hosted apps enables the content provider to update as often as they like without the need to have it retested and posted in the app store by LG.  So it does pose the question is Netflix can produce an app that is essentially using the webOS browser why are they not able to recode the website in pure HTML5/CCS3 to do the same job.  I imagine their answer would be that they produce apps for different platforms so why would you use the browser.

3. Flash too.

Reply:  LG are definitely not going to re-write the browser for Flash, it is resource heavy, bloated and highly insecure plus Adobe dropped support for mobile platforms in 2011 and are retiring the product in less than two years.  No TV Smart platform to my knowledge supports Flash, it is just too much hassle.  When it comes to JavaScript there are guidelines for its use with webOS (http://webostv.developer.lge.com/develop/js-services/webos-tv-service-basics/), but I imagine that getting the provider of your JS based media player to rewrite and compile it for webOS may be easier said than done.  Hence we are back to the app vs pure browser argument.

George. We just bought the tv. Then we realise we have been forced to use their browser. Their privacy policy basically says we have no privacy whatsoever and never will, they can watch, record, sell everything we do forever. I suppose the gloves are off in the game of big brother. Looking closer at the browser there does not seem to any 'right'click' function so we cannot use tabs, for example. Facebook renders impossibly huge on the screen with the content displayed at full width. Is there another way to browse the internet? The developers are either incompetent or like I wrote earlier the gloves are off, management designed this deliberately, they do not care about complaints and they are out for blood. So any other ways to browse?

Reply: Another way to browse, screen sharing of some description I would imagine.  I am one of those people who does not really use the browser on my TV so I struggle to empathise with those who do.  The Facebook problem probably purely down to market share issue, with webOS being only a small percentile of users (if it topped 1% I would be very surprised) so does not really come to their attention with any sort of urgency.  Facebook would I guess concentrate on mobile (in these case meaning phones etc) platforms spending their time and money making to work and look good for those users. 

 

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Yes George,

I have noticed this before when I have tried to report buggy software, errors or oversights in design of various products. People respond in various ways. Some hijack the thread and change the subject. Some just reply with sarcasm and insults - without actually offering anything useful to the discussion. Most people are genuinely helpful though and I always appreciate that thank you George. Other times you have a company employee who defends the company's position and seeks to minimise the importance of the original complaint, or to diminish the problem is some way.

Not sure what your role is here George, but assuming you are not working for the man I can just respond as I see it. When you wrote

"Hosted apps enables the content provider to update as often as they like without the need to have it retested and posted in the app store by LG."

what you are talking about is some sort of convenience for the company. Notice you do not mention the customer. As you would have it the company wants to do something and they are not really thinking about the customer experience. Most of the apps that I have attempted to use on my phones for example, are must dumb-downed versions of the original webpage or application. whereas the original page or program had extensive preparation prior to release, that was old-school. The apps on the other hand appear to be written by a teenager fresh out of high-school. Many of the phone apps I used were just plain unusable. The would seize, crash, or have only a minimum of controls. All of which as I see it designed to force us the consumer sheep to just accept whatever slack coding the company allowed on its servers before 1, the team went on a break or 2, the CEO bought a holiday home with a boat.

I need to use a web browser for my job and if LG wants to dumb down its products that does not help me at all. I thought I might try contacting the forum just to test the waters but apart from your lengthy replies justifying the poor-quality app no joy so far. That just leaves me with returning the tv and moving to another brand. If as you say LG does not think it is important for a keyboard to have a 'delete' button, or for browsers to have a 'download' function, the ability to open and scroll through multiple tabs, to display facebook properly or use schoolboy-level HTML for its media player, to run Netflix, used by hundreds of millions of people, I can only ascribe it I wrote earlier to two possible things:

1. The company is a little backwater operation with a handful of staff employing extremely limited and basic coding skills and software design, or

2. management knows that their 'app' is rubbish and they just have a cavalier 'we do not care about you or your needs' approach because 'our sales figures are up and the company is posting a profit. Bye' 😞

So George the issue is not whether the company uses flash, silverlight, html5 or some other system, it is about the customer experience and in my case this silly little excuse for a browser is frankly pathetic. As I wrote earlier it surprises me that some workers have a Tuesday morning management meeting and decide to omit most of the useful features of a browser, without having someone else in the room to challenge their hasty and ill-conceived ideas. There will of course always be employees who, having made bad decisions, will then hide behind a wall of technical jargon, blame others for errors in the app, or just resign and move on to another role in the company, after the damage is done. Given the propensity of these companies to make their developers unreachable and immune from customer feedback I hold out little hope, in this particular case for an actual solution to my original post.

As for what you call the 'immense' task of rewriting the code in the browser to to play Netflix content it is not immense at all, just a few lines of code. Why not look at Firefox for example?

 

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Mr. G and George,

I appreciate your thoughtful and polite discussion.  George, I have to agree with Mr. G.. WebOS appears to dumb down my "smart" tv.  I just want to watch NBA tv on a big screen.  It should be easy, right?  Yet LG doesn't offer the app, the LG browser doesn't support playback outside the app, and also doesn't allow downloads, so I cannot download the app to the TV.  So my only option is to ask LG to add the app and wait...

BTW, if you google the topics you can see other requests have been made for the NBA app from over a year ago.  

Not to highjack Mr. G's thread, but I would appreciate an answer from LG on (in my case) on adding the app, and an answer to (one of) the original thread questions - can the limitations please be removed from the webOS browser?

Thanks

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11 hours ago, Mr G said:

Yes George,

I have noticed this before when I have tried to report buggy software, errors or oversights in design of various products. People respond in various ways. Some hijack the thread and change the subject. Some just reply with sarcasm and insults - without actually offering anything useful to the discussion. Most people are genuinely helpful though and I always appreciate that thank you George. Other times you have a company employee who defends the company's position and seeks to minimise the importance of the original complaint, or to diminish the problem is some way.

Not sure what your role is here George, but assuming you are not working for the man I can just respond as I see it. When you wrote

"Hosted apps enables the content provider to update as often as they like without the need to have it retested and posted in the app store by LG."

what you are talking about is some sort of convenience for the company. Notice you do not mention the customer. As you would have it the company wants to do something and they are not really thinking about the customer experience. Most of the apps that I have attempted to use on my phones for example, are must dumb-downed versions of the original webpage or application. whereas the original page or program had extensive preparation prior to release, that was old-school. The apps on the other hand appear to be written by a teenager fresh out of high-school. Many of the phone apps I used were just plain unusable. The would seize, crash, or have only a minimum of controls. All of which as I see it designed to force us the consumer sheep to just accept whatever slack coding the company allowed on its servers before 1, the team went on a break or 2, the CEO bought a holiday home with a boat.

I need to use a web browser for my job and if LG wants to dumb down its products that does not help me at all. I thought I might try contacting the forum just to test the waters but apart from your lengthy replies justifying the poor-quality app no joy so far. That just leaves me with returning the tv and moving to another brand. If as you say LG does not think it is important for a keyboard to have a 'delete' button, or for browsers to have a 'download' function, the ability to open and scroll through multiple tabs, to display facebook properly or use schoolboy-level HTML for its media player, to run Netflix, used by hundreds of millions of people, I can only ascribe it I wrote earlier to two possible things:

1. The company is a little backwater operation with a handful of staff employing extremely limited and basic coding skills and software design, or

2. management knows that their 'app' is rubbish and they just have a cavalier 'we do not care about you or your needs' approach because 'our sales figures are up and the company is posting a profit. Bye' 😞

So George the issue is not whether the company uses flash, silverlight, html5 or some other system, it is about the customer experience and in my case this silly little excuse for a browser is frankly pathetic. As I wrote earlier it surprises me that some workers have a Tuesday morning management meeting and decide to omit most of the useful features of a browser, without having someone else in the room to challenge their hasty and ill-conceived ideas. There will of course always be employees who, having made bad decisions, will then hide behind a wall of technical jargon, blame others for errors in the app, or just resign and move on to another role in the company, after the damage is done. Given the propensity of these companies to make their developers unreachable and immune from customer feedback I hold out little hope, in this particular case for an actual solution to my original post.

As for what you call the 'immense' task of rewriting the code in the browser to to play Netflix content it is not immense at all, just a few lines of code. Why not look at Firefox for example?

 

Hi Mr G,

No I do not work for LG, or the forum, or anyone who produces apps for Smart TV platforms or mobile devices.  I have done very (very very) basic HTML & CSS coding, sold websites, worked with people who have designed websites for major companies, database and software for the NHS and well as working in IT for SMEs and home consumers.  So I feel I have seen a fair side of both camps, the producers and the end user.

In no way do I defending LG or any app manufacturer for badly produced apps. But, I will defend an app that does not provide all the features that people feel it should have. An app not have a feature does not mean it is a bad app, it is just that feature is not available. 

A webOS 'Hosted' app is most definitely a convenience for the company that produces the app.  That app can be updated on their server today, a fault found and a fixed version being installed on the server as soon as it is available.  It also makes it possible to change layout and funtionality changes immediately just as YouTube have done in the last couple of weeks.

A 'Packaged' app on the other hand would require submission to LG for quaility control checking and approval before it is rolled out to the consumer via the app store.  Which could take weeks.

As for dumbing down the browser I feel it is expectation over reality.  While I will admit the browser is more limited than others; you cannot right click in a browser on a phone or tablet either. Owers of Samsung's TVs make similar complaints about the lack of Flash support in the browser on the Tizen platform.  The bulk of LG's TVs are aimed at the consumer market and as such not really aimed at those who want to use it for work eight hours a day. If someone needs the full functionality of a desktop browser then what is needed is just that.

Yes badly coded apps are a pain on any platform, but in the same way  blaming Google for a bad app from a third party would be unreasonable you cannot blame LG for an app they did not produce.  Apps (on the whole and I am sure there are exceptions) are not produced by LG, so if a content provide does not produce one it is they that need to be chivvy'd along to make one. YouTube's app is notourious for crashing, but they make the app so why blame LG? 

Re-writing code to play video is not necessarily just a case of writing a few lines of code.  In Netflix's case they use a JavaScript programme to do that, it is how that utility interacts with their entire backend, APIs etc means that just replacing it with some HTML may not be that straight forward.  The Netflix app has been designed from the ground up to work with their backend, API's etc, which is why it works, the website was not designed to work with an HTML5/CSS only browser.  

Why should LG bulk out their coding when there is an easy platform to programme for?  Websites not working in the webOS browser again is not LG's fault, it is the fault of the website scripting kiddies for not catering to the webOS platform, or Tizen etc.  If Joe Bloggs Sole Trader's website suddenly stopped working when Google released a new version of Chrome do you think Google would rewrite it just for him?  No, the website scripting kiddies would reformulate the site so it worked with that version of Chrome.

Firefox is a great browser, but Mozilla have spent eighteen years and tens of millions working on it.  It is however unlikely Mozilla would ever recode it for webOS, Tizen or any other Smart TV platform (with Android TV being the only exception) as they hold so little market share it just would not be worth the investment.

So to sum up, is the web browser bad?  No it is just limited.  But that is just my opinion.

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2 hours ago, Basketball Jones said:

Mr. G and George,

I appreciate your thoughtful and polite discussion.  George, I have to agree with Mr. G.. WebOS appears to dumb down my "smart" tv.  I just want to watch NBA tv on a big screen.  It should be easy, right?  Yet LG doesn't offer the app, the LG browser doesn't support playback outside the app, and also doesn't allow downloads, so I cannot download the app to the TV.  So my only option is to ask LG to add the app and wait...

BTW, if you google the topics you can see other requests have been made for the NBA app from over a year ago.  

Not to highjack Mr. G's thread, but I would appreciate an answer from LG on (in my case) on adding the app, and an answer to (one of) the original thread questions - can the limitations please be removed from the webOS browser?

Thanks

Hi Basketball Jones,

You are not hijacking the thread at all, it is an open forum you are more than entitled and welcome to chime in.

Sadly the reason their is no app for NBA is that they have not produced one, and it appears that the app that was produced for Samsung's Tizen platform is no longer available.  So when they say their League Pass is available to 'Watch on any device',  you can just as long as it is not webOS or Tizen.  Again I imagine device market share has a lot to do with it, they do produce for:

Android Mobile and Tablet
Android TV
Apple TV
Chromecast
iPhone and iPad
Playstation
Roku
Xbox One
Xbox 360 

Elsewhere on the forum I have said that LG should approach paid content providers and offer to produce apps for a percentage of the subscription sold as a way of monetizing app production.  This would of course fund production and provide a fuller ecosystem which in turn would make the platform more popular which in turn would drive and increase sales.

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Hello George,

Thanks for your response and the clarification on the platforms available for the NBA app.  That helps me understand why it's not available.  I will ping NBA tv on whether they are developing an app for webOs.

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30 minutes ago, Basketball Jones said:

Hello George,

Thanks for your response and the clarification on the platforms available for the NBA app.  That helps me understand why it's not available.  I will ping NBA tv on whether they are developing an app for webOs.

Hi,

If you hear anything please let the forum know, especially if you get a name then other users can badger them as well.

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We note the thread was hijacked diverting attention away from the silly browser to some other matter.

As for George well George it appear you are saying since mobile apps are dumbed-down that means WebOS should be dumbed-down.

I would disagree. This is 2018. We watch all our tv content, movies, news, research and email on the internet and long ago dropped using aerials and set-top boxes and the like. So while people in advanced countries use televisions for the kardazhians, cnn and ads, we use the screen for work, study and the like. The LG browser is simply not up to scratch.

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2 hours ago, Basketball Jones said:

Hello,

Here is the response from NBA Tv support - I have to say it doesn't look promising...

Capture.thumb.JPG.c789f56e344055eee1ccd5ffb1997674.JPG

Hi,

Thanks for the feedback, may be other users interested in an NBA app can start contacting them to show that there is a real interest in webOS being supported.

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Well Basketball Jones, sure contact NBA and so on. In reality though the lads at LG should just setup a decent browswer for people to use. So it is not the responsibility of every website in the world to make an app for webOs but the responsibility of lg to make an app that has genuinely useful and I would have thought fairly basic features. That way you could not only watch NBA, but also millions of other sites that require basic functionality. Frankly I am appalled that a commercially available web browser does not have a download function. George's comments aside what were they thinking? Friday drinks? 🙂

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3 hours ago, Mr G said:

We note the thread was hijacked diverting attention away from the silly browser to some other matter.

As for George well George it appear you are saying since mobile apps are dumbed-down that means WebOS should be dumbed-down.

I would disagree. This is 2018. We watch all our tv content, movies, news, research and email on the internet and long ago dropped using aerials and set-top boxes and the like. So while people in advanced countries use televisions for the kardazhians, cnn and ads, we use the screen for work, study and the like. The LG browser is simply not up to scratch.

You call it dumbed down, I call it differently featured. 

May be we should stop calling them mobile apps, and instead call them Smart TV apps to differentiate them.  At the end of the day the Smart TV is not a mobile platform, on the whole they have less processing power than a flagship mobile phone.  Expecting them to fulfil the role or have the same feature set of a desktop PC or your mobile device is doing them a disservice.  

Thank you for assuming that I am in an advanced country, although I should point out that there are people in advanced countries that do not use their television to watch Kardashians, CNN or ads and I fall in to that category.  However I do use my TV mainly to consume content, preferring to use a 'proper' computer to work and study with and the like. 

Sadly I do not think that you will find any current Smart TV platform will live up to your expectations.  A quick browse around the internet will throw up similar issues with all the other major platforms.  While it still has its own particular set of issues Android TV would be your best bet, or a computer on a stick fitted in an HDMI port which would give you that full blown desktop functionality you desire.  If you did not require a browser I would have suggested a ROKU device or TV would be the best option.

While it is not the responsibility every website owner to produce an app for webOS, it is their responsibility to make their site compatible with as broad a range of browsers possible.  If your site does not work with browser 'A' get the site to recognise that browser and deliver pages to that platform in a manner that works.  Basically embrace and implement the spirit of Web 2.0.

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Hello Mr. G.,

I concur - the best solution is a fully functional browser.  Sadly, we will likely be waiting several years and need new televisions before it is introduced.  Apologies again for piggybacking my issue onto your thread, I was just hoping to find plans for implementation of more WebOs functionality that would better meet our (the consumer) needs/desires.

Meantime, while waiting for responses from the big corporations I am reduced to trying work-arounds like screen-mirroring, which tends to bog down and become unwatchable rather quickly with my devices.  Curses, back to my small computer screen for the game...

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