During the Coronavirus crisis in 2020 (and well apparently still in 2021) many have found different ways to entertain themselves. For me living in central Europe, the most frustrating thing of all was being subscribed to Netflix and having nothing to watch. Nothing new came along and most of the watchable content had been removed over time. So something had to be done and that something was getting Netflix US edition to my TV. Well in all honesty my local SyFy channel decided to stop showing the Stargate franchise and well… it was only streaming on Netflix.
Now, first of all, I have to say I was a bit reluctant towards using a proxy and watching Netflix with it. I was always thinking that this service actually has a valid credit card inserted and they may not be happy with it. But more and more VPN services started publicly advertising their capability of unlocking content for various streaming services, so I thought to myself why not? The second thing I had to tackle was getting it to my TV without so much hassle. My computer is on the other side of the room meaning I’d need a 20m (I’m guessing about 65 feet for those in the US) HDMI cable in order to connect it. I didn’t want to use a laptop since I have nowhere to put it, and I didn’t want to “hack” my Chromecast so I decided to use Raspberry Pi 4 (2GB edition) to get the job done. There again being two issues. One being video choppiness and lagging the other the total lack of DRM (digital rights management) support.
Now, most would ask but why not use Kodi to get this done? Well, simply put, I was cheap and bought a VPN service for a lifetime subscription of about 20$ (more about it in my next posts). While Kodi does supposedly support the most notable and reputable VPN services out there, and as you may have guessed the 20$ lifetime deal is not one of them, it was quite a hassle to get OpenVPN on Kodi to work properly (honestly not even the reputable VPN services worked correctly) as it sometimes worked and sometimes just ignored the settings, I decided to simply install Raspberry Pi OS.
Since the main point is that I also wanted my kids to be able to operate it, I was really not in the mood to go over OpenVPN with them the natural selection was using Chrome. While most of the people that know Raspberry Pi know it has many issues playing plain YouTube in its built-in browser. There is such a simple fix for it it’s almost a crime it’s not integrated with Raspberry Pi OS by default.
Just open up your terminal and type:
curl -fsSL https://pi.vpetkov.net -o ventz-media-pi sh ventz-media-pi
This is basically it. Now after the reboot you will have another Chromium browser labeled (Media Edition):
All the choppiness is now gone from your browsers and also now you have full support for all DRM (digital rights management). I was lazy so I just installed a Chrome extension for my VPN service, loaded up Netflix and started watching. Everything works fine with my Raspberry Pi 4, 2GB ram edition. For this test, I do not have a case nor any sort of colling system for my Raspberry Pi, but it still streams 1080p content on Netflix hours at a time without any lagging or issues.