Playing DVDs on Ubuntu

I recently tried to run a Netflix DVD on my Ubuntu desktop only to see this annoying little message, “Could not read DVD. This may be because the DVD is encrypted and a DVD decryption library is not installed.” What’s going on? I already installed “ubuntu restricted extras, libdvdread2 and libdvdread4.” Why is it still not working?

Here are 3 little steps to get the Netflix DVD’s to play on my Ubuntu desktop. I included the installs for “ubuntu restricted extras” and “libdvdread4” just to be absolutely sure the steps work in all versions of Ubuntu.

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
sudo apt-get install libdvdread4
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

The last step of running the install is the most crucial. Well, enjoy the movies.

Netflix To Increase Price

Netflix customers are up in arms about the recent price increase. I currently pay $10 a month for DVDs, as well as access to the online streaming service. I like to have both, but Netflix wants to increase it to $16 to cover the cost of its DVD business. Remember, Netflix started out as a DVD mail-in business.

I would consider dropping the DVD service, and subscribe to the online streaming service only. But, there’s a problem. Not all titles are available for streaming. I think many customers would choose streaming if the titles were available. Since they are not, customers feel like they are being screwed by Netflix.

If there was ever a lesson in keeping your customers happy, this was it. Netflix should have listened to its customers. I suspect many loyal Netflix customers will cancel their subscription including myself. I don’t know how Netflix could justify a 60% increase in price, especially in this economy.

And, what’s the point of having Netflix with only half a service.

NGR2ISO

I downloaded software last night that was extremely big. It was more than 560MB. The file was broken up into 3 separate files, all with a RAR extension. After the download, I ended up with 3 RAR files.

The only way to unzip the files and to put them all together was to use 7zip, which is a better alternative to PKZip because 7zip is free and open-source. It also handles tar, and its own 7z formatting. Extracting on any of the 3 RAR files will extract all parts into one file.

The only problem was the resulting file had a NRG extension. I don’t have a Nero CD or DVD burning software. The only way around to it was to convert NRG to ISO which is better anyways, because ISO is standard as opposed to NRG, which is proprietary.

I ended up finding this great utility online called NGR2ISO. The best part of this exercise is, NGR2ISO is free, open-source and it simply works.