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Watch Netflix on Raspberry Pi 2, 3 using Kodi and LibreELEC

Kodi is a well-known media center that can be deployed on various hardware, including ARM devices. For Raspberry Pi (2), Kodi is delivered with LibreELEC.
LibreELEC is a lightweight JeOS Linux distribution purpose-built for Kodi.

The setup

A Netflix account. A Raspberry Pi 2 device running a 9.x+ LibreELEC distribution. LibreELEC can be downloaded from here https://libreelec.tv/downloads_new/ where you can choose either an SD card creator, either download a disk image that can be manually written to SD card. For those who are already running the 8.x branch of LibreELEC, updating to 9.x branch can be done directly from Kodi (Settings/system/Updates) by switching the update method from auto to manual and choose the latest branch to be used.

The Netflix configuration, part one

First, we need to enable the InputStream Adaptive add-on [/slide 1-2]
Add-ons / My add-ons / VideoPlayer InputStream / InputStream Adaptive

Second, we need to allow add-ons installation from unknown sources [/slide 3]
Settings / System / Add-ons / Unknown sources

Third, install the Netflix repository Add-ons [/slide 4]. For that, we need to download this file (https://github.com/kodinerds/repo/raw/master/repository.netflix/repository.netflix-1.0.1.zip) the CastagnaIT Repository for Kodi addons, located here (https://github.com/CastagnaIT/repository.castagnait), and place it in to an accesible location within Kodi. In case of link change (eg file update, not found) you can visit https://github.com/asciidisco/plugin.video.netflix and look for Installation & Updates ( ... our repository).

Add-ons / Install from zip file / repository.netflix-1.0.1.zip

Fourth, install the Netflix Add-on [/slide 5-6]

Add-ons / Install from repository / Netflix Addon Repository / Video add-ons / Netflix

The Netflix configuration, part two

Start Netflix (Home page / Add-ons) and authenticate to the Netflix VOD service using username (email) and password. Then try to watch a Netflix video of choice. At this stage, the Netflix Add-on will inform you that to play the file, a Widevine CDM extension needs to be installed (the add-on will download a temporary ~2GiB ChromeOS recovery image to be able to extract the Widevine CDM extension from that image). And that's all, your Netflix videos will start playing.

Hardware capabilities considerations

While Raspberry Pi (2+) has no stress in playing up to 1080p hight quality H.264 video files/network streams, when additional requests are put in it, like Netflix Content Decryption, things goes slowly. How slowly? The Raspberry Pi 2 is capable of smooth play only the higher bitrate of the 480p stream, while the Raspberry 3 (connected to a 2.5A power adaptor and with a small overclock) is capable of smooth play the higher bitrate of the 720p (HD) stream. That's the facts, things may be different for Raspberry Pi 4 or other hardware alike, as they may provide more processing power.

help_outline My Neflix plugin automatically select a higher resolution, eg 1080p or 720p, how to change to a lower/custom one?

This setting resides in the plugin settings / Inputstream Addon Settings ... / Stream Selection / Manual (plugin settings can be accessed by pressing the "c" key from keyboard when Netflix plugin icon is selected) [/slide 1-2]
Then, within the player, when playing a Netflix video, will have the option to select a video stream (settings / Video settings) [/slide 3-4]

Raspberry Pi 3 OC

I have mentioned the Raspberry Pi 3 capability of Netflix 720p resolution (the highest bitrate) stream decrypt capability by using a 2.5A power adaptor and a small OC alongside.

Well, before starting OC you may want to test some Netflix 720p streams without overclocking at all and you may consider that the OC is not needed, but if you want to squeeze some CPU MHz (+150 MHz to be exactly) and your Raspberry Pi 3 is connected to a 2.5A power adapter then this is how to do it:

# connect to rpi using ssh
ssh root@192.168.0.x
# mount /flash
mount -o remount,rw /flash
# edit config.txt
nano /flash/config.txt
# add some settings* to to this file, save it and close it (Ctrl+X, Y, Enter)
mount -o remount,ro /flash

* config.txt overclock settings for Raspberry Pi 3

################################################################################
# Overclocking settings
# WARNING: Do not change/enable if you do not know what you are doing!
#          The System may become unstable or you can have data corruption or
#          you can loose your warranty if you set wrong settings
# 
# please read: http://elinux.org/RPi_config.txt#Overclocking_configuration
################################################################################

arm_freq=1350
core_freq=500
over_voltage=4
disable_splash=1

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