July 22, 2011, 7:41 AM — It was just a few days ago I was talking about a pair of tablets based on the TI OMAP 4 system coming from Archos this September. One of the talking points around these tablets was their potential to support Netflix, since the OMAP 4 was the first chipset that Netflix had certified for HD streaming playback. In that post I said it was unfathomable that we can't get Netflix on an Android tablet.
Then on Wednesday the Netflix Android app was updated to support another bunch of devices, and one of them was just-announced Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet which lists Netflix as one of its pre-installed apps. The suprise here is that the IdeaPad is based on the Nvidia Tegra 2, the same chip that powers the Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Asus Transformer, Acer Iconia A500 and I could go on and on and on.
So what gives? Well, I reached out to Netflix to try to give an official word, but so far they've remained mum.
Enter the Android enthusiast community. DroidLife reported that users had moved the Netflix app to various Tegra 2 devices and had success getting it to work. Several other bloggers re-affirmed this info, though I haven't seen anyone specifically state that they're streaming in HD. That might be the catch.
Personally I haven't had any luck. I've tried both the .apk file that DroidLife linked to, and an .apk that I moved over from my Motorola Droid. Copying these to my Acer Iconia A500 gave me a Netflix app that would run, let me log in, show me my queue, but whenever I tried to actually stream something I got an error saying "Sorry, we could not reach the Netflix service" and giving an error 12001. I'm not the only one having this problem.
There're enough people claiming that it works, though, that I have to assume this is the real deal, that Netflix has quietly certified the Tegra 2 system and that, hopefully, we'll see more Tegra 2 tablets officially supported before too long.
It's about time!