The Netflix and Chill Button

While the people at Netflix were busy killing weekends around the world with marathon viewings of 90s sitcoms, they also found time to release the Netflix Switch. It’s a small device with a single button that will control your TV, turn off the lights, and order a pizza. Remember, time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

netflixThe Netflix Switch is a relatively simple device powered by a Particle Core, an Arduino-compatible development board with on-board WiFi. Also in this box is a LiPo battery, a few LEDs, and an IR transmitter that will send the same IR signal as the Netflix button on your TV remote, should your remote have a Netflix button.

In an unprecedented break from reality, this astute corporate branding of electronics tinkering also has design files, schematics, and real instructions that come along with it. Netflix released all of the mechanical files for their switch in Solidworks format; for the low, low price of only $4000 per Solidworks license, you too can Netflix and Chill.

Although Netflix’ implementation of tapping into a DIY electronics movement that has been around for 100 years is lacking, the spirit of the build is laudable. A single button connected to the Internet is a universal tool, and whether you want to order a pizza or make a ‘do not disturb’ button for your phone, the only limitation for the Netflix and Chill button is your imagination.

57 thoughts on “The Netflix and Chill Button

      1. Well, there’s always Popcorn Time, the free torrent-based copycat Netflix. It really takes only ten seconds of buffering to play a 720p movie. Then again, I’m on a monthly ~25$ allowance to power all my tinkering needs so I feel it’s ok for me to pirate stuff.

          1. back in the day, if corporations couldn’t afford something, they did without it.

            do you see my subtle point? crime from corps, today, is pretty hard to ignore and if its good enough for them, maybe others also feel they have a right to ‘benefit’ from whatever they can get away with. neither side is right, but can you understand the frustration of being a consumer and feeling that you are the one who is jerked around by the media companies? they don’t play fair, they have no ethics AT ALL and so, its easy to see why consumers might thru up their hands and say ‘fark it’ and just do whatever the hell THEY want. as long as they don’t get caught, its all good, right? that’s how corps play it these days. for the most part, they ride the thinnest line on legality and even create their own laws (we can’t) to suit their ‘business models’.

            its very easy to understand the rebel feeling. I have a bit of it, myself; having been fed up with the way the media companies have been acting the last few decades, really. I feel I owe them nothing at all, at this point. I could not actually care less how well they do, financially. they really don’t care about us, so that’s that.

        1. There are many instances where they (copyright trolls) went after popcorn time users.
          And their app is drawing suspicion from some I hear. Although I suspect the average mobile device has so much spyware in it, combined with the spying on any mobile network, that there is no need to inject any more.

          It’s generally so that if something like that reaches a certain level of convenience for the user, that it draws the focus and energy from a great many unpleasant people who then manage to kill it.

      1. Is it really the right thing? Instead of spending my cash on a movie I’d rather get drunk with friends, buy a needed tool or part for my next awesome project or maybe just fuel my dirt bike and ruin a field. As an eastern european I’m not really bothered about all that copyright things. Jews at Hollywood won’t go bankrupt if I copy their movie.

          1. watching a movie is not “stealing” stealing is depriving another of their property the movie company still have their property. You listen to too many of them “You wouldn’t steal a car…” things at the beginning of DVD’s

          2. Jack, I used to pirate movies when I was in high school. Then I grew up and spent 5 seconds thinking about how wrong it is. Movies, music, software, etc are all made for paying-customers. Without paying-customers, there is no business or product and no reason to produce the good. Your concept of “stealing” is dated. Just because the word was invented before people could easily copy/redistribute things like this, doesn’t mean you aren’t stealing from the people who paid to produce the artwork.

        1. By your same logic, it’s completely cool to jump the turnstile on the subway, climb over the fence at a theme park or sneak into an NFL game. After all, there’s room in there and I din’t hold anyone up. Nevermind the fact that they spent millions of dollars bankrolling the system, taking a risk they would get paid back on the backend if consumers like the product. It’s amazing the lengths people will go to in order to justify not paying for something they take.

      2. In my country netflix isn’t available yet and instead we have 3 streaming services more, each with their own contracts and deals for the TV shows and movies costing each arround 12 dollars. So torrent it is, I don’t care if I need 5 or 15 minutes.

    1. well, at some point someone has to pay something or we have either indie only or even more product placement… like in ‘rouge nation’ all cars are exclusively BMW etc.

      personally i prefer to pay few$ for good movie than watch 90 minutes of commercials disguised as a movie

    2. Torrents don’t have the ads, and the tracking isn’t tied too your CC and ID, and the number of times you watch things and when can’t be monitored.
      So you see, netflix is a lot better.

    1. Indeed. I mean, Fusion 360 is free for hobbyists and can read native Solidworks. Sure, the hobbyist will not likely afford Solidworks, but lets not spew vitriol at companies when they are doing the sorts of things we should be encouraging.

    1. Sadly, I have been contemplating this whole IOT doorbell thing. My office is in the basement, so I don’t always hear the doorbell. thought about a wifi camera, but then I need another window open to monitor the front door (plus outdoor-rated stuff isn’t cheap). If the doorbell could just send an SMS, it would be perfect.

      Since we still have an old school wired doorbell, it should be really easy to implement (maybe not a TXT, but perhaps a message popup on the PC over wifi).

      Or I could just get a wireless doorbell and a second chime. Problem is, I dig the old electro-mechanical doorbells. Ours seems to only have 1 tone working right now, but it’s awesome because it sounds like an old school game show buzzer (all ding and no dong)

      1. If the sound is what you want, you could record it. Might need a better mic than some intergrated laptop mic though. That way you could really make it sound like a game show bell (1 push -> ding ding ding ding ding). And you can always leave the old there and just add another for the basement.

      2. I have a similar problem and was thinking of a similar project.

        A Li-ion battery powered ATtiny and 432MHz transmitter module connected to the doorbell through an optoisolator.

        And an 432MHz receiver module and ATmega built into a cheapo computer speaker.

        But I got bored and didn’t finish it. :(

        1. I use a ESP-12 connected via wifi. it sends an MQTT message which is then processed into a mail and pushbullet notification – still not sure which I prefer. I already had the MQTT server, but it would be trivial to send mail or pushbullet directly from the ESP. No need for a battery – there should already be 24V (maybe 48V?) for the doorbell already there.

          1. > “there should already be 24V (maybe 48V?) for the doorbell already there.”

            In my case the transformer is near the button, so power doesn’t appear at the bell until the button is pressed.

            But I figure I should be able to get the ATtiny down to around 5uA in sleep mode and use the pin change feature to wake-up when the button is pushed and also wake-up every minute or so to check the battery voltage. That should be good for at least a year on a Li-ion battery.

            I like the ESP8266 idea though.

    1. I’d generally also advise one of those flip up caps on the switch so your cat can’t activate it. (or your ass as it got stuck in the couch cushions).
      With all the amazon buttons and this kind of thing we’ll soon have to walk on eggshells to avoid accidentally ordering stuff.

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