Netflix disabled AirPlay because it isn't being told what device is getting the stream

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited April 7
Netflix has elaborated on the "technical reasons" why it has disabled AirPlay, and claims that since it can't tell what device the stream is being sent to because of changes in the protocol, it won't allow the feature.

Netflix AirPlay
Netflix debuted AirPlay support in 2013.


In a statement to AppleInsider and other venues, Netflix is blaming the removal of the feature on Apple, and it allowing AirPlay on third-party televisions.
We want to make sure our members have a great Netflix experience on any device they use. With AirPlay support rolling out to third-party devices, there isn't a way for us to distinguish between devices -- what is an Apple TV versus what isn't -- or certify these experiences.

Therefore, we have decided to discontinue Netflix AirPlay support to ensure our standard of quality for viewing is being met. Members can continue to access Netflix on the built-in app across Apple TV and other devices.
At present, it isn't clear what Netflix gains by knowing what television is being used, other than data harvesting. It also isn't clear what the company being unable to "certify these experiences" means, from a technical standpoint.

Netflix has made it clear that apps on iOS and Apple TV are unaffected for native playback on the device that they are installed on. However, going forward, users won't be able to use AirPlay to stream the content to another device.

The change in app policy was spotted on Friday in an update to the official Netflix Help Center webpage, which now instructs iOS device users to connect to a TV using Chromecast functionality in the television, Netflix 2nd Screen, or a physical cable. Customers attempting to stream video content to an Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible device are now met with an error message.

At CES 2019, Samsung, Sony and Vizio each revealed upcoming TV hardware support for Apple's streaming protocol in separate announcements. Korean tech giant LG followed suit in March.

Netflix's AirPlay withdrawal hit just two days after Vizio launched a beta version of its SmartCast 3 software with support for both AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.
jahblade
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 101
    That's right Netflix, just keep giving me reasons to cancel the service.  Fucking "thought police".
    berndogracerhomie3Metriacanthosaurusmagman1979curtis hannahcolinnghmurchisonqwerty52bonobobwlym
  • Reply 2 of 101
    jdmac29jdmac29 Posts: 34member
    I am sure there are other reasons Netflix choosing to do this but I and skepticle that airplay will work really well on some of these tv’s and Rokus. The chips are really weak but apple got air play 2 audio to work on my old airport express. We will see I still think airplay to work really well depends on your router. 
  • Reply 3 of 101
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,630member
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.
    edited April 7 n2itivguy
  • Reply 4 of 101
    flydogflydog Posts: 267member
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.
    The device that is streaming via AirPlay is the device.  AirPlay can only stream to one device at a time so there is no need to distinguish between different TVs for that purpose.  If that was the case Netflix would have stated so instead of relying on an explanation that is more dubious on its face.

    Moreover, there is no need to distinguish the type of device for this purpose. The only thing that is relevant is the number of devices.
    edited April 7 elijahgchaickachabigcurtis hannahwilliamlondonStrangeDaysEsquireCatsjahblade
  • Reply 5 of 101
    patsupatsu Posts: 429member
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.

    Wrong. In AirPlay Video, the target TV/Apple TV downloads the video. The mobile device only controls the playback. What you mentioned is AirPlay Screen, which mirrors the phone screen to the TV say, for presentation. Different tech.

    I don’t believe Netflix when they say they can’t tell the requesting device.

    Mobile phone UI is a lot more advanced than TV device UI. So AirPlay makes sense.
    edited April 7 racerhomie3elijahgcurtis hannahedredjahblade
  • Reply 6 of 101
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,118member
    If what Netflix is saying is honest, and the sole, reason, then it’s perfectly legitimate for it to want to do this. The device of choice of the consumer, as well as its interface, resolution, etc. for its content are surely important information.

    This will be resolved. 
    chemengin
  • Reply 7 of 101
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,118member

    flydog said:
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.
    The device that is streaming via AirPlay is the device.  AirPlay can only stream to one device at a time so there is no need to distinguish between different TVs for that purpose.  If that was the case Netflix would have stated so instead of relying on an explanation that is more dubious on its face.

    Moreover, there is no need to distinguish the type of device for this purpose. The only thing that is relevant is the number of devices.
    Really. You know this, how?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 101
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,442administrator
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.
    AirPlay to an Apple TV makes sense if you aren't in your house, and the Netflix app is on your iPhone.

    Otherwise, I'm with you on hardwiring, etc.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 101
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,630member
    flydog said:
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.
    The device that is streaming via AirPlay is the device.  AirPlay can only stream to one device at a time so there is no need to distinguish between different TVs for that purpose.  If that was the case Netflix would have stated so instead of relying on an explanation that is more dubious on its face.

    Moreover, there is no need to distinguish the type of device for this purpose. The only thing that is relevant is the number of devices.
    Apparently Netflix doesn't think so. Device is a wrong term I used, Netflix sells subscription per screen. What is their point I don't know. I suspect it is the recording, this is why they need to inspect not the subscribed device but the screen itself to see whether it is a dumb screen or a recording port. You cannot record Netflix on Quicktime Player for example, they detect that this is not a screen.
    n2itivguytenthousandthings
  • Reply 10 of 101
    gcvgcv Posts: 10member
    Netflix is being dishonest about the reason it has removed Airplay support. Recently Netflix indicated that it wants to crack down on subscribers who Netflix believes may share their membership with family and friends. The company indicated it would terminate those accounts. This is about control.

    My experiences with Netflix have become increasingly negative. One way to protect one’s privacy is to use a VPN. When I use a VPN Netflix disables my ability to watch its content on my computer or tablet, even if the VPN is located in the USA and I have a USA based Netflix account. Netflix claims this is due to licensing restrictions on its content, but it is really to force users to disable the VPN so that Netflix can track what users watch. (Licensing restrictions should not be an issue on shows that Netflix produces.)

    This is all about collecting subscriber data to maximize profits. I think Netflix is going to be the next Facebook fiasco once users realize how their personal data is used.
    racerhomie3elijahgchaickateejay2012colormdriftmeyerrandominternetpersontmaycurtis hannahwilliamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 101
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,062member
    Goodbye Netflix. You will never gain access to our household. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 101
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 883member
    If what Netflix is saying is honest, and the sole, reason, then it’s perfectly legitimate for it to want to do this. The device of choice of the consumer, as well as its interface, resolution, etc. for its content are surely important information.

    This will be resolved. 
    How is this important? Broadcast TV doesn't know what device it's being received on; be it a Mac Laptop, Mac Desktop, PC, mobile with TV dongle, iPad, 14" CRT or 55" LCD. And they still manage to pump out content everyone enjoys. Why should that make any difference to Netflix? Seems very much like they would rather people buy the sub for TV use rather than the cheaper mobile option.
    patsuchaickacurtis hannahjbdragon
  • Reply 13 of 101
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 883member


    flydog said:
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.
    The device that is streaming via AirPlay is the device.  AirPlay can only stream to one device at a time so there is no need to distinguish between different TVs for that purpose.  If that was the case Netflix would have stated so instead of relying on an explanation that is more dubious on its face.

    Moreover, there is no need to distinguish the type of device for this purpose. The only thing that is relevant is the number of devices.
    Really. You know this, how?
    Because the Airplay source iPhone can be disconnected from the network and switched off, and the video continues to play.
    patsutenthousandthingsjbdragon
  • Reply 14 of 101
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 883member
    flydog said:
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.
    The device that is streaming via AirPlay is the device.  AirPlay can only stream to one device at a time so there is no need to distinguish between different TVs for that purpose.  If that was the case Netflix would have stated so instead of relying on an explanation that is more dubious on its face.

    Moreover, there is no need to distinguish the type of device for this purpose. The only thing that is relevant is the number of devices.
    Apparently Netflix doesn't think so. Device is a wrong term I used, Netflix sells subscription per screen. What is their point I don't know. I suspect it is the recording, this is why they need to inspect not the subscribed device but the screen itself to see whether it is a dumb screen or a recording port. You cannot record Netflix on Quicktime Player for example, they detect that this is not a screen.
    So why not say that, rather than making some technical excuse? In any case, HDMI HDCP strippers are two-a-penny on eBay.
  • Reply 15 of 101
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,630member
    elijahg said:
    flydog said:
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.
    The device that is streaming via AirPlay is the device.  AirPlay can only stream to one device at a time so there is no need to distinguish between different TVs for that purpose.  If that was the case Netflix would have stated so instead of relying on an explanation that is more dubious on its face.

    Moreover, there is no need to distinguish the type of device for this purpose. The only thing that is relevant is the number of devices.
    Apparently Netflix doesn't think so. Device is a wrong term I used, Netflix sells subscription per screen. What is their point I don't know. I suspect it is the recording, this is why they need to inspect not the subscribed device but the screen itself to see whether it is a dumb screen or a recording port. You cannot record Netflix on Quicktime Player for example, they detect that this is not a screen.
    So why not say that, rather than making some technical excuse? In any case, HDMI HDCP strippers are two-a-penny on eBay.
    Netflix never said that. They are mostly unaware of or uncaring about macOS playback problems for example. Last year their playback stopped in Safari under High Sierra, several emails and nothing. They haven't even understood the problem or behaved so.
    edited April 7
  • Reply 16 of 101
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.
    Their plans are not neccessarily per device. We have used their service for 10 years playing on many devices sometimes at the same time different movies. They may simply control how the content appears on different devices and that is why they need this information.
  • Reply 17 of 101
    gcv said:
    Netflix is being dishonest about the reason it has removed Airplay support. Recently Netflix indicated that it wants to crack down on subscribers who Netflix believes may share their membership with family and friends. The company indicated it would terminate those accounts. This is about control.

    My experiences with Netflix have become increasingly negative. One way to protect one’s privacy is to use a VPN. When I use a VPN Netflix disables my ability to watch its content on my computer or tablet, even if the VPN is located in the USA and I have a USA based Netflix account. Netflix claims this is due to licensing restrictions on its content, but it is really to force users to disable the VPN so that Netflix can track what users watch. (Licensing restrictions should not be an issue on shows that Netflix produces.)

    This is all about collecting subscriber data to maximize profits. I think Netflix is going to be the next Facebook fiasco once users realize how their personal data is used.
    It is false probably. If it was true then Netflix app would not ask on first screen which family member is trying to use it. You are allowed to use and share account with family members. Just get proper plan.
  • Reply 18 of 101
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,414member
    Since they sell plans per device, it is understandable that they distinguish between devices. Besides, AirPlay to an Apple TV doesn't make sense: you download to your mobile device via wi-fi, then AirPlay to the Apple TV over the same wi-fi, unnecessary two way traffic that would reduce playback quality. Why not use the Netflix app on the Apple TV instead? It syncs perfectly between devices, you can also hard-wire your Apple TV directly to your router via Ethernet. That policy may only affect TV sets with AirPlay but without the Netflix app. The solution appears to be the usual one: buy the dumbest TV you can tolerate and attach an Apple TV. So AirPlay implemented on a TV without tvOS is useless, it may help you to AirPlay YouTube from your mobile device but such TVs may already have YouTube.
    Their plans are not neccessarily per device. We have used their service for 10 years playing on many devices sometimes at the same time different movies. They may simply control how the content appears on different devices and that is why they need this information.
    I’m allowed 3 simultaneous streams on the 4K plan. I have logged into a common work display, and discovered when I was on vacation, that I lost access to one of my streams due to employees using it at work at the same time. It’s my fault for not deleting my account info after we used it, but given how often I shared it, it was kind of pain, and who remembers to do it every time? This is the problem when eliminating AirPlay and being forced to log in on every foreign TV. 

    Since the stream is handed off to the device being viewed, Netflix knows exactly what device is streaming their content and exactly what quality to send to it. When I first heard about this, I thought it was a bug in their effort to restrict AirPlay on a Mobile only plan, which has lower bandwidth, and streaming to a TV would increase. But this latest excuse pulls the curtain back, since AirPlay works no differently than chromecast, and Netflix hasn’t restricted that.


  • Reply 19 of 101
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 676member
    Hmmm...sounds like a monopoly tactic to me. Anybody want to start a class action?
    edited April 7 supadav03
  • Reply 20 of 101
    Thank you, Netflix, for removing a feature I use frequently and then notifying me of a rate increase. /s
    magman1979williamlondoncurtis hannahStrangeDaysmrmacgeekbrucemc
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