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A Quick Fix for Apple TV’s Netflix Woes

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Yesterday, my wife complained that she couldn’t watch Netflix via the Apple TV. “It’s probably down for a bit, just watch HBO GO until it comes back up,” I said. Sometimes various Apple TV services flake out and you have to wait for them to work again.

However, it still wasn’t working this morning, so I decided to investigate. Netflix seemed to start up fine on Apple’s puckish box, but when I tried to play the video, I received this error message: “There’s a problem communicating with Netflix. Try again later.” I decided it couldn’t have been an overnight Netflix outage, because that would have been front-page news.

It turns out that the solution is simple. Navigate to Settings > General, then choose Restart. When the Apple TV is functional again, Netflix will be as well. Another option is to yank out the power cord and plug it back in, but that requires getting off the couch, which is almost un-American.

The moral of the story is: When in doubt, reboot!

 

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Comments about A Quick Fix for Apple TV’s Netflix Woes
(Comments are closed.)

Tommy Weir  2013-08-23 13:05
Logging out of Netflix and logging in again can do it as well.

Nick Beadman  2013-08-23 13:57
You can reboot an Apple TV by holding Menu and Down arrow.
Deborah Clark  2013-08-23 13:58
I had the same issue on the Roku3 today... Weird.
Scott Randolph  2013-08-23 17:11
And if a reboot doesn't work, or more severe problems, like losing network connections, do a Restore (Settings, General, Reset, Restore).
I've noticed the same. First I normally start a different movie then exit and go back to the one that failed and that often works, also.

Even worse is that, seemingly since the profiles were introduced (we were on vacation at that time), all 3 of our ATVs no longer show our Netflix ratings. You can set a rating and it's available via the iPhone app and via the web account, but not via Apple TV. I've tried "everything" (including a complete restore and re-doing all settings) ... anyone have any ideas? To us, it's a "big deal" not being able to see which movies we've already seen (after watching over 1,600 movies, I can't always remember).

The one thing that may be "different" is that we're in Canada and they've also introduced MyList (or whatever it's called) that's a nice feature that lets you accumulate a list of movies you want to watch and it appears along with the suggested list, recently watched list, etc.

Oh yeah, Netflix says it's Apple's fault & Apple says it's Netflix's
Robert Fulks  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2013-08-27 06:18
I have to reboot my Apple TV almost every time I use it. It says it is not connected to the Internet.

I am using a wired connection. Someone said it doesn't do this if you are using WiFi but I haven't tested it.
Steve Nicholson  2013-08-27 10:03
I don't think it's because you have a wired connection. My Apple TV is wired and stays connected just fine.
Linda Cameron  2013-08-28 10:32
I had the same problem with my TiVo and Netflix. Had to reboot the TiVo and then Netflix came back. In fact, I had to reboot about 2 or 3 times over a week period but it has been working fine for weeks since.
Andrew  2013-09-11 20:53
Thanks for the tip. This worked for me!