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10 comments

Netflix Removes AirPlay Support from Its iOS App

Netflix has removed AirPlay support from its iOS app “due to technical limitations.” In a statement given to The Verge, Netflix blamed Apple’s recently added AirPlay 2 support on third-party TVs, saying that since Apple doesn’t provide a way to distinguish between devices, Netflix couldn’t certify a quality experience. This move also eliminates an end run around Netflix’s callously disrespectful auto-play previews—the iOS Netflix app isn’t infested with them, so you could browse calmly on an iPhone or iPad and then watch on an Apple TV (see “#DeathToAutoPlay—No More Audio and Video That Plays Automatically!,” 6 February 2019). However, many tech observers think Netflix’s abandoning of AirPlay could be sour grapes given that Apple is launching a competing streaming service, Apple TV+ (see “Apple Reveals Its Vision for TV,” 26 March 2019). It’s worth noting that Netflix didn’t support AirPlay for years, and even now that it has dropped support, Netflix is still available on just about every smart TV, video game console, and toaster oven on the market.

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Comments About Netflix Removes AirPlay Support from Its iOS App

Notable Replies

  1. I’ve seen a lot of online speculation that Netflix has done this because they can’t stop people using AirPlay to broadcast to unauthorised receivers which might be able to capture the stream and record it.

    Allen

  2. Are there any devices that support AirPlay and can record? I’m not aware of any such things, and since AirPlay has to be licensed from Apple, it wouldn’t seem all that common.

  3. There are much easier ways to record content from Netflix. Screen record from a Mac or HDMI capture from an Apple TV, for instance. I don’t visit torrent sites much anymore, but I’ve never seen a lack of Netflix originals on them.

  4. I know that I’ve seen complaints about this, but how many people really use the Netflix app on an iOS device and AirPlay to watch it on a TV? As annoying as the auto play of trailers is on the Netflix app, it’s just so much easier, better on device battery as well, and I think better quality to just use the Netflix app. I am not sure that using AirPlay is all that common with Netflix. Is this really a huge loss?

  5. I used it because my net connection is too slow to stream anything that benefits from high resolution, such as Attenborough documentaries. Downloading on a fast connection then airplaying worked better than trying to stream.

    I’ve already canceled them though, because I don’t watch much video anyway, They don’t have much I want to watch, and the price keeps going up.

  6. If there isn’t, someone is probably working on one! Certain sectors of the computing world would undoubtedly see it as a challenge.

    But I don’t have any hard information; just repeating what I read…and it will probably come as no surprise that I read it on Slashdot.

  7. I wish we here in the UK had the new Criterion Channel service. I’d signup for that one in a heartbeat to watch a lot of the best films ever made. $11/mth or $100/yr is a fairly decent price, IMO.

    (…no I don’t work for them!)

  8. We’ve recently run into two situations where the loss of AirPlay in the Netflix app was annoying

    First, when we were in Switzerland, we stayed in an Airbnb with an Apple TV. We could have used it directly, but it was in French, and we didn’t want to connect our account to it. But could we AirPlay to it from the Netflix app? No. We ended up watching on the iPad.

    Second, we lost power last night for about 5 hours. We downloaded a show we wanted to watch (very slowly) over a tethered iPhone while the power was out. The power came back on before we ended up watching on the iPad, but when we were able to use the TV and the Apple TV again, the screen started going black every few seconds. Our initial reaction was to think it was an Internet problem and that we could AirPlay the video from the iPad to the Apple TV, but of course that wasn’t going to work. Luckily, powering everything down and back up resolved the problem.

    So yeah, AirPlay support would be nice to have on occasion.

  9. Would screen mirroring not work when the Netflix app is open? What if you were mirroring iOS Safari while logged in to netflix.com?

  10. Alas, no. If you turn on screen mirroring and try to use the Netflix app to play, it pops up a dialog telling you to use the Apple TV app. And if you try to sneak around with Safari, when you try to play a video, it will tell you to use the Netflix iOS app.

    They really did block the feature completely.

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