Put down your pitchforks, people. Contrary to some reports, Netflix is not limiting streaming video to one device at a time—at least not on purpose.
“No Netflix member is limited to less than two concurrent streams,” Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey told Techland in an e-mail. “A few Netflix members have heard differently from us, which is an error that we are correcting.”
On Monday, the blog Stop the Cap reported that Netflix was suddenly enforcing a rule that restricted streaming video to one device per subscriber at a time. Users who tried to watch Netflix on concurrent devices saw an error message, the blog said.
But I had no problem streaming different movies to my Playstation 3 and my PC at the same time. (My current plan is one DVD at a time, plus streaming.) Techland’s editor Doug Aamoth streamed Netflix videos to his computer, iPhone and iPad simultaneously. Those who saw an error message, it seems, had run into a glitch.
However, Netflix does allow for a limit on concurrent streams, according to its terms of service:
“Some membership plans allow you to watch simultaneously on more than one personal computer or Netflix ready device at the same time. If you are on the 1 disc out at-a-time plan [or stream-only plan], you may watch only one device at a time. If you are on the 2 discs out at-a-time plan, you may watch on up to two devices at the same time. Members on the 3 disc plan can watch on up to three devices. The maximum is four devices simultaneously, and that is available for members on the 4 or greater discs out at-a-time plans.”
The rule just isn’t being enforced right now. That’s good for Netflix, which after raising prices and losing Starz content doesn’t need any more bad publicity this month.