Without any warning and little explanation, Netflix has eliminated the easiest way to launch its programs from one Apple device to another: AirPlay.
Netflix confirmed The Verge that it removed the wireless casting function last week, due to what is called a "technical limitation". But it is not the kind of technical limitation that one would think.
You see, Apple recently partnered with most of the major TV brands to allow AirPlay 2 to send programs directly to their 2019 TVs with a firmware update later this year, but a Netflix spokesperson tells me that AirPlay 2 does not have digital IDs allow Netflix to distinguish those TVs, so the company can not certify that its users are getting the best Netflix experience when they launch these new sets.
So, it is to expel the baby with the bath water and disconnect in AirPlay, period. "We can not distinguish which device is which, we can not really certify the devices … so we had to close the support," says a Netflix spokesperson.
To be clear, that means The users of the Apple TV decoder can not use Netflix either.
Here is the official company statement:
We want to make sure our members have an excellent Netflix experience on any device they use. With AirPlay's compatibility with third-party devices, there is no way we can distinguish between devices (what an Apple TV is and what it is not) or certify these experiences. Therefore, we have decided to suspend Netflix AirPlay support to ensure that our quality standard for viewing is met. Members can continue to access Netflix in the built-in application on Apple TV and other devices.
However, it's a bit strange and misleading, because we're not talking about a situation where the technology does not work, apparently, it just does not work. It does not look as good as Netflix wanted, and Netflix, Apple and the TV manufacturers can not be bothered to fix it.
Maybe Netflix was not ready for a new wave of AirPlay 2-enabled TVs, and can not justify spending the technical resources to update their AirPlay implementation to give them adequate support. Maybe they are Apple or Samsung, LG, Vizio and company who can not justify the expense to fix the "limitation". Maybe Netflix will even restore support once things are resolved, although a spokesman strongly suggested that the ball is in Apple cut now Apple declined to comment.
Without a more complete explanation, it is hard to resist thinking that Netflix is intentionally rejecting Apple for some reason, perhaps to build a wall around its subscribers, or perhaps to gain more negotiation leverage. (Netflix denies it: "It's not a business competition game.")
But both Apple and TV manufacturers want to be able to use Netflix to sell users new luxury TVs equipped with AirPlay 2, so they're interested make things work.
There is a strong potential reason for a dispute between Apple and Netflix: Netflix recently decided that it would not be part of Apple's new TV Plus subscription video service, which prefers to remain a competitor.  Reed Hastings confirms that Netflix will not be part of the new Apple video center announced next week. "Apple is a great company, we want people to see our programs in our services."
– Peter Kafka (@pkafka) March 18, 2019
And it would not be the first time that & # 39; I've seen a cold war between two companies that want control over television broadcast users: Amazon stopped storing Google's Chromecast for three years, using its own platform in an anti-competitive manner, while refining its own rival Fire TV products.
It's true that most smart TVs already have Netflix built in these days, and there's no shortage of other ways to get that content on your TV screen. Unfortunately for Apple users, one of the most convenient ways is now disappearing.