Netflix (Glitch?) Limits My Account to One Concurrent Stream

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News Posted: Sun, Jan 8 2012 12:27 PM
I'm fully aware of the oxymoron in the title, because after all, how can a single stream be concurrent? It can't, and that's exactly my point. Netflix got itself in a bit of hot water a few months ago when subscribers reported the streaming service was tightening the reigns on the number of concurrent streams, enforcing a strict limit laid out in Netflix's Terms of Use. Technically, Netflix is supposed to limit concurrent streams to as little as one per customer in some instances. Here's the official verbiage:
Some membership plans allow you to watch simultaneously on more than one personal computer or Netflix-ready device. If you are on the Unlimited Streaming plan, the Unlimited Streaming + 1 DVD out-at-a-time plan or a limited streaming plan, you may watch only one device at a time. If you are on the Unlimited Streaming + 2 DVDs out-at-a-time plan, you may watch on up to two devices at a time. Members on the Unlimited Streaming + 3 DVDs out-at-a-time plan may watch on up to three devices at a time. The maximum is four devices at a time -- available for members on the Unlimited Streaming + 4-or greater DVDs out-at-a-time plan.

Seemingly out of the blue, Netflix began enforcing the strict limit, making it difficult and, in some cases, impossible for subscribers on an Unlimited Streaming plan to share their account with family members in the same home. For example, if mom and pop wanted to watch a romantic comedy in the living room, little Johnny wouldn't be able to fire up Spongebob upstairs. That seems unnecessarily harsh, and Netflix agreed, saying accounts that were limited to just one stream were done so in error.

"No Netflix member is limited to less than two concurrent streams," Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said in a statement sent out to several news outlets, including Stop the Cap, which first reported the enforcement policy. "A few Netflix members have heard different from us, which is an error that we are correcting."

That was all the way back in September 2011, so why am I digging up old news three months after the fact? Because of this:



I snapped the above photo when attempting to watch the first season of Portlandia (off-the-wall comedy that's right up my alley), only to be blocked by Netflix because the kids were watching a movie upstairs. Netflix has never enforced a single stream limit on my account before, at least not that I've noticed, and why it happened this weekend is anyone's guess. I'm hoping it was another glitch and not the start of an overly restrictive policy enforcement, not only for my own selfish sake, but also because more angry customers is the last thing Netflix needs right now. Company CEO Reed Hastings and crew are in the process of restoring Netflix's reputation after a series of questionable business decisions caused subscribers to jump ship and induced a sharp decline in the company's share price.

In any event, my account is back to normal, meaning I'm able to receive concurrent streams. I'm curious, has anyone else run into this problem over the weekend or anytime recently?
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Yes this is happening to me right now and I am none too pleased. Netflix needs to get a handle on this. It's ridiculous to limit to one stream. To be honest, I'm miffed at being limited to two streams but I can deal with it. If they really limit to one then they're going to find the masses coming unhinged again I predict. I think it's absurd and I hope it's a glitch. I've been binge watching "Merlin" and since my kids are now watching "Good Luck Charlie" in the other room we got cut off. Only one stream?? AAAH!

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It almost sounds as if it is some sort of Quality of Service (QoS) type of protocol they are running. When their systems get too busy they limit customers to how ever the number of streams that are agreed upon in their terms of service.

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MMaddox replied on Sun, Jan 8 2012 3:42 PM

I only have unlimited streaming, able to fire it up on all of my home devices with no problems.

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Lakawak replied on Sun, Jan 8 2012 7:59 PM

You were prevented from watching Portlanida. Consider yourself lucky.

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That sucks! The other day, I was streaming Netflix on my PC, PS3, 360, Wii, and 2 smartphones at the same time, just to see if I could do it. It worked perfectly. Maybe I screwed it up for you!

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This has always been the case in Canada. This comes to news to me as I didnt know the US version allowed multiple-streams. I always assumed it was only one

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Crazy - I had this error before and from then on I assumed it only allowed one connection.

 

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News:
Company CEO Reed Hastings and crew are in the process of restoring Netflix's reputation after a series of questionable business decisions caused subscribers to jump ship and induced a sharp decline in the company's share price.

Eh - good luck with that, fellas!Stick out tongue

 SPAM-posters beware! ®

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mattb5 replied on Mon, Jan 9 2012 11:45 PM

I thought I remembered when they initially announced these limits that it only applied to movies. If someone was watching a TV show and someone was watching a movie, you were okay. It was just when you tried to watch two movies at the same time.

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Manduh replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 10:33 AM

@sarcasticJosh not true.. I'm in Canada also, I've been able to watch multiple streams..and I just tried again, to be sure I wasn't wrong. Works fine running on my PS3 and iPad at the same time.... as well as PC and iPad at the same time. Maybe you should call Netflix support to get yours worked out.

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aviators replied on Wed, Jan 11 2012 2:57 AM

Just got blocked. My son and I were watching TV shows (not movies) simultaneously off Netflix with no problem. I finished an episode and tried to start another series and got the message illustrated above. I called Netflix and was told that the terms of service allowed 6 devices, but only one stream at a time on an Unlimited Streaming account. If I wanted more than one stream I would have to go to the Unlimited Streaming plus 2 DVD plan - I do not want DVDs! I had never heard this before and was directed to the terms of service page. The Netflix customer service agent said that there had been a glitch that allowed multiple streams, but their engineers were in the process of correcting this - which they are obviously doing at this moment. I have teenagers at home who like to stream from Netflix on our account, so I wouldn't mind paying a little extra for multiple streams. Currently the only way to do this is with a multiple DVD plan. I do not need DVDs coming to the house - they will get lost and each of my kids will deny responsibility! One more way that Netflix is alienating its customers. Any suggestions on better streaming sights would be welcome.

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MKunz replied on Sat, Jul 21 2012 3:12 PM

i am just now having this problem 6 months later...

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3vi1 replied on Sat, Jul 21 2012 5:01 PM

I have absolutely zero problems watching NetFlix in a WindowsXP VM inside of Linux.  BUTTTTTtttt.... About once every month or two my PS3 gets "deactivated" and I have to re-enter my user/password credentials - which is incredibly annoying given the PS3 controllers and my long password.

The DRM gets in the way of their service.  I'm sure the pirates aren't seeing any issues at all.  :\

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