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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Some clarity on the Netflix streaming policy

12

September

netflix-logo.jpgI just spoke to Netflix customer support for some clarity on their streaming policy. It is true that my account is limited to streaming on one device at a time. They provide the ability to stream on a second device, however, as a courtesy to their customers. This is intended to be a buffer for cases when you are watching a movie and the device crashes, giving you the capability to start watching where you left off on a second device without delay. They know, however, that many customers intentionally use this feature so they can have two people on the same account view content simultaneously, and they're OK with that, according to the customer service representative with whom I spoke.

And why, as I told you in the previous post, was my list of registered devices empty? Well, Netflix used to allow you to have six registered devices on your account and after observing people struggling with the management of that list, they increased the limit to 50 devices. You heard that right. Fifty devices! Although you now can't view a list of your devices or manually manage them in your account preferences, you do have access to activate and deactivate buttons. The activate button is for registering a device with Netflix built-in, like a set-top box or a Blu-ray player. The deactivate button is an account reset and wipes out all the devices registered to your account, so use it with caution.

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The other way to deactivate a mobile device is to delete the Netflix app on the device. This is good to know for cases when you might be upgrading your phone, because you'd want to delete the app before you turn in your old phone.

In my test this morning, I was unaware that an episode of The Office was in pause mode on our account. When I started playing a movie on my MacBook Pro and then tried to play another on my iPhone, therefeore, technically I was trying to play three videos at once. It's important to remember that paused videos count as a "playing" video, even if the video is not currently being watched.

[Last modified: Monday, September 12, 2011 2:35pm]

    

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