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« Starz Will Leave Netflix: Most Valuable Source of New Movies Gone | Main | Brazilian Blowout Can Increase Cancer Risks, FDA Warns »

Is Netflix Enforcing One Streaming Movie at Time?

An "error" by Netflix is limiting the number of video streams some of its members can send to their computers, tablets and smartphones, the company admitted today in a statement.

A number of the entertainment service's members discovered over the Labor Day weekend that they could stream content from Netflix to only one device at a time. So if Dad was watching an action movie on his computer, Mom wouldn't be able to watch a romantic flick streamed to the Roku box in the living room.

It looked to be another blow for Netflix customers. People who pay for streaming plans could no longer watch more than one movie or show at a time on multiple devices. But, as it turns out, it's not really happening. 

For those who already decided to scrap the DVD mailing plan when the company separated its signature red envelopes from its instant viewing plan this summer, effective Sept. 1, the enforcement of Netflix's single-stream policy could have been the final straw.

Turns out, Netflix had a glitch and sent out error messages, in error.

"No Netflix member is limited to less than two concurrent streams," Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey sent in an email, Time reports. "A few Netflix members have heard differently from us, which is an error that we are correcting."

But, should they ever decide to do this in the future, Mashable reports the enforcement's most likely casualties: "The change could have a major effect on how families use Netflix. No longer can one person watch a movie from the iPad while the rest of the family watches another film on the Xbox, for example."

Although Netflilx explains that limitation in an FAQ at its website, some users didn't run into the barrier until last weekend.

"Some membership plans allow you to watch simultaneously on more than one personal computer or Netflix-ready device," a Netflix FAQ explained. "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."

Regardless of whether it Netflix's single streaming rule will be enforced or not, you can believe that the love affair with Netflix appears to be over.

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