Netflix with ads is broken on multiple streaming devices

A TV with the netflix logo and show art is on fire
(Image credit: Tom's Guide/Netflix/Shutterstock)

Y'ever buy something and it arrived broken? Netflix with ads is just that right now for multiple streaming devices. The new lower-priced $6.99 per month tier dropped today (Nov. 3), and tried it out for ourselves.

Specifically, we tested it on the new Apple TV 4K (2022) after seeing a 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) report that said the newly-debuted Netfix Basic with Ads is already breaking on the Apple TV. And then we saw the below error message: "Error: This device isn't supported on your plan, but we're working on it. For now, you can stream here by changing your plan online. Code:3-0."

A Netflix error message on the Apple TV says "Error This device isn't supported on your plan, but we're working on it. For now, you can stream here by changing your plan online. Code:3-0"

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

They're working on it? Hilarious, right? Well, if Netflix with ads was going to show up broken on any device, we're not exactly surprised it's the one that's cost $179 until this latest model showed up.

But then we dug a little deeper. The Apple TV isn't the only device it doesn't work on.

The Netflix app for Windows? Netflix (opens in new tab) says that's not supported yet, though we guess the web browser version should suffice?

The biggest supported devices issue is that Netflix with ads doesn't work on the Google Chromecast (3rd Generation) or Chromecast Ultra. Chromecast with Google TV. Google says "To cast Netflix to a Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra, you'll need to upgrade your Netflix plan to Basic, Standard, or Premium."

We hope that issue is resolved soon.

Netflix with ads also doesn't work on iPhones, iPads and iPod touches running iOS 14 — only those with iOS 15 or later. That said, Apple doesn't provide security updates to iOS 14, so this is less surprising. Also, Netflix says "Netflix Basic with ads is supported only on devices with Android version 7 or later." This is less consequential, as that update came out in 2016.

Analysis: Who is Netflix with ads for?

Netflix with ads is a peculiar offer, running $6.99 per month and maxing out at 720p.

That makes it great for people on a budget who don't have a Full HD or 4K TV. But when Netflix launches this tier with ads, and cuts out multiple older Chromecasts, which aren't really that old, we're curious if they think people will buy new Chromecasts to make it work.

Because if Netflix thinks people who want its new least-expensive device are also buying new hardware, there's a curious issue here. Yes, we all want lower monthly bills, but what person who has the new Chromecast with Google TV HD wants to watch non-1080p content on it?

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.