UPDATE 1/20/15, 10:50 AM EST: Netflix has informed us that the problem has been resolved. Samsung confirms that the Netflix app is working on its TVs — which weren't the only platforms affected but by far the ones most mentioned by users.
"Why oh why did I wait so long to finish watching House of Cards?" Netflix users with smart TVs may be asking themselves now — about any show or movie on the streaming service. For the past few hours, Netflix customers have been flooding the company's @netflixhelps Twitter account saying that their smart TV apps are showing only error messages, typically a black screen that says, "We're having trouble playing this title at the moment. Please try again later or select a different title."
In an email to Tom's Guide, Netflix confirmed that its app is having problems. "There is a known issue we are working on with some devices and we hope to address it soon," wrote Netflix spokesman Joris Evers. Netflix's tech support team has been equally honest. "There are issues streaming on some devices, but our cavalry is working hard to get it fixed!" Netflix tweeted to a customer, Zach, who wasn't able to stream the service on his Samsung smart TV or Wii. (He didn't specify if it was the original Wii or the Wii U.)
So far, most customers are reporting problems with the Netflix app on Samsung TVs, both on Twitter and on Tom's Guide forums (scroll to the bottom for the latest entry). In fact the issue goes back to March 9, 2014, when a forum member first reported getting a black screen on his Netflix app on a Samsung UN55F6300 smart TV. We've pinged Samsung for comment.
It doesn't seem to be limited to Samsung TVs. There was that one report about a Wii game console, and another use said she couldn't use the app on an Xbox (thought she didn't specify if it was an Xbox 360 or Xbox One). Still, the overwhelming number of complaints has been with various models of Samsung TVs.
Remedies submitted on Tom's Guide forums include logging out of the Netflix app, reinstalling the app, switching the country code that the app is set for, and turning off a feature in the Samsung smart TVs called Samsung Instant On.
Given that Netflix is now working fulltime on a fix, though, the safest course may be to see if it comes up with a universal fix. Meanwhile, there are other places to watch TV online.
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