91 Comments

Summary:

Want to watch videos from Netflix or Hulu Plus on your PS3? Well, you’re out of luck: Sony has taken the PlayStation Network offline after suffering a serious security breach last week, and both online video services are closely tied to the game console’s network.

psn outage netflix

Updated. Online video services Netflix, Hulu Plus and MLB.tv have been hard hit by an ongoing outage of Sony’s PlayStation Network, which has been down since last Wednesday. Sony took the network for its gaming console offline last week after hackers gained access to customer data. The company admitted the breach Tuesday and said it expects “to restore some services within a week.”

PlayStation 3 users haven’t just been locked out of online games, but also have been unable to access video services like Netflix or Hulu Plus, which both require a PlayStation Network subscription. Also unavailable are VOD rentals from Sony’s PlayStation store, as well as programming from MLB.tv. Vudu rentals, on the other hand, are accessible without any issue, we confirmed this week, which suggests the Walmart-owned download store interacts differently with the Playstation Network than Netflix and Hulu Plus.

While online video services like Netflix and Hulu Plus have rapidly increased the number of consumer electronics devices they are available on, game consoles still represents a large percentage of viewing. Netflix, for instance, claims to be available on more than 250 different devices, but the PS3 is definitely one of the more dominant players. Sony’s PlayStation Network has more than 70 million users worldwide, and the console maker had sold close to 18 million PS3s in the U.S. alone by the end of last year. Just for comparison’s sake, Roku has sold a little more than a million of its broadband set-top boxes.

The outage is particularly cruel for Netflix users, who are able to launch the Netflix UI after going through a number of failed attempts to log into the Playstation Network. Users are able to select a title for streaming, and the application even starts buffering the stream. However, another log-in window pops up, and the app throws the user back into the catalog overview after the log-in fails. Check the video embedded below for all the depressing details:

A Netflix spokesperson told us the company is redirecting any requests by end users who inquire about the issue to Sony. Hulu wasn’t available for comment at the time of writing, but the company has reportedly started to offer refunds to some of its customers to make up for the fact that they can’t access the service on their PS3.

Update: Judging from our comments, some people have been able to access Netflix streams despite the PlayStation Network outage. However, we tried multiple times yesterday without success, and also talked to a number of users who ran into the same issues described above. Individual results may vary.

  1. Err… I’ve been able to access Netflix throughout the duration of the outage, including last night, and have seen many anecdotal success stories as well.

    The behavior I’ve experienced is getting the PSN login prompt, then seeing the “PSN maintenance!” message, after which I’m still able to proceed with selecting and viewing a title in the Netflix UI as normal.

    I can’t speak to MLB.tv or Hulu though.

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    1. Mine worked fine until yesterday morning. I’d fail the log-in, wait for the queue to load, fail the log-in again, and then it’d be fine. Now the prompt appears when the video starts buffering, and it keeps appearing until Netflix itself kicks me back to the queue.

      It’s amusing that you’ve actually pointed out that your argument is based on worthless anecdotal evidence. Let us know when you’ve polled a few thousand people around the country about Netflix on their PS3s. Err.

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    2. Why are people still trying to tell us how to log on to Netflix?!?! LISTEN! That is not peoples problem. They CAN log in and get to their queue. The problem starts when trying to play a video. Watch the video in this post. He is at his queue, dammit.

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      1. now it is. Before it was a issue getting on NF to begin with. I could get to Nf and I could watch movies. Now all I can do is browse thru movies.When I try to play ,well it looks just like the above video!!! Grrrrr!!!!!

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    3. So yeah Netflix worked fine for me up until i would say May 7th, was able to use the workaround just fine up till then. Then i turned my PS3 on may 7th and started up netflix and a new screen popped up saying, Are you a new member etc… basically you just had to re-login in to your netflix account via the ps3. Now my netflix dont work. still can get to my Que and start a video, but the buffer bar gets about 25% full and the login screen pops up saying you need to be signed in to the PS3. No amount of button presses gets passed this. it is dead. So like someone said here, there must be some type of cookie and mine expired. even that or sony hit the “reset button” so they can start fixing, improving, restoring or what ever, the netflix app.

      If it hasn’t happened to you, just wait sooner or later it will.

      Also…
      Man there are a lot of children it seems posting here. No manners or politeness towards this problem. something doesn’t work so you start calling people stupid. real mature and intelligent.
      Because every single person using netflix on their PS3 has the exact same circumstances/setup as everyone else. ” oh well my ps3 netflix works just fine so you must be a stupid head if yours doesn’t work” Geeze grow some brains .

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    4. No Netflix here, it appears to be related to sony firmware update. I was experiencing the (Login, loop!) and was able to watch a few movies. I read that sony was putting out an update for the console, and when you attempt to login to PSN it would trigger an email to your registered email account for a password reset. I applied the update and did not get the email, and now I can not get around the (Login, loop!). Why to go sony! Glad I got the Wii to fall back on..

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  2. My Netflix works just fine on my ps3,so I am not sure they know what they are talking about

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    1. ” They ” do know what they are talking about. If you’ll look back to what has been written by “they” it’s clearly stated some people could indeed connect to Netflix. Until Wednesday I was one of the lucky ones. As a matter of fact I was watching Netflix Wednesday morning (4-27 10 AM ) but had to leave briefly. When I returned I was unable to connect anymore and have not been able to since. I have a 360 also but because of lack of memory (yes I will be purchasing a hard drive VERY soon!!) it does not have Netflix. So I can play online but I miss my NetFlix. My computer will not play Netflix for some odd reason. It did but now it says something about being unable to play protected content.UGH!!!!!!! Anyhow, some people do have the ability to connect to NF thru their PS3 but from everything I’ve been reading,fewer and fewer people are getting thru. I’ll be glad when it’s over. Missing my Netflix and sick to death of my boys fighting over who’s turn it is to play online.

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  3. Strange,

    The netflix on my PS3 looks completely different than in that video and even during this network outage I have been able to stream all netflix videos perfectly after the double sign-in back out. Once I see my queue and all available titles, I haven’t had any trouble watching anything.

    Is the Netflix UI different on the old FAT PS3?

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    1. that does looks like an older UI. Is it possible that he doesn’t have the more recent version of Netflix? I thought the updates were mandatory when the app started.

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    2. I have a new PS3 and my Netflix main page looks totally different. I also have had to play the log in game a couple of times before it works but then works fine for me

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  4. Unless something changed between 2AM CT and now (which is possible), netflix was accessible to me. I’ve been watching Jericho for the past couple days.

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  5. Umm. Netflix never stopped working for me throughout this entire outage.

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  6. I have been watching Netflix since this outage has began. In fact I am watching it right now. You have to attempt to login in to PSN, it fails, and then you exit out of that screen. after that you can watch. you think you would try a bit harder before you write up this.

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  7. Netflix still works for my system and all my friends systems.

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  8. I must be lucky cause my netflix still works perfectly fine once I get past all the failed ps3 network login attempts.

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  9. My Netflix also works, but I have to cancel the PSN login several times. It’s worth trying.

    Hulu however does not. Not that it really worked well before the outage….

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  10. hey i can play videos on my ps3 i dont need to sign in at all just keep trying to load netflix

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  11. My Netflix also works. You just have to keep hitting connect through the PSN crap. Eventually Netflix will load off from your internet. That’s all it needs to run, INTERNET. NOT the Playstation Network. Jeeez

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  12. Get your facts straight before you publish these lies!

    Do you even OWN a PS3, or are you just reporting what your neighbor told you over the back fence?

    Netflix works just FINE on my PS3 and everyone else I know. Someone should look into your stock portfolio to see if you are purposefully trying to affect the market. I think I’ll point the SEC to this article just in case.

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    1. Hi Johnson, if you watch the video above you’ll see that it didn’t work for me. I’ve since updated the article to reflect the comments here, but I’ve also heard from more folks saying that it doesn’t work for them, e.g. here:

      And since you asked, I don’t own any stock in any technology company. In fact, I don’t own any stock period.

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    2. Get YOUR facts straight. You have an earlier version that works. The rest of us are stuck in Hell because we updated to the latest version.

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  13. I’ve been able to access Netflix. It tells me to login to PSN, but when it won’t let me login it just simply went to Netflix. No issues at all. Can’t say the same about Hulu and Qriocity, though. But Hulu is giving a discount for the trouble.

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  14. The author of this post says “… Vudu rentals, on the other hand, are accessible without any issue …”. Very trendy, that use of “issue”, but also obfuscatory. The word is problem, not issue. “Without any problem” is readily perceived; “without any issue” isn’t. Issue? A debatable matter? No. An edition of the newspaper? No. Instead of using ambiguous “cool” words, try the right one, and your writing will be clearer. Thanks.

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  15. Seems like new users will not be able to play any movies from Netflix, despite the fact that they could get into the UI after confirming/canceling the PSN error message few times.
    Any users who are not new for Netflix and have played movies recently should be able to continue using the service once they are pass the PSN errors.
    I believe that Netflix folks made some changes to allow this to workaround possible. Cheers to them for that.

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    1. I’ve been using NetFlix since it became available to the console. Yesterday (5/1//11), I began encountering the same problem as the above video describes. I believe that this is evidence that it doesn’t matter when a person began using NF. It seems to be more random than anything.

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  16. Something is really fishy about the video for sure. I had no problems after attempting two logins, I get through fine and checked with several friends who had the same experience. Maybe this is a system that never logged into Netflix since they updated it some time ago and now, of course, it won’t update because it (the old version) depends on the availability of PSN.

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  17. Do a little more research Janko.

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  18. Double log-in, then works fine!

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  19. Mine has worked fine through the outage.

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  20. The video shows my experience. However, I have a friend who is able to access Netflix. I believe different users are experiencing different results.

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  21. Yikes. Not good.

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  22. Netflix works fine on PS3, it’ll ask you to log on like twice while netflix launches, after a few tries and the network down messages, you are allowed to use your service. I’ve been using netflix for the last few days.

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  23. It also works for me, unless something has changed between 2AM CT and now. I’ve been watching stuff on Netflix since the outage started.

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  24. My Netflix has not been working at all while PSN has been down. I’m able to bypass the PSN login screen as everyone is saying, but the Netflix app itself tells me “We’re unable to connect you to Netflix. Please try again later.”
    I hadn’t used the Netflix app for streaming for a few months so perhaps that is the issue.

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  25. Sony better get their act together, now that the Wii 2 has been announced, it looks pretty cool from what I have seen…

    http://www.tech-adventures.com/2011/04/nintendo-says-wii-2-is-in-works.html

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  26. @mike smith…Relax man, we all know what he meant by “issue”.

    Since the outage and up until today I have been able to stream Netflix, all systems “nominal” ( a joke for mr. Smith). However, something has changed, either from Sony’s tinkering or else just bad luck, and now I can get to my queue but am prompted a few times for my login when trying to play a video. Trying to hit circle just causes an endless circle jerk of login prompt, error message, login prompt, error message. The only alternative is to hit x but once I do, I am given the error message in the above photo and kicked back to my queue. Must be a hit or miss thing lately as I’ve heard from people that can still play the service and those, like me who cannot. I’ve had my account with Netflix from the beginning of its offering on ps3, so it is not a new user thing. Anybody else out there have the same thing happen? Maybe the fact that the workaround exists is a security vulnerability itself and it’s a good thing it isn’t working for me now… I don’t know, just trying to stay positive. I’ve still got Playon, a Megavideo account, and an Ice Films script thankfully…

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  27. TOTALLY shooting in the dark here but…

    Could it depend on what firmware your system is on? Earlier firmwares may not work whereas newer firmwares may?

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    1. I have the latest, in fact I don’t even think you can access netflix without the latest firmware. I don’t think it’s that. Bummer.

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  28. I have been experience this YouTube clip for the last day or so. It sounds like most people can still get Netflix streaming, but not all of us.

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  29. Try deleting the NETFLIX app on ur PS3 then redownload it.. install it.. and you’ll get the FAIL feeling..

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    1. How do you download the app without psn?

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    2. Anyone that does as you suggest deserves what they get. Since PSN has been down forever it seems, it would be impossible to download the latest version. If you didn’t upgrade recently, you’re SOL.

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  30. The reason for the variable results is the software version. If you have the very LATEST Netflix app and the LATEST PSN version, you can NOT access Netflix after failed attempts.

    If you have the EARLIER versions, you can access Netflix after a couple of failed login attempts and using the ‘back’ button.

    It’s so funny how people criticize others, suggesting that their own experience is universal, and everyone else is an idiot.

    Hasn’t anyone ever heard of VERSIONS of software/firmware before? They may look the same, but they’re DIFFERENT.

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    1. Figured so.

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    2. I am using the most recent PS3 and firmware and the most recent version of the Netflix app and I am able to connect without any issue. When I was prompted to log into the PSN, I cancelled and when the prompt came up again, I tried to log in, got the message about it being down for maintenance, and was then able to browse my queue.

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    3. I have the latest Netflix version and PS3 firmware, and I was able to stream video until Tuesday. I think, as Chris said above, Sony or Netflix changed something.

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    4. Yea, I have the latest updates and can’t use Netflix. I guess a lot of people are new to software and applications because it seems that no one knows this and just spout about how they can watch it so all must be well.

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  31. Been trying…repeatedly…following the basic steps…no luck..the workaround doesn’t work for everyone

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  32. I have been using netflix all week but as of this afternoon it prompts an extra time during buffering and will not let me watch.

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  33. My netflix doesn’t work it hasn’t since Tuesday! And the logging in thing doesn’t work either I tried it like 15/20 times :( I’m so bored

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  34. Netflix does not work for me and I read all this crap!

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  35. I never did figure out why Netflix on my mother’s PS3 and our PS3 looked completely different – I’ve updated them both as much as possible, yet they remain different.

    It doesn’t surprise me that users are then getting different answers from the system.

    But why does the playstation network need to know about each segment we’re streaming?

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  36. I’m watching Netflix right now.

    I think I have an older version of it though. It stops asking me to login after 2 attemps. No message when I start any videos.

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  37. me too i can access netflix you got to keeping logging in and it will let you pass to the browseing good luck

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  38. Our serive has been in and out. Sometimes we can get on and sometimes not. Even when we do get on we are only able to complete loading about 1/2 the time. I bought a PS2 thinking my kids might use it some but mostly because I wanted netflix. I think Sony should have to reimburse for costs people are out due to the fact they were simply not protected enough. I will not buy another playstation.

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  39. To all you people who can’t get to your Netflix, try this program called playon. If you haven’t heard of it, it serves Internet video to your tv through your ps3, 360, wii, streamboxes, iPhone, and many more. The company has a free trial that should last you until this nightmare is over. Check it out, I dropped my cable because with it, I can watch just about every movie or tv show ever made, on demand. Hard to get my homework done now, but it’s great…

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  40. We are having similar problems. It’s asking for our login to the network several times. We finally get to the Netflix menu. When we try to play anything, it keeps re-buffering, making it nearly impossible to watch.

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  41. Netflix is actually on and off for me, because yesterday at evening it went down, but by 10 it was back up again.

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  42. What is this BS with Netflix having to talk to the Playstation network just for me to watch a movie. Are they contacting Microsoft when I want to watch a movie on my computer. I don’t think so so why do we have to be connected to PSN to play our movies. I have been able to get past the log in problems until today. Now it kicks me out as soon as it tries to buffer the movie.

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  43. I can access my queue but can’t stream I’ve done it at least 15-20 times still the same results, sooo frustrating!

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  44. My netflix works just fine

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  45. I was able to access netflix and watch movies on it until this morning and now I can chose the movie, but when it starts to stream I get the error an am kicked back like the above video :(

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  46. Netflix worked fine for me up until today when I just woke up. If this persist I am going to demand a refund of my $$$$$.

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  47. My Netflix still works. it says ” netflix is undergoing maintenance.” twice, then it lets me watch for as long as i want!

    haha! success!

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    1. same here. 2 failed sign in (using the O back at the failed prompt) and I am good. I can actually see the interface loading in the background before I try a second time.

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  48. i just signed up for netflix last night and when i went to watch it failed and said that netflix requires a successful psn login. i tried a dozen times to login to psn and keep getting the “playstationnetwork is currently undergoing maintenance” message. i guess i will have to wait til sony psn gets their act together because i am not going to get an xbox or anything else. i was able to browse netflix and make selections to my que but am not able to watch the content. message to netflix, no psn, no netflix, can you offer a workaround? oh yeah, i always thought i had to accept the ps3 updates so my firmware should be current.

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  49. Still can’t get into mine, and it’s been… what, 2 weeks now since the issue with PlayStation Network? This is ridiculous, and I’m furious. Netflix worked for a period of time while PSN was down about a week ago, but since I turned my system off for a weekend, it’s been nothing but denied entries. PSN better give me some free credits to their store.

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  50. Google “playon”. This program will serve Netflix (as well as a bunch of other content) to your ps3, no login needed. You can get a free trial and access Netflix until all this crap blows over.

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  51. Netflix does work. Netflix, obviously, runs off Internet, and in order for Netflix to not work, well u gotta not have Internet. They should of realized this by now. Im not having any issues with playing the movies. The picture is clear, it loads just fine. I’ve been watching movies all day without problems

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  52. i was just watching netflix on my ps3 less than one hour ago and now all of the sudden its not working. this is bullshit

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    1. I was just watching something on netflix’s and in the middle of the episode the ps3 just shut off then when I turned it back on the netflix’s layout had changed and I could no longer watch things on my netflix’s even after trying the double back out. Tried turning he ps3 off and on again the the layout changed back but still can’t watch stuff.

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    2. I was just watching something on netflixs on my ps3 and it just shut off randomly. when i turned it back on the layout for netflix had changed and i could no longer watch things on there even after double backing out. Turned it off and back on and the layout changed back but still can’t watch anything.

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  53. that’s the older version of the app in the video. my ps3 is running the latest version of netlix and it works just fine every single time after a double login failure.

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  54. All i notice about the video is that netflix looks like a more recent version than mine. I try to login twice, then stream whatever i want without problems. I am connected directly to my router/modem. All i can say i guess is it especially sucks for those who can’t use it. Good luck

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  55. Netflix was working for me (after the initial PSN login attempt failed) up through Thursday May 5th, more than two weeks after the Playstation Network was taken down.

    Then, Friday the 6th it started failing, just like the video in the article showed. I don’t know why it would work for that long and then stop working. (Surely Netflix wouldn’t have made a change suddenly requiring PSN two weeks after it went down.) Nor do I know why the failure would have hit some customers earlier and for other customers it worked for quite a while before it stopped working.

    The symptoms are as strange as they are frustrating.

    Sony clearly has the primary responsibility here. Their network security failed, and they’re taking a long time to fix it so they can get PSN back up again. But Netflix shares some responsibility for their part of the outage. Why is the connection to Netflix requiring a connection to the Playstation Network in the first place? It clearly doesn’t *need* that PSN connection, or Netflix streaming would have been failing for all their PS3-connected customers as soon as PSN went down.

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    1. I can’t get in either, and I have all the latest updates. My guess is that it has nothing to do with hardware or software versions. The problem may be that our PS3 authentications expire after a certain amount of time. For example, let’s say they have a one-month life. A month ago, the system deleted your cookie and made a new one automatically, which it verified against your PSN account. So the Netflix servers allowed you to stream video until your old cookie expired on the 6th. The system can’t let you in now because it can’t re-authenticate your device without PSN. Users who still have access may eventually lose it if the network stays down long enough.

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  56. netflix wants to transfer all the blame to psn but its not, there service can work just fine with out been log in to psn. for example, before you only need it the disc and an internet connection, then just the app, then it had to be logged in too psn (after the down i was able to log in fail but the videos still load until now may 7) so they are fucking stupid,idots,retards,morrons,ignorant fools,mentally challenge, for lack of a better words to describe this idiots at NETFLIX.. now there services are officially useless to me with out stream to tv via play-station ,. and psn is a let down already return socum witch the story line suck but online game is raw but wait there is no online.. ,,, going to xbox and switching off netflix to a smart t.v and even if they have netflix there am going with amazon.. i waste it my time, and they lost my business.

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    1. Everybody is pissed. Take your business elsewhere if you’re that upset. Or maybe you need to learn some self control. Whatever works best for you.

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  57. During the outage i was able to use Netflix by trying to log-in. When the log-in failed it would let me use Netflix and play videos.

    Just a few days ago I removed it and then reinstalled. The reinstalled version looked a little different and the log-in, fail method no longer works (sad)

    could there be two versions?

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    1. How were you able to reinstall netflix with the network down?

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  58. Idk but mine has worked entire time i jus shut the auto login off and run netflix it says login required so i do than say playstation network undergoin maintenance push cirle than its always on the que after i hit back for me so idk y ppl are having problems.and everthing works great no probs still HD videos

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  59. After three days of using the workaround- ( Log in, go back, log in, go back) I can no longer access Netflix on May 9, so the “expired cookie” theory seems likely.
    Access via computer direct to Netflix is fine.

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  60. Mine was working up until today when they updated the netflix UI once again.

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  61. Worked for a little while during the outage then stopped altogether.
    Canceling Netflix as it’s only on the PS3 that we used it.

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  62. Have you tried on xbox or wii? both are down and nF still blames the delivery mechanism.

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  63. james braselton Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    hi there i know whats wrong your video is buffering becuase sony uses a slow 5400 rpm hard drive not 7200 not a hybride ssd/hdd combo drive like seagate momentux xt hybride drive voloci-rapotrs over 10,000 rpms or solid state flash drive you now can buy large ssd for $1 per gb soo you can have a 128 gb ssd ps3 for $399 or a 256 gb ssd ps3 for $599 or a 512 gb ssd ps3 for $999

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  64. Strange – when the login failed, I’ve always been able to hit the O back button and Netflix would continue (took about 3 times to actually get the movie started), but now I get the evil failure as indicated in this story when the movie finally starts to buffer – so irratating!! I also hate always having to update my PS3 which take an ungodly amount of time…

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  65. Never got to use my free trial due to problem its since been expired. Will I be able to get another free trial

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  66. Netflix arrogantly refused to credit my account for the days I was unable to stream movies through my Playstation to a TV. They claimed that since their network was up, they’re giving no one credit or any other form of compensation. Although a credit would be a few cents worth, it’s a poor reflection on Netflix’s customer service to refuse offering some gesture for those unable to make use of their service while Playstation Net was down. Even a free extra DVD rental offer would have been kind. I’m very disappointed with how Netflix chose to handle this with loyal, long-term customers.

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