No NetFlix on legacy Apple TV

No NetFlix on legacy Apple TV

Summary: A reader emailed Steve Jobs about using Netflix on the first-generation Apple TV - and the answer probably won't surprise you.

TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware

A reader emailed Steve Jobs a question about using Netflix on the first generation Apple TV:


The new AppleTV sounds great, but I have three existing AppleTV's at home already and the major advantage of the new one for me would be NetFlix which could easily be added as an app in an upgrade.  Will that happen?

To which Jobs replied:

Sorry, no. Sent from my iPhone

I've looked at the headers of the reply email and am confident that it originated from his-Steveness.

Is anyone really surprised? Upset?

Topics: Mobility, Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Is my old analog TV going to support 1080p???

    A question that is bout the same level of bumb.<br><br>Want another, can I upgrade the software of my old EDGE phone to get 3G ?<br><br>What about using an example from MS: can I open documents saved in Office 2010 using my license of Office 97?<br><br>Things in tech evolve to support new features. Old stuff may or may not be compatible and at the end, it is up to the vendor to provide backwards compatibility.<br><br>BTW: If all he wants is NetFlix, he can just simply install a media server w/ NetFlix support and stream it to the media player. That will work with pretty much any media player ... including the PS3.
    • RE: No NetFlix on legacy Apple TV

      @wackoae sounds to me like it's a problem of a crappy processor in a crappy device that only gets crappier with the loss of any method of local storage. what a crock.
  • Old Apple TV had component outputs???

    Perhaps Netflix is at a point where it doesn't want to allow streaming over non-HDMI devices so as to insure HDCP is at play. While the XBox360 does support component video and Netflix playback, it could be pressure from the film studios or Netflix's own business decision to no longer allow playback from non-HDCP devices.<br><br>That's one theory... <br><br>But it could be as simple as Apple having no desire to support what's now deemed an "old product". Which is somewhat lame considering the product was being sold up until the new Apple TV's debut and basically overnight was abandoned.<br><br>I don't have an Apple TV but at $99 I am considering the new product. Not for Netflix so much since I already have an XBox360 and Playstation3, which do Netflix streaming, but for AirPlay. But Netflix does factor in since the new Apple TV I'm sure has a lower power draw than either of my consoles and I could control it with my iPhone vs. having to use a game controller to control Netflix playback.<br><br>-M
    • RE: No NetFlix on legacy Apple TV

      @betelgeuse68 legacy appleTV has HDMI.
  • Not really to both...

    But I am sure if it's doable and there is demand a hack will be forthcoming.
    • Why waste time and effort on a hack ....

      When simply using a media server w/ NetFix support will do the job?
      • Why do either?


        When I own an xbox360 which I already don't use to rent Netflix. Hence I'm not upset ;)
  • Apple is successful BECAUSE they withhold features from old devices

    Why on earth would anyone pay $100 for the new Apple TV if they could get new features on their old Apple TV? Whether or not the old Apple TV could support those new features (and don't kid yourself, the old Apple TV could easily support Netflix considering the old Apple TV has more powerful hardware than the new one) is irrelevant, all that matters to Apple is the mighty dollar, consumers be damned!!!
    • this is simply not true.. new appleTV is actually more capable for video

      @NonZealot - not saying that it couldn't support Netflix...but it would mean developing for and maintaining, testing etc.. two codes bases... the new appleTV runs on an A4 chip running iOS and the old one is an intel Pentium M, running a pair down version of OSX.. it's a 4yr old platform.. it's just doesn't make sense economically.. at some time you need to call it a day or four year old tech.. and the new one is $99!! c'mon.. just get the new one!
  • RE: No NetFlix on legacy Apple TV

    I use my Tivo series 3 HD from 3 years ago many time more than my Apple Tv. And it has Netflix streaming. The lack of software upgrade for Apple tv makes little sense. It only puts off the early adoptee who bought the device in the first place.
  • Just install Boxee on your Apple TV

    Boxee provides several apps, including a Netflix App, to allow additional content on your Apple TV.
    • seriously if you want Netflix that bad on your old unit.. hack it..

      @ZDCommenter - it's as simple as sticking a USB stick in and rebooting.. don't understand all these whiners..
      • RE: No NetFlix on legacy Apple TV

        @doctorSpoc <br><br>Can you give more info about adding Netflix to the old AppleTV. Maybe you know of a link where I can get the info. Can you also reply to<br><br>Thank you in advance.<br><br>Eras3r
    • RE: No NetFlix on legacy Apple TV

      @ZDCommenter last i checked, Netflix specifically isn't available on the boxee for legacy appleTV.
  • RE: No NetFlix on legacy Apple TV

    Why does everyone assume that the new AppleTV uses iOS? No one ever said it did and from what I can tell its just the same AppleTV OS compiled for the A4 architecture plus some new features. There is nothing at all stopping Apple from adding Netflix to the existing AppleTV except for the fact they want to stop selling it. I also have several of the original Apple TVs which I have upgraded to 320GB HDDs and also purchased the new one to try out. So far I find the original to have much better video quality and I hate the fact I can't use it with any iTunes servers or network shares.
    • RE: No NetFlix on legacy Apple TV

      @pjalm because it does.