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Netflix Cuts Off Rooted Android Devices

There are many trade-offs to rooting your Android phone or tablet. The latest addition to the negatives column is losing the ability to stream videos from Netflix.

Thanks to the inclusion of new digital rights management software, the latest version of the Netflix app won't work on devices whose Android OS has been rooted—the process of gaining access to system settings and other parts of the OS that Google and the device manufacturer intentionally blocked.

If you have a rooted device and browse to the Netflix app on the Google Play store, you'll now see a notice explaining that the app is not compatible, AndroidPolice reported over the weekend. The change, according to Netflix, is intended to make it harder for people to pirate the company's video content by using a new digital rights management platform, or DRM.


"With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on the Widevine DRM provided by Google," Netflix said in a statement to Android Police. "Therefore, many devices that are not Google-certified or have been altered will no longer work with our latest app and those users will no longer see the Netflix app in the Play Store."

As with any app update, there is a workaround for people who have rooted devices: simply don't update the app. That means losing out on improvements to the Netflix app, but such a trade-off might be acceptable for casual Netflix fans who really want root access to their Android device.

Netflix's decision to strengthen its DRM comes after the company added the ability for subscribers to download certain shows and movies to their phones and tablets so that they can watch them on flights or other places without internet access.

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