I turned on my Apple TV (2010) tonight, went to Netflix to continue a show, clicked on Recently Watched, and was greeted with a blank screen. I hit menu to go back up a level and suddenly there was a different menu devoid of the Recently Watched (and Suggest for You) options. I went up a level again, went back down, and the personalized menu was back, but Recently Watched still wouldn't work. I tried a third time only to find a "Netflix is currently unavailable" screen pop up. Menu up and down and Netflix was suddenly available again. So what's going on with that?
Unlike the rest of the fairly snappy Apple TV UI, Netflix always takes its sweet time and makes us wait through an "Accessing Netflix" screen. Similar to the iTunes Store and App Store app interfaces, Netflix is WebKit with an internet-fed backend. Its backend goes to Netflix's servers, however, not Apple's. Those personalized options, Recently Watched and Suggested for You have to be generated and presented in real-time so if there's a problem with that real-time, personalized system, I guess you get the bug I got.
UPDATE: @getwired sounds like he's nailed it:
Looks more like Netflix was having auth/API problems. 3rd one is a failure, 2nd same as 1st, save user ID-based API feeds.
Internet problems for the internet age? How's your Netflix on Apple TV working?
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