NEW YORK (Reuters) - An outage at one of Amazon's web service centers hit users of Netflix Inc.'s streaming video service on Christmas Eve and was not fully resolved until Christmas day, a spokesman for the movie rental company said on Tuesday.
The outage impacted Netflix subscribers across Canada, Latin America and the United States, and affected various devices that enable users to stream movies and television shows from home, Netflix spokesman Joris Evers said. Such devices range from gaming consoles such as Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 to Blu-ray players.
Evers said that the issue was the result of an outage at an Amazon Web Services' cloud computing center in Virginia, and started at about 12:30 p.m. PST (2030 GMT) on Monday and was fully restored Tuesday morning, although streaming was available for most users late on Monday.
"We are investigating exactly what happened and how it could have been prevented," Evers said.
"We are happy that people opening gifts of Netflix or Netflix capable devices can watch TV shows and movies and apologize for any inconvenience caused last night," he added.
An outage at Amazon Web Services, or AWS, knocked out such sites as Reddit and Foursquare in April of last year.
Amazon Web Services was not immediately available for comment. Evers, the Netflix spokesman, declined to comment on the company's contracts with Amazon.
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)
Earlier on HuffPost:
A Little Dramatic
"Astonishing!" "Amazing!" "Surprisingly Violent!" (<a href="http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/627003/Netflix+FAIL/" target="_hplink">via Funny Junk</a>)
Freaks And Geeks And Fred Rogers
Pretty much the same thing. (<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/hsavs/netflix_how_do_you_come_up_with_this/" target="_hplink">via Reddit</a>)
Madea Makes An Appearance
It wasn't enough for Madea to appear in 27 of her own movies. (<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/irlj0/netflix_had_a_brain_fart/" target="_hplink">via Reddit</a>)
Bill Nye The Redneck Guy
Well, Nye did <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Nye#The_Science_Guy" target="_hplink">start out</a> as a comedian. (<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/k6nku/why_i_hate_netflix_streaming_in_canada/" target="_hplink">via Reddit</a>)
Who Was Jesus?
Mystery solved. (<a href="http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/2228560/I+think+Netflix+is+broken/" target="_hplink">via Funny Junk</a>)
So this is what it feels like to be a member. (via The Mendicant Bug)
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
One of these things is not like the other...
The Beginning Of The Last Of The Mohicans
Only time will tell if they're right. (<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/6xeo1/netflix_can_be_really_insistent_about_certain/" target="_hplink">via Reddit</a>)
Not What Anne Frank Had In Mind
Movie genres sure have changed since the days of VHS. (<a href="http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/1056300/netflix+fail/" target="_hplink">via Funny Junk</a>)
Best BBC Costume Drama Ever
Based on the timeless 19th century novel of the same name. (<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/dpdip/netflix_recommendations_fail/" target="_hplink">via Reddit</a>)
Poor guy can never live this down. (<a href="http://failblog.org/?s=netflix" target="_hplink">via Failblog</a>)
No Love For Franco
Those price hikes were really worth it. (<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/hrews/really_netflix/" target="_hplink">via Funny Junk</a>)
Maybe it was a sick April's Fools joke... (<a href="http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/2321050/Netflix+enlarge/" target="_hplink">via Funny Junk</a>)
Say No To Drugs
A gateway drug to...children's movies? (<a href="http://failblog.org/2011/03/21/epic-fail-photos-netflix-recommendation-fail/" target="_hplink">via Failblog</a>)
Eddie Murphy's Most Subversive Film Yet
Dr. Dolittle 2: A Spike Lee Joint (<a href="http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/2444272/WTF+Netflix/" target="_hplink">via Funny Junk</a>)
Reminds us of another great <a href="http://www.theonion.com/articles/you-look-like-you-could-use-an-elizabethan-adventu,10881/" target="_hplink">Onion article</a> (<a href="http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/1945883/Netflix+wtf/" target="_hplink">via Funny Junk</a>)
Little Arson Annie
Okay, so the movie <em>did</em> have crime... (<a href="http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/1343392/Netflix+fail/" target="_hplink">via Funny Junk</a>)
Yet Another New Genre
Brand new Racism releases every week! (<a href="http://failblog.org/2011/01/27/epic-fail-photos-netflix-genre-fail/" target="_hplink">via Failblog</a>)
THAT'S So Raven?
Let's hope makeover madness doesn't drive her to murder (via mackman819)
Read The Caption
Subtle, but powerful (<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/hb8qd/caught_this_on_netflix_for_a_brief_moment_when_i/" target="_hplink">via Reddit</a>)
Tommy Wiseau Makes Good
One of these films can take the recommendation as a compliment. (<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/gr1ch/its_offensive_comparisons_like_this_netflix/" target="_hplink">via Reddit</a>)
Just Give It A Try
Not recommended for children. (<a href="http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/1287016/Netflix+lolwut/" target="_hplink">via Funny Junk</a>)
And One Win...
(<a href="http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/1892340/Netflix+LOL/" target="_hplink">via Funny Junk</a>)
Don't Watch A Movie Without Rating It
When you finish a show or movie on Netflix, the site requests that you give it between one and five stars, based on how much you enjoyed it. You're not being asked to rate that content for kicks, or so that you can later reminisce about how much you liked a certain film: Rather, Netflix has spent many years improving its recommendation engine, even offering a $1 million prize for anyone who could up the accuracy of Netflix recommendations by 10 percent. At this point, the Netflix recommendation engine is pretty darn accurate -- it takes into account your own ratings as well as the viewing habits of those similar to you. Basically, the more films you rate, the more you're likely to enjoy a Netflix recommendation. If you constantly find yourself frustrated that there's nothing on Netflix, take a half hour or so and knock out a few hundred ratings on the "Taste Profile" section of the site, and make sure you've filled in your genre preferences, too. Finally, if Netflix persists in recommending a title that you're just never going to watch -- for me, that would be "The Lincoln Lawyer" -- remember that you can click on the "Not Interested" button on any film's homepage and it will disappear from your recommendations page while simultaneously smartening up your future recs. (For an in-depth look at the Netflix recommendation engine, and how it works, I recommend this post on Netflix's official blog.)
Don't Fly Blind
Leaning on Netflix's recommendations alone ensures that you'll discover some good flicks; if you're really committed to shaking all the leaves from the tree, however, you're going to need some backup artillery. There are several excellent extensions that you can add to your favorite browser to augment your Netflix experience and increase your chances of sniffing out a great new film. An extension like "Rotten Netflix," for example, inserts little Rotten Tomatoes scores beneath every movie poster on the website, so that you can instantly know how a movie fared with critics. Similarly, the "IMFlixDB" extension displays a movie's IMDB ranking on a white bar above the Netflix homepage and gives you quick access to that film's information page. The ever-prodigious members at Reddit use the wisdom of crowds, meanwhile, to constantly vote up streaming movies that you might otherwise miss. It's a super-active community with consistently high-quality recommendations: Check it out here.
Don't Let A Film Disappear
Another Netflix specialty website is InstantWatcher, a clean website that allows for easier movie search than you'll find on the Netflix homepage. And while many outlets toast InstantWatcher for its quick and robust search functionality, we like it because it also lists the notable films that will disappear from Netflix Instant soon. There's even a Twitter feed that does nothing but tweet out the names of soon-to-be-expired Netflix movies. There is no worse feeling, in the whole entire world, than sitting down to watch a movie you've had in your Netflix queue only to discover that the movie has disappeared. Don't let it happen to you again.
Don't Be Afraid To Quit
One of the really nice things about a Netflix subscription is that you pay month-by-month; it's not like a cell phone contract where you're locked in for two years and you have to pay an exorbitant fee if you want to get out early or cancel service. With Netflix, you can quit for one month and come back the next: Netflix will save your queue and ratings for up to two years so that if you do come back, you don't really have to start over. So, if you're taking a vacation, or studying for the LSATs, or going to prison, just cancel your account and save yourself the $8 for as long as you need. Or, if you are one of our Olympian Netflix bashers from above, go ahead and try life without the 'Flix for a month or two and see how you do. Your account information will be waiting for you when (or if) you return; and, hey, if you do, now you have plenty of new ways to find the excellent movies and TV shows you might have missed while in exile.