Latest Netflix update on Apple tvOS 15 beta disables spatial audio support, as per some user reports

Some Apple tvOS 15 beta testers are now reporting that Netflix may have removed support for spatial audio feature in the latest update to the app.

According to affected subscribers, the Netflix app had apparently gained support for spatial audio following the release of Apple’s first tvOS 15 beta update.

This development came as a surprise back then, especially since it emerged after Netflix had denied any claims of working on spatial audio support.

Spatial-audio-tvos-15-beta

For those still in the dark, Apple announced spatial audio in 2020. Initial support was limited to iOS 14 devices connected to AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

Besides missing out on Apple TV support, perhaps the most annoying limitation was the fact that spatial audio was only available on select apps, among them Apple’s TV app, Discovery+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and Paramount+.

The introduction of tvOS 15 beta not only saw full support for the HomePod mini come to the Apple TV, but also a system-wide support for spatial audio when connected to AirPods.

Apple-tvos-15-spatial-audio
(Source)

When enabled, the system forces all apps, including non-supported ones, to use spatial audio. This likely explains why Netflix gained spatial audio support following the release of tvOS 15 beta 1 despite the lack of official support for this function.

From the look of things, the function was forced into Netflix via the system-wide spatial audio setting, something Netflix possibly had little knowledge about.

But for some reason, and before Apple TV users even get a chance to enjoy the enhanced audio quality, reports coming in suggest that Netflix has disabled the function from its latest tvOS 15 beta app.

Netflix-spatial-audio-tvos-15
(Source)

It worked on Netflix but Netflix updated their app and blocked it.
Source

For now, reports about the missing spatial audio on Netflix after the latest update on tvOS 15 remain scarce, probably due to the limited discussions around the beta program.

It’s also unclear whether this development has anything to do with the Spatialize Stereo feature that simulates spatial audio effect from any non-Dolby audio, but we should find out sooner than later.

Still, it’s quite strange that Netflix would push an update that disables such a cool feature. On the brighter side, things are still being run through the beta testing process, so we might see changes in the long run.

Hopefully, the changes we see include spatial audio support for Netflix users on Apple TV. Of course, we hope to see many other streaming services added to the list of supported apps in future.

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Hillary Keverenge

A techy. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.