Redbox Instant by Verizon

The much-awaited Redbox Instant (by Verizon) streaming service has just come into an official beta, with Android (and iOS) apps being released as well. The app is available in the Google Play Store right now, but you'll need a beta invite first if you want to use it. You can hit up the source link below to try and get a code, but in the meantime you can download the app so you're ready to go when the code arrives.

If you happen to be rooted -- or using a Developer Edition device -- you shouldn't bother installing at this point though. Right off the bat when launching the app on any non-stock device you'll be greeted with an error (5141, to be exact) and a "help" link that lets you know about what rooting is.

Android Central Android Central

Source: Redbox; Via: Engadget

There are 24 comments

moosc says:

Until they drop Vzw this app will fail

I'll stick with Netflix which doesn't block me because I'm rooted

wvpv says:

^^^ This. Not a good start for Redbox.

Animus_3.0 says:

Exactly. F*** you Verizon.

I do not understand what they could hope to achieve with blocking rooted users? Some dev is going to dig into that apps code and rooted users will be able to use it anyway. So the point is a little moot.

dchawk81 says:

Do you have to be a Verizon customer or can anyone get screwed by this?

treb1797 says:

Lmao !!!

arwinburkett says:

You can bypass this if you have SuperSU by going to settings and disable root when you want to use the service, and then enable root when you're done watching. Also, in the play store there is a app called Hide my Root which works just as well.

You can bypass this by telling Redbox and Verizon to go straight to hell and take their shitty app with them, too.

crxssi says:

This is not the only app that will not work with rooted devices. And the list is going to get bigger, unfortunately.

MarkSeven says:


and I'm not even rooted

Ed Bak says:

My 4 year enslavement with VZN end 12/28 for my 3 phone family plan. Just a few more days and I am going to be free! No looking back, never again even with a grandfathered in unlimited data plan. Stripping freedoms is the exact reason why!
Red box, I held out waiting for you. As a hobby developer, all my devices are rooted. Your definition of root access is completely wrong. It's a child safety lock only to be removed by adults or those capable of doing so. Kinda like child safety caps on a bottle of aspirin. It's there as a deterrent to those who should not be accessing the contents. It's not a lock to prevent the masses from using the contents. If you can open the bottle, then you are entitled to the contents . you guys lock us out of of the store if we open the bottle. At least I won't have a headache (redbox/vzn)
Sorta like what the studios tried to do to you when you wanted to offer affordable/fair movie rentals to the people. when did you start to working for the studios? There is no reason you should care if I am rooted. VZN cares since they want to force me to use ONLY their apps/products. It's a shame, I was waiting for you.

Robbzilla says:

They're probably afraid that a rooted device would be able to download the video stream and pirate movies.


+9000 exactly

JustJinxed says:

Um, DRM is used in Windows, and Windows is technically always rooted when you're on an account flagged as administrator. So let's try this again.. -9000 not exact at ALL

crxssi says:

Sorry to break this to you, but MS-Windows is not at all a good example. Their DRM stuff runs long and deep into the OS and being an "Administrator" does not give you access to that stuff. MS-Windows is not "rooted" at all.

A far better example would be root access on Linux machines, because the OS contains no DRM S**T at all and you really do have absolute full control over your own machine.

"Streaming as easy as Redbox"

If by easy they are implying, drive to the nearest 'shady' corner store, park my car, get out, look around for any suspicious characters, walk up to this massively dumb looking red box, stick my head under the disgustingly red rag so I can view the burned in LCD while that suspicious character that I didn't see hiding around the corner walks up, shanks and robs me.

Then yes! Easy as Redbox!!!!

Hand_O_Death says:

"Streaming as easy as Redbox"

Translation, half the movies will be unplayable because the five people that had it before you used them in their ultimate Frisbee games before returning them.

JustJinxed says:

"Oops" is right! Hey Redbox, you sell outs! LAY THE SMACK DOWN ON THEM! Checking for an external application upon entering your application is poor coding ethics! Especially when that software you are inhibiting against is paying for a server and service you also pay for. Divisive coding.. Are you an anti virus application? Or a media streaming app? Either or, ChainsDD should lay up a lawsuit against you. Once I removed my su app provided by aforementioned author, the app allowed me to enter. Hmm why don't they write their own su?

And my rant:
? $%#%#$^! * 5141;

tapoutbeast says:

Dear God ppl... stop complaining, there is always a way to get around that. You found a way to root your phones so find a way to fix that issue. So what they have to make they're money some how. If you were a company you would probably do things that might not make everyone happy. Can't please everyone all the time! Plus if ya read it correctly it is STILL in beta! Give it a chance. And for the idiots thinking that redbox's are in dangerous areas then fu*king move! Bunch of kids complaining about a stupid little app that doesn't change lives or make a difference!

JustJinxed says:

"Bunch of kids complaining about a stupid little app that doesn't change lives or make a difference!" -- Considering I'm highly interested in this beta going forward and have been without netflix now for over 2 years since they screwed the customer base, yes, it does make a difference. I'd love to see them go streaming! And Redbox has the turn over time to make them a mighty dog! I can't wait, maybe I can get my kids off my back about loosing netflix finally.

While this might be in BETA, it is still violating Google Play's terms of service by checking for the existence of an external application. Regardless if you can or will run and hide from it by using a cloaking mechanism, this style of behavior is strictly prohibited in the GP's TOS.

As for the dangerous areas... pick a different redbox :P

borgib says:

This app will let you temporarily let you disable root on your device, then restore it later.

MikaelPe says:

Does anyone know if the Redbox Instant blocks the MHL/HDMI port on Android devices? HBO and Hulu blocks the HDMI out so you can not connect the Android device to a big screen TV using a standard MHL kit. Netflix fortunately does NOT block the port so let's hope we all can use our Android devices and stream Redbox Instant to any TV screen... Also, does anyone have a code yet for Beta tester? If you can share for a few days so we can review how their service works with Android phones and MHL adapters we'll send you two of the MHL TV dock's... Post me a private message.

MikaelPe says:

The Redbox Instant does indeed work with MHL adapters! I watched a movie last night by connecting my HTC DNA directly to the TV using an MHL dongle, it worked flawlessly and the phone was charged after watching the 2-hour movie. Streaming quality was very good after about 3-4 minutes (adjusting to available bandwidth I guess...). Great that they are NOT blocking the HDMI out like Hulu+ and HBO does.