Consider this a gentle reminder that some older devices are losing support for Netflix on December 1, including select Roku, Samsung, and Vizio units.
Last week there were a number of reports that Netflix would no longer work on some smart TVs from December 2. Turns out, that's not exactly true.
Editor's Note: this is less likely to impact Australian TVs. You can read our report above.
Last month, Netflix told Gizmodo that some users would lose support for the streaming service beginning the first week of December due to “technical limitations.” More specifically, a company spokesperson said that a “small percentage” of older devices were running on Windows Media DRM, and those devices that aren’t able to upgrade to Microsoft PlayReady won’t be able to support Netflix.
“On December 2nd, Netflix will no longer be supported on a small number of older devices due to technical limitations,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ve notified all impacted members with more information about alternative devices we support so they can keep enjoying Netflix uninterrupted.”
As our sister site Lifehacker reported, those devices include select Roku models and Samsung TVs. In a call with Gizmodo about the issue, a Roku spokesperson said that most of the affected devices are 8 to 10 years old. The spokesperson said that the company had been in touch with customers about the issues but noted that older software sometimes can’t support services the way they’re meant to be used.
According to the Roku spokesperson, these are the models losing support after December 1:
Roku SD (N1050)
Roku HD-XR (N1101)
Roku HD (N1100, 2000C)
Roku XD (2050X, 2050N, 2100X, 2100N)
Select Vizio Smart TVs with VIZIO Internet Apps (V.I.A.) will also be affected, a spokesperson for the company told Gizmodo by email. Those devices were sold around 2012 to 2014.
“The Netflix app continues to work smoothly on other VIZIO Smart TVs with VIZIO Internet Apps Plus (V.I.A. Plus) and SmartCast TVs/Displays,” the company said in a statement to Gizmodo last month. “There are still over 70 apps available to consumers with V.I.A. devices.”
When reached for comment about the loss of support on older smart TVs, Samsung pointed Gizmodo a notice to its customers where it too cited “technical limitations.” The company said the change would “impact select 2010 and 2011 Samsung Smart TV models that were sold in the U.S. and Canada,” adding that it had notified customers.
If you’re still unsure of whether your Samsung TV or other devices might be affected, you can check Netflix’s reference guide for supported devices.
The good news is that Netflix is available just about anywhere else, including tablets, phones, consoles, desktop, and other smart TVs (find a full list of Netflix-friendly devices right here). If you’re losing support on one device, you may have plenty of other options for accessing its library. But if you absolutely must stream Netflix on the device you’re losing support on, you do have some options that don’t involve racing out to buy a pricey brand new device.
Buying a refurbished device is a better alternative to creating more waste by buying more new stuff. Nathan Proctor, who leads the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s Right to Repair campaign, suggests Back Market for finding a new-er refurbished device that comes with a minimum warranty of a year. And if you do replace your device? Make sure you either sell it, donate it responsibly, or recycle it (both Staples and Best Buy, for example, accept most old devices for free). Selling it is the best option if the device is still in good condition, Proctor said.
“The more money you get in return for something, the more likely it’s going to be reused,” Proctor added. “The best chance that you have to continue something in use—which means that it’s reducing the need for a new television to be built somewhere else—is to sell it for the most money.”