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Why some Roku, Samsung, and Vizio devices will not stream Netflix

Published Nov 12th, 2019 6:50AM EST
Netflix Roku
Image: SEDAT SUNA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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We recently learned that Netflix will stop working in early December on some devices made by Roku, Samsung, and Vizio. It wasn’t clear initially why the streaming service will not support older hardware, with Netflix saying on its support pages that unspecified “technical limitations” are to blame for the change. However, Netflix has further explained its reasoning and now we know why you’ll lose access on those devices.

“We’ve notified all impacted members with more information about alternative devices we support so they can keep enjoying Netflix uninterrupted,” a Netflix spokesperson told Gizmodo, adding that only a small number of older devices will be affected.

The reason why Netflix will stop working has to do with the DRM solution Netflix is using for the service, which helps it prevent piracy. The company has been using Microsoft PlayReady technology since 2010. Older devices that can’t update to PlayReady will stop playing Netflix on December 2nd.

The older Roku gadgets that can’t be updated to PlayReady are eight- to ten-years-old, Roku told Gizmodo — the models that won’t support Netflix include Roku SD (N1050), Roku HD-XR (N1101), Roku HD (N1100, 2000C), and Roku XD (2050X, 2050N, 2100X, 2100N).

Select 2010 and 2011 Samsung Smart TV sets sold in the US and Canada will not be able to run Netflix as well, Samsung said, quoting the same “technical limitations.” As for Vizio, apps sold between 2012 and 2014, including Smart TVs with Vizio Internet Apps.

One easy way to restore Netflix access to your TV is to hook up a new streaming player to it from Amazon, Google, Roku, or Apple. Also, with Black Friday around the corner, you’ll find plenty of discounts on streaming devices and brand-new big-screen TVs.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.