large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Netflix explains why it’s cutting off some Samsung and Roku devices

Last week it emerged Netflix would no longer support a range of older TVs and media players from the likes of Samsung and Roku. However, when asked why, the company would only cite “technical limitations” of the ageing devices.

Now the picture is becoming a little more specific on why streaming the latest original movies and series won’t be possible on ageing sets. The company told Gizmodo that, at least when it comes to Roku devices, that digital rights management appears to be the issue.

Related: Best streaming sites

Netflix said that that the older devices use Windows Media DRM, which is as old as it sounds. Netflix switched to Microsoft PlayReady back in 2010. Netflix says this makes it easier to get content from third-party providers.

While Netflix has continued to support the Windows Media DRM, from December 11 this will be no more and those devices will be cut off.

In terms of the Roku devices, the Roku SD (N1050), Roku HD-XR (N1101), Roku HD (N1100, 2000C) and Roku XD (2050X, 2050N, 2100X, 2100N) will be affected. Samsung Smart TVs made between 2010 and 2011 are also on the outs. There are also some Vizio TVs that are losing access to Netflix.

It isn’t only Netflix that’s walking away from these older TV sets, the US streaming service Hulu is also removing some features from the Roku models mentioned above.

In truth the number of folks affected by the change in policy is likely to be limited, given they’re now up to a decade old.  If you are affected, then there’s never been a better time to buy a 4K TV set, with Black Friday around the corner. In 2019, Black Friday is closer to Christmas than usual, falling on November 29th. If you don’t mind cutting it close, you could choose to wait until then to get most of your gift-buying out of the way.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.