If you’re planning to bed down this Christmas with a binge-worthy box set from Netflix – you might be out of luck. Following hot on the heels of news that BBC iPlayer will be impossible to watch on some Samsung TVs, Netflix has some equally bad news. The Californian video on-demand company has explained why it has decided to start culling some older hardware from its list of supported devices right now.
Speaking to technology blog Gizmodo, a spokesperson for Netflix said the issue is that many of these older devices run Windows Media DRM – a digital rights management service which has since been suspended by Microsoft PlayReady. Digital rights management services are used to protect online content from being copied and distributed for free.
Netflix has leveraged Microsoft’s PlayReady system since 2010 as it’s easier to source content from movie studios and other providers in that format. From December 2nd, Netflix will lock-out devices that aren’t able to upgrade to Microsoft PlayReady.
Helpfully, Netflix has provided a pretty comprehensive list of all the devices that can’t upgrade to Microsoft’s up-to-date digital rights management service.
If you’re running any of the following, Netflix will stop working this month (December 2019) – Roku SD (N1050), Roku HD-XR (N1101), Roku HD (N1100, 2000C) and Roku XD (2050X, 2050N, 2100X, 2100N), as well as select Samsung Smart TVs from 2010 and 2011, as well as some Vizio Smart TVs with VIZIO Internet Apps.
Most of these devices are now almost a decade old, so it’s inevitable that software support would eventually end. That said, if you’re happy with your current Samsung Smart TV and it’s still working fine – regardless of its age – it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth if it suddenly stops being able to launch Netflix.
Thankfully, you won’t have to rush out to buy a new £400 TV to resolve the problem. There are plenty of affordable options that will bring streaming capabilities to any TV.
For example, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and newer Roku models all offer access to popular video on-demand services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, YouTube, and more. Not only that, but any games consoles you’ve got lying around the house will also be able to stream Netflix and a bevy of other options.
You can find a list from Netflix at netflix.com/compatibledevices for the latest supported hardware.
To be honest, the built-in Smart TV apps you’ll find pre-installed on your television are hardly ever the best way to enjoy a blockbuster new television season, or a movie night. These applications are rarely updated as quickly as Netflix apps on the iPhone, Android, or flagship games consoles.
Not only that, but the internals inside your TV are rarely as powerful as what you’ll find inside the likes of the Amazon Fire TV Cube, which has more RAM than an iPhone 6 and will be able to load-up Ultra HD streams much faster.
The news comes as Netflix has trialled a new feature to help you watch shows and movies at a faster speed than usual – skipping through boring scenes to race to the conclusion at the end of the season.
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