Netflix has announced that it’s dropping support for a number of old devices, including old Samsung and Vizio smart TVs, and first-generation Roku boxes. If you’re still using one of these devices, then from December 1st, you’ll need to either buy a new streaming box or replace your existing one with a newer model, if you want to continue using the streaming service.
Samsung says the move will affect its 2010 and 2011 range of TVs, while Cord Cutters News reports Vizio TVs that are four years old or older will lose support. BBC News reports that affected Roku players include the Roku 2050X, Roku 2100X, Roku 2000C, Roku HD Player, Roku SD Player, Roku XR Player and Roku XD Player.
Over time, it’s inevitable that developers stop supporting older pieces of hardware, but the problem is more acute for TVs, which people tend to use for longer than devices like smartphones or laptops.
This isn’t a problem that’s unique to Netflix. Earlier this year Hulu dropped support for LG TVs manufactured prior to 2014, and YouTube dropped support for 2012 Sony smart TVs just four years later in 2016. Regardless of how many built-in streaming apps your TV supports at launch, eventually you’re probably going to have to buy a set-top box if you use it for long enough.
Thankfully, standalone streaming set-top boxes are getting really cheap. Roku’s cheapest streaming device is just $29.99, while Amazon’s cheapest Fire TV Stick is $40. If you want more options, then Netflix has a full list of supported devices on its website. It’s a shame to lose the convenience of navigating a built-in streaming service with your TV’s remote, but at least you won’t be cut off from Netflix entirely.
Correction: Roku’s cheapest streaming device is $29.99, not $39.99.