On December 1, certain older Samsung TV’s and Roku streaming devices will lose access to the streamer due to “technical limitations.” If your device is affected, you’ve likely seen this error message and/or received an email from Netflix warning you of the impending loss of compatibility.
Unfortunately for those of us trying to understand the situation, no one seems to understand what, exactly, those “technical limitations” are. It could be that they don’t want to dedicate developer time and effort to writing software for devices that are no longer widely used. It could be a conspiracy to sell new equipment. It could be something entirely different. But the fact that none of the three companies is eager to provide exonerating details suggests that something less than consumer-friendly is afoot.
Clues are, unfortunately, scant. Engadget says that if your Roku can’t autoplay the next episode in a series—a key feature that keeps people watching passively—it will no longer be supported.
A Roku spokesperson told Digital Trends that the Roku 2050X, Roku 2100X, Roku 2000C, Roku HD Player, Roku SD Player, Roku XR Player, Roku XD Player are among the devices affected. It’s unclear if this is a complete list.
Samsung has been even less specific, stating on its website just that “Some older Samsung smart TV’s are affected by this change.”
If you lose access to the streamer, you can check out Netflix’s list of supported devices. Because unfair as it may be, dropping some cash on a new streaming device is probably worth it if you’re already invested in the latest season of The Great British Baking Show or any other the thousands of other Netflix titles.