Netflix ending support for some devices blamed on DRM

Joanna Estrada
November 14, 2019

Recently, some Netflix users encountered difficulties while trying to launch Netflix, and the error message they were presented with did not clear things up.

Why it matters: Last week brought news that Netflix would soon stop working on some older Samsung and Vizio TVs, as well as certain Roku devices. Now, the company has offered more details about why it is ending support for these devices next month. In a note on its support page, Netflix said that affected users would begin seeing error messages about the changes. The streaming service didn't specify why this was happening, but now we know the reason.

A spokesperson made a statement on behalf of Netflix, saying: "We've notified all impacted members with more information about alternative devices we support so they can keep enjoying Netflix uninterrupted". So if you still own one of these very old Roku streaming boxes, their time is really going to be up in less than three weeks.

Speaking to Gizmodo, a Netflix spokesperson said the issue was that these older devices run Windows Media DRM, a digital right management service which has since been replaced by Microsoft PlayReady.

Last month, old Roku streaming box owners received some bad news as Netflix revealed it would no longer stream on pre-2011 Roku devices after December 1. From December 2nd, these older devices which aren't able to upgrade to PlayReady will be locked out. The company blamed the changes on unspecified "technical limitations".

Select 2010 and 2011 Samsung Smart TV sets sold in the USA and Canada will not be able to run Netflix as well, Samsung said, quoting the same "technical limitations".

For Vizio TV owners, the affected devices were sold around 2012 to 2014 and include some of its Smart TVs with VIZIO Internet Apps (V.I.A.).

Watching your loved-to-death gadgets eventually go the way of the Dodo is rough.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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