Netflix has announced plans to discontinue support for a range of legacy devices, including old Samsung and Vizio smart TVs, and first-generation Roku boxes. If you are still using one of these devices, you must either purchase a new streaming box from December 1, or replace your existing one with a newer model if you wish to continue using the streaming service.
According to Samsung, the move will affect the 2010 and 2011 TV product ranges, while Cord Cutters News reports that Vizio TVs, which are four years or older, will lose support. BBC News reports that affected Roku players Roku 2050X, Roku 21
Over time, it is inevitable that developers will not support older hardware components. However, the problem is more acute with televisions that tend to last longer than devices like smartphones or laptops.
This is not a problem that only occurs with Netflix. Earlier this year, Hulu discontinued support for LG TVs manufactured before 2014, and YouTube discontinued support for Sony's 2012 Smart TVs just four years later in 2016. No matter how many built-in streaming apps your TV supports on launch, you'll probably eventually need to buy a set-top box if you use it long enough.
Luckily, standalone streaming set-top boxes are very cheap. The cheapest streaming device from Roku costs only 39.99 USD, the cheapest Fire TV stick from Amazon 40 USD. For more options, see the Netflix website for a complete list of supported devices. It's a shame to lose the convenience of using your TV's remote control to navigate through an integrated streaming service, but at least you will not be completely cut off from Netflix.