If you’re still using a very old Roku device, you’re about to lose access to Netflix. The streaming service started notifying customers by email to let them know that it will be dropping support for some of the oldest Roku devices still in use, forcing consumers to finally upgrade to something newer, whether that means getting a new Roku model or a competing streaming option like Chromecast or Fire TV.
On May 20, 2008, Roku announced its first device, the Roku DVP. The Linux-based player was offered with support for various low resolutions and was eventually joined by the Roku 2 second-generation devices in the summer of 2011. The company has since released a long string of devices, including set-top boxes, streaming sticks, and smart TVs.
Netflix started sending email notifications to customers last week, advising them that ‘some’ older Roku players would no longer be supported starting December 1 due to the technical limitations of these very old devices. The email failed to actually list which models were on the chopping block.
According to Cord Cutter News, it received confirmation from Roku that the first two devices released by the company will lose the support. It’s unclear whether this refers to the Roku DVP and Roku 2 and all of its variants (SD, HD, etc), or merely the very first boxes that were sold by the company.
Regardless, there’s an easy way to figure out whether you need to upgrade. Are you using a very old Roku device? Does that Roku device show a pop-up in Netflix warning you that support for your device will disappear soon? If you answered yes to either question, it’s time to upgrade to something a bit newer.
There will be many benefits associated with upgrading, the biggest one being support for the higher resolutions found on modern TVs. The very first Roku device, for example, supported video resolutions of only 480i, which looks terrible on just about every modern television that’s more than 20in in size. In addition to Roku’s large list of newer models, consumers have many more options than they did in 2008, including Chromecast, Fire TV, plus newer Apple TV and Android TV devices.