Speaking with Gizmodo, a Netflix spokesman said the problem is that these older devices run Windows Media DRM, a digital rights management service that was replaced by Microsoft PlayReady. Netflix has been using PlayReady since 2010 as it is easier to get content from movie studios and other vendors in this format. Starting December 2, these older devices that cannot upgrade to PlayReady will be locked.
Affected devices include the Roku SD (N1050), Roku HD-XR (N1101), Roku HD (N1100, 2000C) and Roku XD (2050X, 2050N, 2100X, 2100N), as well as some 2010 Samsung Smart TV models and 2011 and some Vizio smart TVs with VIZIO Internet applications. Most of these devices are up to a decade old, so it's inevitable that software support will eventually end.
The owners of these specific models also had problems with other services. Last year, Hulu announced that it would end support for VIZIO smart TVs with VIZIO Internet Apps and older Roku models. Older Roku devices can still access videos from the Hulu streaming library, but cannot access features such as premium add-ons or live TV.