Last week, Netflix announced it was ending support for older devices from Samsung, Roku and Vizio after December 1st, but it was not clear exactly why those devices lose support, despite the fact that they are old. And the Netflix support document is not useful, saying the problem is due to "technical limitations". But Netflix did share some more details about those technical limitations of older Roku devices with Gizmodo, and it turns out that the answer is pretty simple: DRM.
Here's what happens: Netflix has been using Microsoft's PlayReady DRM since 2010, so it's easier to bring its streaming service to TVs, devices and set up the highest boxes you can find today while satisfying them content providers that their work will not be pirated. But since Netflix was already sending devices like the previously-affected Rokus with a deprecated form of Windows Media DRM, they would inevitably be left behind if Netflix ever cut ties with the old DRM standard and if those devices could not be upgraded to the newer PlayReady instead Now, it has – and they can't.
It is not clear from Gizmodo article on why older devices Samsung and Vizio won't be able to use Netflix, but we won't be surprised if that's the same reason. We asked Netflix if that was the case.