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PSA: Netflix drops support for older Apple TVs

Apple tends to support older hardware for a long time, but the same can’t always be said for third-party services. Netflix says that after July 31 it will drop support for the older Apple TV models.

Which models are affected

Specifically, that means that 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TVs are on the chopping block. To continue watching Netflix into August and beyond, you’ll need any of the Apple TV 4K models or a 4th-gen Apple TV HD.

To put this in perspective, the affected models haven’t been sold since 2016, so if you bought an Apple TV after that date you’ll be fine for a while longer at least. But a great many people buy Apple TVs second hand, or hang onto them for a very long time, so we have no doubt this change will affect a decent chunk of users.

For those with older models, upgrading to the 3rd-gen Apple TV 4K is a reasonable choice at $129.

Why the change?

Netflix cites the need to “maintain the best possible Netflix experience” as the reason for ending support for older models.

The main difference between the older and newer Apple TVs is the processing chip. The 2016 version uses a comparatively ancient A5 chip that may struggle compared to newer units. Netflix has clearly decided that optimizing new features for old hardware is no longer worth the effort.

This move by Netflix could be an indicator that other streaming services might soon follow suit, phasing out support for older devices. If you’re keen on enjoying uninterrupted streaming, upgrading your Apple TV might be a wise decision.