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Many smart TVs 'won't deliver a great experience', says Netflix

Monday, January 19th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

A new programme to highlight the best televisions for use with Netflix will help consumers deal with the “daunting array” of choice on offer, the streaming giant has said.

The company launched its Netflix Recommended TV programme in a bid to help consumers find the smart TVs that are the best for viewing Netflix.

Televisions that meet certain criteria, including how fast they turn on and how quickly the app launches, as well as how quickly video playback resumes, will carry the Recommended TV logo.

Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix, said: “We’re trying to solve a very specific problem.

“People go into a Best Buy or a Dixons and they see hundreds of TVs, all of which have a Netflix sticker on.

“And the reality is that some of those TVs have an excellent implementation of Netflix that works really well.

“Many of them have a checkbox implementation that works, but maybe it isn’t very speedy, the performance isn’t that great, it qualifies as Netflix but it’s not wonderful, it won’t deliver a great experience.”

Speaking to Cable.co.uk at International CES, Mr Hunt said consumers’ expectations are based on their ability to “flip channels” on traditional TV, and he hoped one day it would be as easy to swap to watch Netflix.


The programme will start in the US this year, but many of the features will be incorporated in televisions that are sold worldwide, he said.

“That solves the problem for the consumer who goes into the store and is faced with a daunting array of choices and no good way to choose.

“Now they’ll have a way to say, ‘these five televisions are better for Netflix than all the rest’.”

According to Mr Hunt, many of the criteria can be achieved at low cost, so the logo will be achievable for cheaper TVs as well as “high end” products.

Asked if the streaming company is trying to tell consumers what television to buy, he added: “We’re helping you to make a choice, we’re providing a toolkit to identify the TVs that have great performance and if you don’t care about that, then you don’t care about the logo.

“If they’re very happy with their PlayStation or their Xbox or their Roku or their Apple TV, then what does the ‘Recommended’ do for me? Nothing.

“But if they’re buying a new TV with a view to having a great experience on it from the first place then Recommended TV is a good way to get there.”

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