Netflix Recommending TVs7 Apr, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel
In addition to movies, TV shows and ISPs, streaming pioneer puts brand approval behind televisions
Netflix April 7 began using its brand to back Internet-connected televisions by LG, Sony and Roku — the latter manufactured in China by Hisense, Insignia and TCL.
First announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the “Netflix Recommended TV” campaign is designed to provide consumer insight into connected televisions, which of course enable over-the-top video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu Plus, among others, without the need for a streaming media device.
The “Netflix Recommended TV” logo means that TV offers easier access to Internet TV, faster performance and related features for a next-generation smart-TV experience.
Initial Netflix recommended TVs include the LG 4K UHD models with webOS 2.0; Sony Android Full HDTVs, and Roku-branded televisions.
Specifically, the streaming pioneer touts the “Instant On” function on Roku and Sony, which remember where you left off streaming a particular movie, TV show or documentary. Sony and Roku units are also capable of turning on and launching Netflix with the press of a single button.
The LG 4K UHD TVs with webOS 2.0 also have special optimizations to expedite launches of OTT video, improve user interfaces, including moving between live TV and Internet TV.
“We expect more models and manufacturers to achieve the ‘Netflix Recommended TV’ designation over the next couple months, and we’ll be continually updating our website to reflect that,” Brady Gunderson and David Holland, directors of business development at Netflix, wrote in a blog post.
Netflix has made recommendation technology a hallmark of its legacy. It created recommendation software for movies and TV shows on disc and digital — the latter now considered a perquisite for OTT video.
In 2008, the Netflix Prize sought to substantially improve the accuracy of predictions about how much someone would enjoy a movie based on their movie preferences. On Sept. 21, 2009, Netflix awarded a $1 million prize to a team of mathematicians whose collaborative filtering algorithm bested Netflix’s in-house algorithm by more than 10%.
In recent years, Netflix has ranked Internet service providers’ streaming speeds domestically and abroad as a thinly veiled public service-marketing tool. With more than 50 million subscribers globally, an ISP’s ranking by Netflix could be the difference between their losing and gaining subs.
Last year, Netflix began informing select subscribers that any degraded streaming experience was likely due to a lack of capacity in their broadband provider's network. That campaign elicited stern blowback from some ISPs.
That prompted Joris Evers, head of communications for Netflix's Europe operations, to blog the program was only in test mode and that, “We will evaluate rolling it out more broadly.”