Netflix wants to influence consumer hardware purchases with “Recommended TV” designation

Thought Netflix was hardware agnostic?

Perhaps. But that hasn’t stopped the company from trying to influence hardware manufacturers and shoppers.

Don’t worry, it seems that the TV streaming service will still work on everything from a smartphone to a desktop browser, at least for now. The company has, however, released what it calls a “Netflix Recommended” designation for certain TV models, and for the first time they are available outside of the U.S.

For now, 2016 devices to receive the nod include LG’s 2016 4K UHD TVs with webOS 3.0 and Sony’s 2016 Android 4K UHD TVs.

LG TVs, including the UH6300, UH6500, UH7500, UH8500, UH9500, and G6 series all received the designation, while Sony’s X85D, X93D and X94D series did the same.

To achieve this year’s recommendation, TVs must feature at least five out of seven criteria set by Netflix. These include:

  • TV instant on – The device wakes and apps are ready to use right away.
  • TV resume – The TV remembers where a user left off
  • Latest Netflix version
  • Fast app launch – Apps are launched quickly upon startup
  • Fast app resume – Video resumes instantly when returning to Netflix from other apps or channels.
  • Netflix button – TV remotes come with a designated Netflix button, which launches the service
  • Easy Netflix icon access – Netflix is prominent and easy to access on the TV.

The company has said that this list has been updated and that “none of last year’s TV models would have met the new 2016 criteria.”

According to a Netflix rep, this meant changes like cutting the TV Instant On threshold almost in half, increasing focus on easy app access, and adding a TV resume feature to evaluate whether consumers using Internet TV can turn on their TV and come back directly to the last used app.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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