Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Netflix Adds More Audio Description and Search Gallery


We’ve been busy since April, when we embarked on a plan to improve accessibility for the visually impaired by adding narration tracks to our Netflix original, Marvel’s Daredevil. To make it easier to determine which shows have audio descriptions, we’ve added a link to the bottom of your home page so you can find the movies and TV shows that included audio description tracks.


As promised, you can now find our Emmy award-winning shows Orange is the New Black and House of Cards as well as many other Netflix originals, including Marco Polo, Grace & Frankie, Chef’s Table and Sense8. We will add Bloodline later this month, and are pleased to announce the Netflix original Narcos will be our first title with audio description in Spanish upon its release later this year.

We’ve also gathered more description from our studio partners, including shows like Glee, New Girl, Parks & Recreation, The Clone Wars and some great movies such as The Hunger Games - Catching Fire, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Jack Ryan - Shadow Recruit. We will continue to work with the studios to make more audio description available to us so we can make more content accessible to our customers.

Tracy Wright is the director of content operations at Netflix.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Netflix Website Gets A Major Upgrade

Today, we are excited to unveil the new Netflix website. It’s our first major update in four years, and it’s an experience that has been built from the ground up to make it faster and easier to discover something great to watch for our millions of members around the world.

Over the past four years, web browsers have changed a lot, becoming more sophisticated and allowing for richer visuals and animations. How our members use Netflix has changed too. We’re spending more and more time using mobile and tablet apps.

With the new Netflix website, we’ve created a richer, more visual experience, and a website that works more like an app and less like a series of linked web pages. Information appears in-line and in context rather than on a separate page, which makes exploring the catalog faster than ever before.

When you hover your mouse over a title, you will now see a slideshow of images from that movie or show. We hope this slideshow will give you a better feel for what the show is about than reading the description alone.




Clicking on the title or synopsis opens an inline details pane, allowing you to browse episodes and read details and reviews. You can also explore similar titles by clicking More Like This, or jump off to titles from the same cast, genre or mood.




Scrolling through rows is now much faster, with a mouse-click advancing a full row at a time. 

We’ve designed the website to work whether you are using a mouse, trackpad, or a touch screen. Touch screen users can tap to play or open details, and swipe to scroll through rows of titles.
The website is rolling out globally starting today and may take up to two weeks to reach all members. A small number of members on older versions of popular browsers will be prompted to upgrade their browser before they can access the new site.

We hope you enjoy the new Netflix website. It has been an exciting project for us, and we are thrilled to share it with you.

Cameron & the Netflix Team

Monday, June 8, 2015

Netflix ISP Speed Index for May

Here are some highlights from the May data for the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime-time Netflix streaming experience.

In New Zealand, Bigpipe fell three spots to seventh place with an average speed of 3.11 Mbps, down from 3.45 Mbps in last month’s inaugural ranking for the country. Trustpower and Spark each rose two spots, ranking fourth and sixth with speeds of 3.37 Mbps and 3.17 Mbps, respectively. Overall, New Zealand moved up three spots to No. 10 in our ranking of countries we track, with an average speed of 3.48 Mbps.

In Germany, Kabel Deutschland returned to second place with an average speed of 4.00 Mbps, up from 3.81 Mbps last month.

In Mexico, Cablevision Monterrey fell for a second month, dropping three spots in the ranking with an average speed of 2.37 Mbps in May, down from 2.84 Mbps in March.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime time Netflix performance on a particular ISP and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across the specific ISP network. Faster Netflix performance generally means better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

The latest regional rankings are below:




Anne Marie
Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Netflix ISP Speed Index for April

Here is April data for the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime-time Netflix streaming experience.

This month, Australia and New Zealand joined the speed index, ranking 17 and 13, respectively on the list of 29 countries we rank. Performance for Australian ISPs was impacted by consumer demand exceeding the forecasts Netflix provided. We are working closely with these ISPs and expect performance to improve in the coming months. For April, TPG topped the ranking in Australia with an average speed of 3.36 Megabits per second (Mbps). For New Zealand, Snap led with an average speed of 3.77 Mbps.

In the U.S., Cox continued its climb, taking the No. 2 position in the ranking with an average speed of 3.49 Mbps. Cox’s speeds have been steadily increasing, from 3.11 Mbps in November 2014.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime time Netflix performance on a particular ISP and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across the specific ISP network. Faster Netflix performance generally means better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

The latest regional rankings are below:




Anne Marie is a member of the Netflix communications team.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Netflix Begins Audio Description for Visually Impaired

At Netflix, we work hard to continually improve the experience for our members when viewing movies and shows on our service, including providing accessibility across devices. Now we’re expanding our accessibility options by adding audio description on select titles, beginning today with our new critically acclaimed series, Marvel’s Daredevil.

Audio description is a narration track that describes what is happening on-screen, including physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings and scene changes. Customers can choose audio narration just like choosing the soundtrack in a different language.

In coming weeks, we'll add more titles, including current and previous seasons of the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning political thriller House of Cards, Emmy award-winning comedy-drama series Orange is the New Black, as well as Tina Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and the epic adventure series Marco Polo.

Netflix is actively committed to increasing the number of audio-visual translations for movies and shows in our English-language catalogues. We are also exploring adding audio description into other languages in the future.

Over time, we expect audio description to be available for major Netflix original series, as well as select other shows and movies. We are working with studios and other content owners to increase the amount of audio description across a range of devices including smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.

Stay tuned.

Tracy

Tracy Wright is the director of content operations at Netflix.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Netflix ISP Speed Index for March

Here is March data for the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime-time Netflix streaming experience.

In the U.S., Verizon retained the top spot with an average speed of 3.50 Megabits per second (Mbps) for March.

In Canada, TekSavvy continued its climb, increasing two spots to No. 10 with an average speed of 3.08 Mbps, up from 2.91 Mbps in February when it moved up one.

In Chile, GTD bypassed VTR for the second time this year, taking the top spot with an average speed of 3.27 Mbps ahead of VTR’s 3.19 Mbps.

In Sweden, Ownit took the top spot for the first time since June 2014 with an average speed of 3.95 Mbps. ComHem, which had ranked No. 1 since then, fell to second place with an average speed of 3.93 Mbps compared with 3.98 Mbps in February.

In Luxembourg, Visual Online jumped two to top that country’s ranking for the first time with an average speed of 4.16 Mbps. Numericable and Lux Online each fell one spot to second and third place respectively, posting average speeds of 4.08 Mbps.

Next month, we’ll add Australia and New Zealand, where we launched service last month, to the index.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of prime time Netflix performance on a particular ISP and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across the specific ISP network. Faster Netflix performance generally means better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

The latest regional rankings are below:




Anne Marie
Anne Marie is a member of the Netflix communications team.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Announcing the First Netflix Recommended TVs

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January we announced our Netflix Recommended TV program. For all the benefits of smart TVs, our members tell us that access to the Netflix service should be easier, and that once you launch the app, you shouldn’t have to wait forever to begin enjoying the experience. The goal of the program is to give people insight into which models meet those needs and deliver a superior smart TV experience.  When you’re shopping for a new TV and see the Netflix Recommended TV logo, it means that TV will offer easy access to Internet TV services, faster performance, and new features that enable a next-generation smart TV experience.

Today, we’re excited to announce the first batch of TVs that have achieved the Netflix Recommended TV designation:

  • LG 4K UHD TVs w/ webOS 2.0
  • Sony Android Full HDTVs
  • Roku TVs from Hisense, Insignia, and TCL

Each will bear the Netflix Recommended TV logo at retail. 


We’re particularly excited about the Instant On functionality supported by Roku TVs and the Sony Android Full HDTVs. These TVs wake up quickly, remembering where you left off, similar to how smartphones and tablets behave today. These Sony and Roku TVs are also capable of turning on and launching Netflix with the press of a single button, making getting to Netflix faster than ever before. The LG 4K UHD TVs with webOS 2.0 have made special optimizations to make streaming services like Netflix launch much faster, and all of these devices offer improved user interfaces, allowing you to move seamlessly between live TV and Internet TV services.

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.  

To learn more about the Netflix Recommended TV program and see which models offer a superior Internet TV experience, visit: www.netflix.com/recommendedtv/


Happy streaming,

- Brady and David

Brady Gunderson is a director of product development at Netflix
David Holland is a director of business development at Netflix