Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Netflix On TV Gets A Major Makeover

Around the world our members stream a lot of shows and movies onto their televisions, through a Smart TV app or through TV-connected devices such as game consoles, set-top boxes, and Blu-ray players. In fact, the majority of the more than one billion hours our members watch each month is done on a TV.

Today we are excited to unveil the biggest update in Netflix history to our TV experience. This update improves the Netflix TV for Netflix members around the world and for the first time extends rich features to platforms such as Roku, Smart TV and Blu-ray players as well as PlayStation and Xbox 360.

More than a year and half in the making, this new experience evolved through a process of design exploration, iteration and testing that extended throughout all parts of the Netflix TV experience. We set out to deliver an update that would make it even easier to discover something great to watch and we think we succeeded.


After starting Netflix, you’ll immediately notice the cinematic and rich visual experience. As you navigate, three large images for each show and movie provide much more context about a title. We also added a shorter, more descriptive synopsis as well as personalized information to provide more detail about why you should watch a specific title. This personalized information can be based on your social network, viewing history or taste preferences.


As you look at the details of a particular title, you’ll see a broader synopsis and more detail on the cast. For TV shows we have added a refined episode selector that uses images for each episode along with a synopsis.

Searching for something specific? Search is now much more visual, designed for use on TV screens and providing results for titles as well as for actors and directors.

Our popular section for kids also has the new design. The kids area also uses a subtle blue background and subtle “kids” label so parents see from a distance that kids are using the appropriate part of Netflix. This update also extends the kids experience to Roku and some Smart TVs for the first time.

A few other notable aspects of this major TV experience update:

  • Support for Netflix Profiles across all devices
  • Support for voice on Xbox 360
  • Support for pointer-based navigation on Smart TVs
  • A redesign of post-play, the feature that automatically starts the next episode of a TV show or shows recommendations after watching a movie

The updated Netflix TV experience rolls out globally beginning on Nov. 13 and will take about two weeks to reach all devices. The update will go to devices including PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Roku 3, and new and future Smart TVs and Blu-Ray players. In addition, some recent Smart TVs and Blu-Ray players may receive this based on manufacturer’s update plans. Additional devices, including other Roku boxes, will be added at a later date.

We hope you enjoy the update. For us, this has been one of our biggest and most exciting projects and we are thrilled to finally share it with you!

Chris and the Netflix TV team

Chris Jaffe is vice president of product innovation at Netflix

Monday, November 11, 2013

New: Netflix Prime Time ISP Performance Metrics

Our members watch well over a billion hours of Netflix a month. Most of that streaming happens during prime time. Starting with the October update to the Netflix ISP Speed Index published today, we’re reporting prime time performance metrics, so you know which Internet service providers (ISPs) deliver the best Netflix experience when it matters most.

Prime time is the equivalent of rush hour on the Internet. This can lead to congestion on the network, just like physical traffic can on roads. When watching Netflix, network congestion can manifest itself as buffering, lower video quality or longer start-up times.

This graphic shows how important the effect of network congestion during prime time can be on the viewing experience. ISP speeds are consistently much better for customers served by ISPs that directly connect their network to Netflix using our Open Connect content delivery network. This performance difference is even more evident during prime time.


We are proud that Netflix is one of the most popular Internet applications. Netflix is one of the primary reasons people sign up for broadband and upgrade to premium broadband tiers.

We are dedicated to delivering a great streaming experience and invest in continually improving that experience. Part of that investment is working with ISPs to make Netflix delivery easy and to avoid congestion. Through Open Connect, our purpose-built content delivery network, we help broadband providers make it easy to deliver Netflix video at no cost to them.


Note: The Netflix ISP Speed Index reflects the average speed as measured by Netflix streaming activity. The average speed will differ from the theoretical maximum speed an ISP advertises because of the various video bitrates and the various devices our members use to watch Netflix. Still the average provides a great indication of an ISPs ability to deliver a great Netflix experience.

Joris

Joris Evers is director of corporate communications at Netflix