How Netflix influences home entertainment technology

Kyle Chua

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How Netflix influences home entertainment technology
Some of the latest 2017 TV models from LG, Samsung, and Sony are among the ones that Netflix has certified to provide an optimal audio-visual experience

SINGAPORE – At a press event held at Geylang Road in late October, streaming giant Netflix announced that despite their service being available on multiple platforms, TV is still the primary viewing device across Asia Pacific.


“People have always enjoyed watching TV and this won’t change anytime soon”, said Chris Jaffe, Vice President, User Interface Innovation on Netflix.

Recent innovations in Netflix technology have helped push the sales of Ultra HD 4K TVs in the Asia Pacific region up 103% over the last 12 months. The streaming service delivers not just the content, but also makes efforts in producing content that run on cutting-edge standards. By creating more of these types of content (i.e. 4K and HDR), consumers have a reason to select TV sets that use newer tech. 

Appropriately, Netflix said they’ve been proactive reaching out and working with a growing list of TV manufacturing companies to bring better experiences for their subscribers. One of the ways they do is by awarding some TV models the “Netflix Recommended TV” certification – TVs that pass an evaluation process and meet most of the following criteria:

  • TVs should start instantly with all apps ready for use.

  • The Netflix app should always launch quickly.

  • A Netflix button should be on the remote control, which turns the TV on and goes straight to the app.

  • The Netflix app should be be easy to access and launch from the TV menu.

  • TV should be able to resume to what the user was last doing and wakes to the same place it was turned off.

  • Netflix app should be running in 1080p resolution with high-quality text and images.

  • The TV should come with the latest version of Netflix with the latest features.

“We want to make sure the quality on it (Smart TV) is very very high so we have very expensive teams that spend time just doing the certification, which takes from 3 to 6 months before the TVs hit retail”, said Nigel Baptiste, Director Partner Engagement of Netflix.

As the worldwide streaming leader with over 100 million users, Netflix has the ability to flex its muscle on manufacturers, tangentially enhancing competitiveness among them. And as many of you know, enhanced competition should only bode well for consumers. 

In the streaming market, Netflix itself can’t relax with Amazon Prime Video poised for 85 million global users by the end of the year. Hulu, which is only available in the US, US military bases and Japan, is a far third with a projected 32 million by year’s end. 

Meeting the criteria

Meeting Netflix’s criteria this year are all of Sony’s 2017 Android TVs, Samsung’s 2017 4K UHD and QLED TVs, and LG’s 2017 lineup of 4K UHD, SUPER UHD, and OLED TVs.

Certification on these models also ensure that the promise of 4K, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and Dolby Atmos works exceptionally well when using the service.

In terms of accessibility, Netflix and its partners have assured that there are home entertainment setups for every price range. The aforementioned models are just a subset of the Netflix Recommended TVs which are said to provide the most optimal experience.

The streaming service has also been growing their library of content that support this type of entertainment experience.

“Netflix has endless hours of Ultra HD 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) content; and more than half of our catalogue already supports 5.1 surround sound. We have also just announced our support for Dolby Atmos three-dimensional sound”, Jaffe added.

Some of the original content put out by Netflix this year like Okja and Death Note already support Dolby Atmos while highly-anticipated shows like Stranger Things and The Punisher will soon join them as they are released in the coming months.

It’s a mutual relationship too. As more users adopt better TV sets, Netflix will have to keep their foot on the pedal and continue producing more content that conforms to cutting-edge display standards.  –

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