Netflix, the leading provider of online video content (barring YouTube), has recently announced a major update to their immensely popular, and widely cherished, TV streaming application.
According to a press release posted on the official Netflix blog, (almost) every media device that supports Netflix video streaming (on a television set) will be receiving the update. This includes the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Roku (3), Smart TV’s and even Blue Ray Players.
The update comes with a visual refresh and a few additional functionalities that, according to Netflix, will significantly improve the TV watching experience. Netflix also claims that this recent renovation is the “Biggest Update In Netflix History“.
The New look
As was said earlier, the most significant improvement will come in the form of a new and improved (visual) user experience. Many (including myself) will find that the new look conveys a vibrant and cinematic feel reminiscent of a major blockbuster release.
When navigating through a list of your favorite (or any random) set of programs, users will be met with three large rotating images, as well as a short, and apparently “more descriptive”, synopsis and user rating.
Also included in this barrage of eye popping visuals, is an area (located under the fold) containing personalized information drawn from a variety of sources (social networks and past viewing history). The purpose of this section is to provide users with even more information that can be used to inform their viewing decisions.
The New Features
Technologies such as Smart TV’s and Microsoft’s Kinect sensor gives us visions of a future in which televisions are no longer controlled by traditional input devices. Though still in the minority, a large number of the TV viewing audience is now using voice, gesture and even their smartphone; to control and manage their TV viewing experience.
Recognizing this, Netflix has included a few additional features in preparation for this fast approaching future. View a list of these new features below:
- 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
Unfortunately, though Netflix has already released this update to a few select devices, it will take about two weeks for everyone else to receive it (globally).
Have you already received the update?
What do you think of the new look and feel? Tell us in the comments section below!