No, that television you own is not good enough for Netflix.
At least not according to a new Netflix Recommended TV program that the streaming giant put in place on Monday.
According to the program, the recommendations are designed to "help consumers identify televisions built for a superior Internet TV experience." In reality, that will translate into Netflix encouraging users to buy TVs that offer better performance, easier menu navigation, and new features that improve the experience for Internet TV services, said Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix, in a statement. More specifically, the recommendation rewards TV makers who have TVs that turn on instantly, with a faster Netflix app launch and a faster resumption of video playback.
Hunt didn't seem to explicitly say it, but Netflix is almost certainly encouraging users to buy TVs with Internet connections and the Netflix service built in. In the second quarter of 2014, Netflix reported that it had 50 million customers, across 40 countries.
So which TV makers will be blessed by Netflix? The company said that Sony Electronics, LG Electronics, Sharp Electronics, VIZIO and manufacturers of Roku TVs are expected to be among the first smart TV set-makers to deliver models designated by Netflix to receive a Netflix Recommended TV logo.
Greg Peters, the chief streaming and partnership officer at Netflix, said Monday morning on stage at LG's keynote that the company began adding more pixels to its streams last year, with the addition of 4K streaming. For 2015, he talked up different requirements for the recommendations: support for high dynamic range, deepening the blacks and improving contrast. “We’re setting the bar higher this year,” he said on stage during the LG presentation.
Connected TVs also have another feature that Netflix obviously likes: they don't use VPNs to "relocate" the televisions virtually into other countries. Some users use VPNs to identify themselves as a user in Chile, for example, where Netflix provides many more first-run Hollywood movies, presumably because their licensing costs are lower. However, that practice would obviously tick off Hollywood film studios.