Netflix Now Dictating Terms to Top Tier Smart TV Makers Samsung, Sony and LG


Netflix is deepening its ingress into the connected smart TV market with its Netflix-recommended TV program that requires manufacturers like LG, Samsung and Sony to comply with the company’s demands for “Instant On” features, among other things.

The purpose, of course, is to enhance the Netflix experience on TVs the way they’re already doing in the smartphone and tablet space with the app. Interestingly, Netflix is demanding a laundry-list of things that a connected TV manufacturer must do in order to qualify for the recommended TV program.

The first three companies for the 2017 program are LG, for its 4K Ultra HD line of TVs running WebOS 3.5, Sony, for all 2017 Android TV models, and Samsung, for its 7, 8, 9 and Q-series Smart TVs.

The king of paid streaming video content has laid out seven criteria, of which manufacturers must comply with at least five. Most important of all, a qualifying TV must be able to allow users to launch Netflix and other TV apps within a few seconds of turning it on. The company also requires the TV to be able to let the user toggle between apps and live TV “almost instantly.”

Other criteria include the ability to render Netflix’s smart TV interface in 1080p (HD), placing its app prominently on the TV menu, having the latest version of the app installed, the ability to remember the last state when powering on so users can resume what they were doing, and even a Netflix button on the remote control that will turn the TV on and immediately launch the app.

It’s obvious that the company is leveraging its dominance in the streaming video on demand space to push TV manufacturers to comply with their requirements. From the manufacturers’ perspective, the very purpose of smart TVs has always been internet connectivity so users can access streaming content from the web. Netflix is clearly a dominant player in streamed content, so it makes sense any way you look at it.

The key objective for the 2017 Netflix-recommended TVs program is to bring the streaming experience on connected TVs on par with the mobile experience, and even big names in TV are apparently ready to bend to the streaming video company’s will.

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