The “Netflix Recommended TV” program is an independent evaluation of all the available products worth looking at, which the company claims to be independent of its business interests. (Netflix doesn’t make TVs so staying objective shouldn’t be a problem.) The program is meant to suggest TV sets created with a great streaming media experience in mind. These days there are tons of options, too. Just yesterday, leading set-top box maker Roku announced it was partnering with Best Buy’s Insignia brand and Haier to include its operating system on a new line of smart TVs.
The move makes sense for Netflix because it’s a company that has remained very transparent about its goals, ambitions, and competition from a growing number of rivals. That sort of trust will help add some credibility to its new TV Recommendation program. Also, Netflix has become very good at making sure the streaming video service experience is excellent regardless of the platform or device. (Seriously, Netflix is consistently the only app that never screws up for me on Roku, Xbox 360, and Amazon Fire.) So, the only logical step to improve its customers’ viewing experience would be to upgrade the hardware they’re using.
TVs that gain a recommendation from Netflix will feature a new logo that I’m assuming will get plastered on retail product boxes and advertisements, which could entice some people to buy it over non-recommended TV sets.
And while I love the idea of this, I’m still not really an advocate of smart TVs in general due to the scary amount of private data being collected while watching, which is unbeknownst to most people. Personally, I’d love for Netflix to factor this into its recommendations, but that would be a stretch considering that privacy concerns usually have little effect on a TV’s overall streaming media experience.