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Netflix’s TV UI Gets a Facelift

Lean Back Revamp Comes As ‘Majority’ Of 1 Billion-Plus Hours Is Streamed to TVs 11/13/2013 2:30 PM Eastern

Netflix has unleashed an overhaul to its interface for televisions that extends more uniform, feature rich capabilities to apps running on a many TV-linked devices, including select Roku boxes, smart TVs, Blu-ray players, and Playstation consoles and the Xbox 360.

The resulting makeover is “the biggest update in Netflix history to our TV experience,” Netflix VP of product innovation Chris Jaffe wrote in a blog post about the upgrade, noting that the project was more than a year and a half in the making.

Netflix’s experience on the TV screen is important in part because the “majority” of the 1 billion-plus hours the company’s subscribers stream each month is delivered to a TV.

The update, which features three large  images for each show and movie, shorter descriptive data, and personalized information, aims to deliver a “cinematic and rich visual experience,” Jaffe said.

Netflix began to rollout the new TV UI on Wednesday (November 13), and expects it to reach all of its batch of initially supported devices within two weeks. The update will go to devices including PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Roku 3, and “new and future Smart TVs and Blu-Ray players,” Jaffe wrote.

Some newer smart TV and Blu-Ray player models “may” get the update based on CE plans, while the Roku 2 will get the refresh “early next year,” he added.

Other new features tied to the update includes a redesigned kids section and the extension of that element to a broader range of devices,  support for individual Netflix profiles across devices, voice on the Xbox 360, and pointer-based navigation on certain smart TV models.

A clip showing the new TV-based UI in action is below:

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