According to industry sources and LG Electronics on June 22, Netflix threw its support behind LG's 13 UHD TVs, since those models are believed to work well with its streaming video service. The number is twice or four times higher than that achieved by rival companies like Hisense, Sony, Sharp, or Panasonic. Most of all, LG’s UHD TVs with webOS 2.0, an operating system (OS) for its smart TVs, are widely acknowledged to be more suitable for delivering Netflix's service.
The “Netflix Recommended TV” highlights the most suitable TVs to consumers who prefer services provided by Netflix, and it is utilized as a strict standard to review the function of smart TVs. To be recommended, televisions are required to execute the Netflix app very fast, feature a button that can execute the app, and have a function optimized for Netflix's streaming service, including the video playback function.
TV manufacturers around the world are currently working to develop TVs with a more lightweight OS to strengthen their partnership with Netflix, which is actively seeking to distribute 4K content faster than terrestrial broadcasting companies. From the TV makers' perspective, Netflix's recommendation will lead them to the benefits of co-marketing with Netflix, which in turn will give an advantage over other companies in leading the heated 4K TV market. In addition, the clout of the largest online streaming service provider in North America will be beneficial for TV suppliers to target the North American market.
In fact, Panasonic revealed that its new 9 4K TVs scheduled to be introduced this year were included in the program in early June. Convenient search options and fast execution are considered to be the strong points of Panasonic's 4K TVs with a Firefox OS. Previously, Sony also succeeded in getting its two low-priced Android TVs recommended.
In particular, LG, which already has 13 certified TVs, is reportedly working to have all of its upcoming UHD TVs included in the program. Netflix also appears to prefer LG's UHD TVs. An official at Netflix remarked, “WebOS 2.0 featured in LG's 4K TVs is considered to be very appropriate for our streaming service,” adding, “LG's 4K TVs have the most suitable elements required for Internet TVs, including an interface or a navigation system.”
Samsung Electronics, on the other hand, has reportedly failed to get its TVs included in the program, which is rather exceptional, considering its top position in the global TV market. An official at a local TV maker said, “It is due to a difference in strategies rather than the functional problems of Samsung TVs,” adding, “Without Netflix's recommendation, Samsung TVs have no problem in delivering Netflix's streaming service.”