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Netflix Launches Smart TV Seal of Approval Program

Sony, LG, Sharp, Vizo and makers of Roku TVs are expected to be first certified under 'Netflix Recommended TV' program

Netflix

Netflix — in a smart bid to get its brand affixed onto smart TVs — has announced the “Netflix Recommended TV” certification program under which it will give the thumbs up to Internet-connected television sets that deliver the best possible video-streaming experience for its service.

In an announcement timed for CES, Netflix said the initial partners expected to be certified under the program this spring are Sony Electronics, LG Electronics, Sharp Electronics, Vizo and manufacturers of Roku TVs.

Netflix didn’t spell out specific criteria for what it will take to become a “Netflix Recommended TV,” saying it will provide those details shortly. But in general, according to the company, the program recognizes features that Netflix members say are most important, including turning the TV on instantly; faster app launch; and faster resume of video playback.

“We’ve created the ‘Netflix Recommended TV’ program to help consumers identify smart TVs that offer better performance, easier menu navigation and new features that improve the experience for Internet TV services,” said Neil Hunt, Netflix’s chief product officer.

Initially, “Netflix Recommended TV” will be a U.S.-based program, but Netflix said global TV makers will incorporate many of these features in sets sold worldwide. With Netflix’s seal of approval, TV manufacturers “will be able to highlight products that offer both the best Netflix experience and superior smart TV performance,” according to the company.

Netflix said it’s been working with CE makers for the last seven years to test Internet-ready TVs, game consoles, set-top boxes and mobile devices.