Facebook is hoping the addition of Netflix to its Portal TV will spur consumers to spring for the $149 video-conferencing device this holiday season.
Portal TV, which Facebook calls “the future of video calling,” is adding Netflix to a lineup of streaming services that includes Amazon Prime Video, ViacomCBS’s CBS All Access and Showtime, Dish Network’s Sling TV, Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio. Facebook’s Portal also is adding support for Zoom video conferencing, available on Portal TV, Portal Mini, Portal and Portal Plus.
In addition, the social giant is introducing a new Portal TV remote that includes one-touch buttons for Netflix, Prime Video and Facebook Watch. The remote begins shipping with Portal TV today and will be available at retail outlets in the coming weeks.
The main feature of Facebook’s Portal is video-calling, with the ability to start or join calls of up to 50 people with the Messenger Rooms service.
As previously announced, Facebook is expanding the Story Time library in Portal with a collection of stories that reflect and celebrate the diverse families that use Portal. The new stories are Thank You, Omu!, A Kids Book About Belonging, and Grandma’s Purse. It’s also adding AR effects to four Dr. Seuss classics: Hop on Pop, Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?, The Foot Book, and There’s a Wocket in my Pocket! The new stories will roll out on Portal this fall.
Portal also added the ability to control AR effects in the Photo Booth app using your voice with “Hey Portal.” And the device has added voice controls in Spanish (U.S.) in addition to English, with more languages coming in the future. Users also can specify French, Spanish Italian, and English for on-screen text on Portal.