Users who have both Netflix and a Google Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max smart display can now stream the subscription VOD service in all territories where both the devices and Netflix are available. Netflix is already available on Google’s Chromecast HDTV dongle, as well as dozens of other devices.
It’s not clear why Netflix — until now — has not made the service available on smart displays like the Google Nest Hub (formerly called Google Home Hub), Amazon’s Echo Show or Facebook’s Portal. Clearly, Netflix wants to be ubiquitously available on screens (for example, you can watch Netflix on Tesla’s car displays while parked). But a top priority for the company is providing a consistent user experience across platforms.
“We want members to control how and what they watch on whatever device they are using,” a Netflix spokeswoman said. “They can now use voice prompts to watch their favorite Netflix shows and films on Google Nest Smart Displays. We look forward to continuing to work with Google to improve the member experience.”
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Starting July 21, if you have a Netflix subscription, you can now link your account in the Google Home or Google Assistant app to play Netflix movies, TV shows and documentaries on the Nest Hub displays, which have been marketed as digital photo frames, home-control centers, audio players and hands-free kitchen aides.
You can launch the Netflix service or individual titles by issuing voice commands to the Google devices. For example, saying “Hey Google, open Netflix” launches the streaming service and allows you to scroll through content and start watching by tapping a title. You can also pause, play or skip forward via Google Assistant commands (or use the Hub Max’s Quick Gestures feature to pause or resume video by looking at the device and raising your hand).
Netflix joins other streaming services that are natively supported on Google’s Nest smart displays, including YouTube (of course), as well as Hulu, Starz, CBS All Access and Dish’s Sling TV. In addition, users can “cast” streaming video to the Google Nest devices using mobile apps for services including NBCUniversal’s Peacock, Disney Plus, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, Showtime and others.