Last year, Netflix launched its "Recommended TV" label to coax manufacturers to improve speeds on Smart TVs and, of course, push its service. This year, it's asking for more by making them meet five out of seven criteria, including instant on, TV resume, an up-to-date Netflix version, fast app launch, fast app resume and a Netflix button and icon. Only two manufacturers have earned the logo so far: Sony models like the X850D and X930D from the Android 4K series, and LG TVs with webOS 3.0, including the UH8500 and UH9500. Other manufacturers have yet to be selected.
Netflix says TVs carrying the label perform better, since they "passed a rigorous evaluation process that we established based on the factors our members tell us matter most." The Netflix button and easy access icon have nothing to do with speed and everything to do with Netflix self-promotion, though. Nevertheless, addicts to the streaming service may appreciate the label, and for everyone else, the instant on and fast app launch criteria should signal decent smart TV performance.
Update: The original post said Samsung didn't make the cut in Netflix's testing, which the Korean company claims is not accurate. Rather, Samsung told us that it elected not to participate in Netflix's "Recommended" testing this year and last. The post has been updated to reflect that and the relevant part of its statement is below.
We would like to clarify that Samsung chose not to participate this year or last in Netflix's Recommended TV program. Nevertheless, Samsung supports Netflix's efforts to communicate a better user experience to their subscribers, and is equally committed to the highest standards in picture quality and user experience across all services on our Smart TV platform. Our focus is on delivering the very best picture quality and user experience across all partner services without preference to one service.