Buying a television can be a daunting experience with so many different models and options available. Sure, size matters, but so does a host of other factors, such as the type of screen, resolution and HDR
support, and the implementation of smart features. As it mostly pertains to that latter point, Netflix
has come out with its annual list of recommended TVs.
Netflix's list is geared towards getting the most from its streaming service, and supposedly it has a "rigorous" testing program in place. The exact testing criteria is not laid out, though Netflix does offer some high-level details. To bear the "Netflix Recommended TV" badge, a qualifying smart TV must meet at least 5 of 7 criteria. They include...
- TV Instant On: The TV needs to wake up instantly and remember where you were, with apps ready to use right away.
- Fast App Launch: Netflix must open quickly.
- Netflix Button: A user must be able to open Netflix with a single button press.
- Easy Netflix Icon Access: Netflix app must be easy to find and start from the TV menu.
- Always Fresh: TV updates in the background so the latest Netflix TV shows and movies are displayed.
- High-Res Netflix Interface: Browsing in Netflix must be met with sharp text, clear images, and the latest functionality.
- Latest Netflix Version: TV must come with the latest Netflix build and its newest features.
Netflix does not go into details about any of those categories, so it's not clear what specific metrics it is using. For example, what constitutes a "fast app launch?" Netflix told TechCrunch that users must be able to access Netflix "within just a few seconds," but that is also somewhat vague. Would 3.5 seconds qualify? How about 3.1 seconds, or 4 seconds? Only Netflix knows.
It's also not clear if TV makers have to pay a fee for the certified badge, assuming a specific model passes muster. Nevertheless, this is something Netflix has been doing for several years now. If you're curious about its recommendations for 2019, here they are, starting with Samsung-brand TVs...
And here are a few Sony models that Netflix recommends:
The overall list appears to be rather short, and if looking strictly at the series, it is not a long list at all. However, there are several different size options within the various different model categories, so there are quite a few individual TVs to choose from.
Of course, this is just Netflix's official list. We'd argue there are several capable TVs that are not on the recommended list (Netflix says more might be added as the year goes on), and at various price points. Our recommendation? Whether sticking to the above list or going rogue, do your due diligence and look u reviews on the web for any model you are considering.