As much as we love Netflix, we’ve always found it a bit odd that the browsing experience is fragmented between platforms. Jumping between PS3, Xbox and Roku devices can be a jarring experience, each offering its own spin on the Netflix queue with an inconsistent distribution of the service’s best features. Even Netflix is put off by the mixed ecosystem: which is why it’s launching a new, unified television experience today.
“About a year and half ago we took a step back to think about Netflix’s television experience across devices,” explains company director of innovation Chris Jaffe. “What we saw was a mismatch in how Netflix worked relative to how regular TV works, where you just turn it on and things are happening.” Jaffe explained that compared to the active browsing experience of traditional channel surfing, Netflix seemed static. “We also looked at the devices and realized that while we’ve got a great experience on the PS3 and some smart TVs, we’ve got an Xbox 360 experience that’s very different.” Fixing these problems required the company to rethink its interface from the ground up. We met up with Netflix to see the results.