Netflix introduces a unified, cinematic TV interface
The great thing about Netflix streaming is it's available on a ridonkulously wide spectrum of hardware. Unfortunately, there are also as many different Netflix interfaces as there are devices.
Netflix plans to rectify that problem with a new interface set to start rolling out Wednesday. The new Netflix UI will unify the service's look across multiple devices, including the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Roku 3, and newer Smart TVs and Blu-ray players.
The new Netflix aesthetic focuses on creating a richer visual experience, simplifying search, and having shorter descriptions for series and movies.
Netflix says its new look has been in the works for the past 18 months and was created for the big screen—the company describes the design aesthetic for the UI as "cinematic." In other words, the new look is focused on wide screen, beautiful images.
Beyond the visual overhaul, you'll find expanded details on Netflix's reasoning behind any recommendations it delivers to you. Search has been improved, with a bigger focus on images, as well as search support for titles, actors, and directors. The company has also improved voice support for the Xbox 360, and added Netflix profile support across all devices getting the new update.
While a new UI is always a nice treat for users, the big news here is that Netflix finally wants to unify its interface across as many devices as possible.
That will make it much easier to use Netflix across different set-top boxes and TVs without having to get used to the nuances of each variation of the Netflix UI. It also allows the company to deliver a consistent experience that can focus on expanding features and not on tailoring different interfaces for various platforms.
Netflix says the new interface rollout will take about two weeks to complete, so if you don't see it on your TV-connected device yet keep an eye out for the new look in the coming days.
The Roku 2 won't get the new UI during this initial roll out, but Netflix plans to upgrade the set-top box in early 2014.
Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One was not mentioned in the roster of devices slated to receive the new Netflix look. The new Xbox hits store shelves on Friday, November 22, while the PlayStation 4 debuts this Friday, November 15.