Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A New Search Experience for the Website

At Netflix we’re always thinking about new ways to improve the user experience. Starting today, we are rolling out a new search experience on the website to complement the suggestions from our recommendations engine. With the new instant search tool, you’ll get faster and easier access to your favourite films, TV programmes and actors.


For the new search experience, we use lush cover art that delivers a more visual presentation across the page. As you start typing in your query, potential matches of TV programmes and films appear in the grid of cover art. The new style makes it easier for the user to scan the results and, combined with the infinite scroll functionality, gives the user an intuitive way to explore the Netflix catalogue. 

A list of actors, directors and creators matching the query is shown on the left hand side. When clicking on any of those results, a new gallery will open with all the titles related to that person. The left rail is also used for suggestions related to genres, topical searches and searches for titles that are unavailable to stream.  In each case, users see recommendations based on that suggestion, as shown in the screenshot below.




One last feature supports our growing list of Netflix Originals. Simply type in “netflix” and the page displays all the programmes and films under the Netflix banner. 

We’ll continue to work on improving the search experience across all devices that our members use to watch content on Netflix. For now, we hope you’ll enjoy the new search experience on the website,

-Roelof 

Roelof van Zwol is director of product innovation for search and personalisation algorithms at Netflix

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Post-Play on Google Chromecast

As we mentioned back in June, we have been working on bringing the "Post-Play" feature to Chromecast. We are pleased to announce that it is now ready and will be available over the next few days to all members using Chromecast with compatible mobile phones or tablets. PC support will follow shortly.

We increased the countdown slightly to allow for more time to grab your phone or tablet, but otherwise it works just like the other devices that already support “Post-Play”.


Make sure you have the latest Netflix Android and iOS applications from Google Play and the Apple iTunes App Store to start using "Post-Play" on Chromecast!

Carenina and Kevin

Carenina Motion is a Partner Engagement Manager at Netflix
Kevin Morris is a Senior Software Engineer at Netflix

Monday, September 8, 2014

Netflix ISP Speed Index for August

We have added August data to the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime time Netflix streaming experience.

In the U.S., interconnection agreements with AT&T, Time Warner Cable and Verizon resulted in significant increases in Internet speeds for all three providers in August. AT&T U-Verse led the way, with its speed jumping more than one Megabit per second (Mbps) to 2.61 from 1.44 over last month and rising seven spots in the U.S. speed index to No. 7. Verizon FiOS speeds increased to 2.41 Mbps from 1.61, and Time Warner Cable rose to 2.59 this month from 2.16 in July. These dramatic increases pushed the U.S. average speed to 2.57 in August, now ranking 11th among the countries we track -- ahead of Brazil and Chile.

In Brazil, Oi Velox emerged from last place, increasing its speed to 1.55 Mbps in August from 1.22 last month.

In Norway, UNINETT dropped to last place as Eidsiva and Broadnet both increased their speeds to 2.98 Mbps and 2.95 Mbps respectively.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 50 million Netflix members worldwide who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix each month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance during prime time of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network. A faster network generally means a better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions. 

Note: The average performance is below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes Netflix uses to deliver the TV shows and movies as well as the variety of devices members use and home network conditions. These factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs.

The latest regional rankings are below.

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.










Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Netflix ISP Speed Index for July

We have added July data to the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime time Netflix streaming experience.
Among the countries tracked in the Netflix ISP Speed Index, the U.S. continues to lag behind many in Europe and the Americas. Of the 20 countries we assess, the U.S. ranked 13th with average speed of 2.23 Mbps. The Netherlands leads in performance, averaging 3.61 Mbps in July, with Norway, Denmark and Sweden all posting speeds better than 3 Mbps. On the other end of the scale, Costa Rica averaged speeds of 1.48 Mbps last month, though it has steadily improved its performance since we began tracking this year.   
This month we also are rolling out technology icons for 12 other countries including Canada and Mexico in our continuing effort to make it easier to compare Netflix performance on different types of networks.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 50 million Netflix members worldwide who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix each month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance during prime time of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network. A faster network generally means a better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

Note: The average performance is below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes Netflix uses to deliver the TV shows and movies as well as the variety of devices members use and home network conditions. These factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs.

The latest regional rankings are below.

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.











Monday, July 14, 2014

Netflix ISP Speed Index for June

We have added June data to the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime time Netflix streaming experience.

With this month’s update, we also have included icons in the U.S. graph to increase transparency about the type of technology used by an ISP. This should make it easier to compare Netflix performance on different types of networks.

Here are some data points from this month's update:

  • US: Among the major ISPs, Cablevision, Cox and Suddenlink continue to lead the index and show steady improvements over the last three months. Meanwhile Verizon FiOS continued its decline, dropping another two spots to No. 12. Both Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse rank behind DSL offerings from Frontier, Windstream and Centurylink.

  • Canada: After breaking out DSL and fiber from MTS and Sasktel, fiber networks of both providers ranked high in performance, with MTS Fiber taking the third spot and Sasktel Fiber coming in fifth.

  • Latin America: Telecentro retained the top spot in Argentina, increasing its performance by almost 1 full Mbps, rising to 3.26 Mbps from 2.35 Mbps.

  • Europe: While there was no significant change at the top of the rankings, Virgin Media in the UK did expand its lead over BT as the No. 1 ranked provider.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 48 million Netflix members worldwide who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix each month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance during primetime of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network. A faster network generally means a better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

Note: The average performance is below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes Netflix uses to deliver the TV shows and movies as well as the variety of devices members use and home network conditions. These factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs.

The latest regional rankings are below.

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Squeo is a member of the Netflix communications team.







Monday, June 9, 2014

Netflix ISP Speed Index for May

We have just added May data to the Netflix ISP Speed Index, our monthly update on which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best prime time Netflix streaming experience.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index aims to provide transparency and help consumers understand the Internet access they’re actually getting from their ISP. The average Netflix stream is about 2 Mbps (with most streams ranging from 256Kbps to 5.8Mbps), a fraction of the bandwidth most consumers purchase from their broadband provider. Still, in some cases, people are unable to enjoy a high quality Netflix experience.

As part of this transparency campaign, we started a small scale test in early May that lets consumers know, while they’re watching Netflix, that their experience is degraded due to a lack of capacity into their broadband provider’s network. We are testing this across the U.S. wherever there is significant and persistent network congestion This test is scheduled to end on June 16. We will evaluate rolling it out more broadly.

Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience. Netflix does not purposely select congested routes. We pay some of the world’s largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video right to the front door of an ISP. Where the problem occurs is at that door -- the interconnection point -- when the broadband provider hasn't provided enough capacity to accommodate the traffic their customer requested.

Some large US ISPs are erecting toll booths, providing sufficient capacity for services requested by their subscribers to flow through only when those services pay the toll. In this way, ISPs are double-dipping by getting both their subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other. We believe these ISP tolls are wrong because they raise costs, stifle innovation and harm consumers. ISPs should provide sufficient capacity into their network to provide consumers the broadband experience for which they pay.

Here are some data points from the May update of the Netflix ISP Speed Index:


The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 48 million Netflix members worldwide who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix each month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network. A faster network generally means a better picture quality, quicker start times and fewer interruptions.

Note: the average performance is below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes Netflix uses to deliver the TV shows and movies as well as the variety of devices members use and home network conditions. These factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs.

The latest regional rankings are below.

Joris

Joris Evers is part of the communications team at Netflix






Saturday, June 7, 2014

Continue Watching on Android Phones and Tablets

At Netflix we’re very focused on making it easier to enjoy more TV programmes and films. If you use Netflix on Playstation 3, our website or a number of other devices, you may already be familiar with the “Post-Play” feature. Today we added this feature to our Android app making it even easier to watch more on additional devices.

“Post-Play” works for both TV programmes (phones and tablets) and films (tablets only). At the end of an episode, we will automatically queue up the next one and start playback unless you choose to pause or stop. For films, we will offer three recommendations to try next. You can dismiss “Post-Play” by simply tapping on the video.


“Post-Play” is now available to all Android phones, tablets and the Amazon Kindle Fire running Android 4.0 and greater. Download today from Google Play.

And come back in a few months...we are working on “Post-Play” for Chromecast.

Rob and Francois

Rob Caruso is director, engagement management at Netflix
Francois Goldfain is engineering manager at Netflix