With the idea that a smartphone is technically always on and ready, a small tap away from launching the Netflix app, televisions from different manufacturers are being judged the same way. Not that many pass, but it seems that we're almost there, the era of the perfect television set.
To illustrate how quickly things have progressed, Gunderson — who is joined by his colleague David Holland, a director of business development at Netflix — stage a competition between last year’s crop of smart TVs to this year’s, some of which have been designated with the new standard. In each case, the newer set handily beats the old one on things like turning on, locking onto a Wi-Fi signal, keeping users from digging to find the Netflix app, and eventually starting up a show. In one particular matchup between Sony’s old Bravia TV set and its newer one running Google’s Android, we were already watching the opening credits of a film while the older TV had only just put some text on the screen to let us know it was warming up.
The exercise is painful to watch: the older sets lag and struggle by comparison. Gunderson is careful to say that the program isn’t meant as a threat that people should just give up watching Netflix on older TVs, or set their busted old 4K TV from 2014 on fire just to put it out of its obsolete misery. "The message is not that this is bad," he says, pointing to the older set. "It’s just about how much better these newer TVs are."
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