Netflix Is Overhauling Its Home Screen Interface With Auto-Playing Videos

Your Netflix viewing experience is about to get fancier, even before you actually start watching a video. The company is constantly changing its interface to look more like traditional television, with trailers for every TV show or movie that'll automatically play whenever you open the Netflix app or load the Netflix web page on your desktop or laptop PC or Mac.

Talking to Gizmodo at MWC 2016, Netflix executives talked about the way the interface has evolved in the last few years, moving from a generic thumbnail grid layout to incorporating ratings, episode lists and the company's signature extremely granular categories — think "Dark Action Movies With Strong Female Leads". Up until now, though, the Netflix home screen has been effectively static, with large high-res images for movies and series rather than any kind of video.

Netflix knows that most of its users come from watching traditional TV, where there's always something playing, and where changing channels instantly gets you a new video feed without delay. That's really hard to do on the 'net, but adaptive bit-rate streaming and efficient codec optimisation for each different title on the service have reduced trailer file sizes to the point where it's now possible for Netflix to do.

Just like the company's imminent data saver option on mobile, the auto-playing video home screen is still in beta testing but it should roll out in a similar form to what you see below.

Here's the current (static) home screen as a JPEG:

And here's the updated (dynamic) home screen as it loads on a fast 'net connection, in GIF format:


Comments

    Oh FFS with everything wrong with the interface and they decide to make move useless moving rubbish
    Sigh

      Genuinely interested, what don't you like about the interface?

        The major grievance I have with it is handling of the my list feature and recomendations
        There is no way to sort it or put things in different buckets or to filter. If I feel like watching a movie I can't see just the movies I have on my list. If I'm in the mood for a comedy I can't filter that down. And if I go to the general comedy section one the homepage there is no way to see what I have flagged my interest in easily, without view the description of each show and seeing if I have added it to my list
        The other big thing for me is that you can't collate information across multiple accounts. Bit my wife and I have lists of movies we are interested in, having a way to show what we have both flagged as interested in to give a list of movies we both want to watch would be a huge help.
        Instead all I get is random listing of shows with very little actually targeted towards me

        1. The 'Continue Watching' feed doesn't allow you to remove items and only removes them once you've watched the entire credits. So you've got a crapton of movies you've either seen already or only clicked on once but didn't end up watching.
        3. Genres are too broad (in AU Netflix)
        4. No IMDB rating integration so you know if it's crap before watching (netflix reviews are a poor guide)
        5. No 'Watch Trailer' so you can see if it's worth watching before your select it
        6. No 'Latest Additions to Netflix' page so you can check this when you log in to see if there is something new and interesting to watch
        7. No 'Mark as watched/Ignore/Move to Bottom' button so movies you aren't interested in don't take over your recommended sections
        8. Having 10-20 scrolling rows of movie titles is a bad way to format, scrolling is slow, relationship between movies is thin.
        9. Wasting 3/4 of the homepage on movie features I'm not interested in
        10. No way to view ALL movies or tv shows by year or imdb rating
        11. Homepage recommendations rarely change, you'll have the same recommendations for months whilst there are a bunch of movies/shows that you never know are on netflix because they aren't 'recommended'

          Well there is a 'New arrivals' section you can view from the top nav browse but it is still displayed the the multiple scrolling bars format and isn't very clear on what is a new show, what has new episodes or when they were added

      Agreed. Moving interface provides no value to the user experience besides a pretty moving picture and potential spoilers.

      I am all for a simple clean interface that has a large range of filtering options.

    They have been doing this for a while on the Android TV app.

      You mighta been part of the test group! It's around 100,000 worldwide, which seems like a lot but it's only a tiny fraction of a percentage of the total Netflix subscriber base.

        Im guessing I must have been too... been seeing this on the web browser since around the time Wet Hot American Summer came out

        Definitely agree with Tigerion and masterc82 in that Id rather see those sorts of functionality improvements rather than auto-play videos.

        Last edited 12/03/16 9:23 am

    Xbox One had this for a while as well as I noticed it a few weeks back.

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