Netflix Ditches Stars, Resurrects Pan & Scan?

Streaming giant Netflix is moving forward with some big changes as it continues its so far startlingly effective plans to become the go-to destination for entertainment.

Speaking with journalists this week, Netflix VP of Product Todd Yellin says that the company is getting ready to replace its five-star scoring system with a Youtube-esque thumbs up & thumbs down system in coming weeks.

Stars are disappearing from the interface altogether with previously given star ratings to be used to personalize the profiles of Netflix users. They will also introduce a new percent-match feature that shows how good of a match any given show or movie is for an individual subscriber.

Also, Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt revealed that they are considering offering different cuts of their original movies and TV shows – cuts that have been specifically framed for mobile devices: “It’s not inconceivable that you could take a master [copy] and make a different cut for mobile.”

So does this mean a return of sorts to VHS ‘full screen’ (aka. pan & scan) days? If it is, Hunt says it’s something that’s probably a few years down the line from happening if ever. It also seems unnecessary as phones already have touch-controlled aspect ratio adjusting technology built in, and are of differing aspect ratios depending upon the manufacturer and model.

The comments come as Netflix stands ready to roll out a refinement of its encoding technology which will change encoding settings for each and every shot. As a result, in the next year or so Netflix will be able to deliver some videos with an average bit rate of around half of what it would use for traditional encoding – all while preserving the same image quality.

Source: The Verge