Netflix unveils Play Something, a new feature designed to make streaming more like regular TV

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Photo by Dan Gentile

In this photo file taken on July 10, 2019, the Netflix logo is seen on a phone in this photo illustration in Washington, DC

Alastair Pike / AFP via Getty Images

Streaming television has always been rife with decision fatigue. The endless buffet of content can make choosing a show to watch a debilitating chore, a far cry from the joy of browsing an old-fashioned video rental store like Faye in San Francisco or watching a regular old CRT TV. and immediately find a sitcom or news show.

Now Netflix has unveiled a new feature that takes the guesswork out of what to watch. Play something, a feature that Vulture reported has been going on for decades, essentially allowing your Netflix app on a smart TV to randomly start playing a show or movie, bypassing the decision-making process entirely.

There is also a channel browsing component designed to mimic the traditional network or cable TV experience. Clicking on “find me something else” will spin Netflix’s algorithmic wheel and take you to a new TV show. While charging, there will be a brief explanation of why you might like it. For example, while “Star Trek: Voyager” loads, Netflix will explain that it chose the show because it is similar to other space exploration shows that you may have already streamed (like “Star Trek : Deep Space Nine “).

While it looks like the feature isn’t live on all TVs yet (you may need to update the app), you can find the feature in three places: under your profile name when viewing it. opening Netflix, the 10th line on your Netflix home page and menu navigation on the left side of the screen.






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