In the category of “Seriously, Why Wasn’t This Here Sooner?”, Netflix has revamped their interface for TV shows with a new design that treats shows less like sets of discs and more like series’ with separate seasons.
Prior to this point*, searching for any given television show would result in a list of results including each individual season set as an entry. Searching for NCIS? You’ll get about ten different results, each corresponding to an individual season of either the original or the new extra crispy Los Angeles version. Now? Search for 30 Rock and you’ll get a single entry for 30 Rock.
The show page itself has also gotten plenty more useful:
As you can see, we now get a full show description, as well as an easy navigation jump bar between seasons. This was something that the old Netflix sorely lacked. If you were on a given show’s season page, which had episodes divided up into discs, even if they were available for streaming, the only way to get to the next season set was to search for it or hope it was linked in the “related shows” section. Now? All available seasons of a show are laid out on a single page.
The most interesting part, however, is how obviously streaming-focused the interface is. Search for an older show with no streaming library and you’ll be taken to a show page that, while it adheres to the new layout, still has an emphasis on discs and divides episodes up as such like they did before. However, find a show like Dexter, where they have some seasons available for streaming and others only on disc, and the disc-only seasons won’t even show up unless you specifically click the “Episodes on disc” button (pictured above). In fact, in Netflix world, it seems that if it’s not available for streaming, it doesn’t exist. In the photo above, Netflix doesn’t even acknowledge that 30 Rock as a series extends beyond 2009, despite new episodes still airing.
It’s a pretty bold push into the world of TV streaming. Netflix hasn’t exactly been subtle about how aggressively they want to push their way into streaming TV, and this new site redesign is exactly what they needed to take that push seriously.
Watching TV on Netflix just got a whole lot more awesome.
* — “this point” being a little obscure. Netflix makes no mention of the change on their blog, though it appears the change happened within the last few days.