Netflix continued the roll-out of its Just for Kids UI to a number of connected devices this week, including the Boxee Box and WD TV Live players. The UI, which adds a separate section optimized for kids to the regular Netflix user interface, also was rolled out to newer models of Sharp and Vizio TVs as well as newer models of Panasonic and Sony Blu-ray players among other devices, according to a spokesperson. The company didn’t provide an exact list of all the devices affected by the update, so it might be worth to turn on your connected TV or Blu-ray player and just give it a try.
Upon launch, the app prompts viewers to either access the regular Netflix experience or Just for Kids. The kids section adds TV show characters as categories and allows children to find episodes of a show without relying on text. Check out a few snapshots of Just for Kids on the Boxee Box below:
As you can see, there are still some kinks to be worked out with the little text that actually does get displayed.
Netflix launched a kid-friendly UI as part of its website in August of 2011. It began bringing Just for Kids to connected devices late last year, beginning with the Wii and then quickly rolling it out on the PS3 and the Apple TV. “More will follow through the course of this year, including Xbox and iPad,” I was told via email by a company spokesperson.
Kids content is undeniably one of Netflix’s key strengths, and the company has been adding numerous kids TV shows from PBS, Nickelodeon and others to its catalog. In fact, Netflix has been so successful with the youngsters that some blame it for Nickelodeon’s recent double-digits ratings drop. Both Netflix and Nickelodeon corporate parent Viacom have maintained that the service isn’t at fault for fewer kids watching Nickelodeon, but Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger recently presented some data that makes a good case for Netflix really taking over kids TV.