Netflix has introduced a heavily requested picture setting as part of its latest app update on TVs and streaming devices running Google/Android TV.
As part of Android 12, Google introduced a setting called 'match content frame rate' which meant that the Chromecast with Google TV and TVs running the operating system could adapt from their usual 60 (or 120 on supported TVs) frames per second (fps) video output, down to match the cinematic standard of 24fps. The goal here is to minimise judder when the display's output doesn't match the video playback's frame rate and vice versa.
Frame rate matching isn't new by any means, in fact, Apple introduced it on the Apple TV 4K in 2017, while Google finally caught up in October of last year. The problem is that while Apple implemented it systemwide, Google put the onus on individual app developers and, in many cases, they've been dragging their heels; although Google did caveat this initial release by stating it's a work-in-progress feature.
Now, ten months on, Netflix has finally introduced support for frame rate matching with its latest version 10.0.4 (via FlatpanelsHD), making it the first major streaming app to adopt this new picture setting. The likes of Disney Plus, Prime Video and Apple TV are still missing this feature, however.
Thankfully, Netflix hasn't taken a half-baked approach to implementing this frame-matching feature, as it supports both integer (24.000fps) and fractional (23.976fps) frame rates. This is welcome as although the latter is being phased out in production studios, some content is still being encoded in this format. FlatpanelsHD put this new feature to the test and recorded successful playback in both frame rate formats, as well as playback in 50fps and 60fps.
We hope seeing Netflix take the plunge will encourage other streaming services to follow suit in the near future.
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