Facebook’s Portal TV, its screen-less camera device you plug into a big screen, is getting Netflix. The company announced the update today, further rounding out what streaming apps are available through its family of video chat devices and making the Portal platform even more of a streaming stick competitor.
Portal TV, the media device that works with your TV at home, today offers access to a range of streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, and Sling TV. But, until now, one of the most important streaming services — Netflix — had been missing.
“We’re adding Netflix to Portal TV in all countries where Portal is sold. Just open the Netflix app, log into your account, and grab some popcorn for a holiday movie marathon,” Facebook said in this post.
This will make it easy for people to access content or apps from the device on the big screen. “We’re also introducing a new remote that features one-touch buttons for Prime Video, Facebook Watch, and Netflix, so it’s easy to open your favorite entertainment apps,” the post adds. The company has also confirmed the new remote for Portal TV will start shipping in the coming weeks.
Other than streaming apps, Portal already supports platforms like Zoom and some basic augmented reality features as well. The device also supports voice controls via the wake word, “Hey Portal,” which is similar to Google’s Hey Google and Amazon’s, Alexa command. Facebook’s voice command works in English and Spanish for now.
Netflix is one of the most popular streaming platforms in the market. So, it goes without saying that Facebook had to bring the app sooner rather than later. This way, Portal TV becomes an appealing choice for buyers in the countries where it is available. As you might know, Portal TV is priced at $149.
The timing of these updates hint that negotiations with Netflix over smart display integrations had been taking place industry-wide, as Netflix worked to make to make its service available across the various platforms.
Facebook also says today it’s bringing Zoom to the Portal Mini, Portal, and Portal Plus to give people the option to use it for video calls. (Zoom previously announced support for Portal was on the way in August.) As usual, the Portal’s camera will train on whoever’s speaking.
Zoom, along with Netflix, will also be on competitor devices, including the Amazon Echo Show and the Google Nest Hub Max. Google made Netflix available on the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max in July, and Amazon says it should be coming to the Echo Show soon. Now Facebook just needs to roll Netflix out to all its Portal devices and it’ll be on equal footing with its competition.