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This is what Netflix would have looked like in the 1950s

This is what Netflix would have looked like in the 1950s

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"TV today from the world of tomorrow," was the slogan used to advertise the Philco Predicta in the 1950s, but it's only now that this retro-futuristic television set is truly able to keep up with modern viewing tastes. A group of Netflix engineers have adapted a Predicta to play content directly from the streaming service, with contemporary shows appearing in all their fuzzy, black-and-white glory on the iconic swivel-mounted display. The picture quality might not be that great (in fact, the Predicta's screen was unimpressive even in its day), but the controls, at least, are simple, with two knobs on either side of the screen letting you scroll through various shows. Perfect if you're hooked on Fallout 4 and want a TV break without having to return to the 21st century completely.

The Netflix-ready Predicta was produced as part of the streaming service's regular hack day. Other projects from the most recent hackathon included OK Netflix (a mobile app which recognizes lines of dialogue from Netflix shows and immediately plays the scene in which the line appears), and Smart Channels, a set of "curated channels that reflect your viewing preferences." Essentially, these are genre playlists, with the "Cult Sci-Fi" channel, for example, automatically pulling in episodes from Doctor Who, Firefly, The X-Files, and others. While the Predicta hack might not be suitable for every home, OK Netflix and Smart Channels are definitely the sort of feature we can imagine the company introducing for all its users.