Not too long ago, not even a decade actually, the TV watching experience was a different ritual altogether. It was predictable, everyone knew what day and time their favourite shows were on, and families and friends gathered together in the living room to tune into their entertainment.

Today, however, there is a completely different picture. Binge watching has become the norm. Now people are cramming what used to be four years’ worth of television into one series-filled weekend. In fact, according to a 2013 study by global research group MarketCast, 75% of binge watchers only mean to watch an episode or two, and then find themselves absorbed by an entire season.

With the globally popular online television streaming platform, Netflix, set to make its way to South African shores by 2016, series hogs the country over need to gear up their living rooms to take full advantage of this revolutionary TV watching experience. What this means is that they need a television that can connect to the internet. They need a smart TV.

Netflix has already completely revamped the way Americans watch television. With access to entire series and a treasure trove of popular films, new and old, Netflix already has over 39 million subscribers in the United States alone, with over 57 million worldwide.

Thomas van der Linde, GM Marketing at LG Electronics South Africa believes this is the next step in the evolution of television, especially in South Africa. “Internationally, TV streaming has already gained popular attention. In South Africa, however, options are limited, making it the perfect market for a service like Netflix. This is exciting for us because LG’s range of televisions is well equipped to give consumers the best experience, so the introduction of a service like Netflix couldn’t be more perfect.”

With an LG smart TV, the South African binge watching public will be able to watch their favourite shows without having to commit the crime of piracy or waiting for it to feature on normal television. Not only this but these  LG smart TVs are capable of streaming high resolution content and will be set up with recommendation capabilities through its webOS 2.0 to help consumers sift through expansive content options.
Speaking at Internet Week New York, Netflix’s Chief Product Officer, Neil Hunt said, about 100 million internet-connected TVs sold–or about one for every three homes with broadband internet. By the year 2025, he told his audience, everyone will own a smart TV. While this alludes to the first world, it only stands to reason that the South African market will follow this trend.

LG Electronics currently has three smart TVs currently available on the South African market. All of these are geared to work hand-in-remote with the internet, and are the perfect vehicles to host a service like Netflix and fundamentally change the way South Africans watch TV.