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Smart Home

A DIY switch to automate 'Netflix and chill'

Netflix brings the smart home to your video-streaming experience with a DIY Wi-Fi switch designed to simultaneously turn on the TV, silence your phone, order food, and even dim the lights.

Build your own Netflix switch. Netflix

If you dream of a world where you can turn on your TV, order food, dim the lights, and silence your phone with the least amount of effort possible, Netflix has the device for you. Or the blueprints, rather.

The "Netflix Switch" is a maker gadget, meaning that you won't find one for sale online or in stores, but the clever folks at Netflix outline everything you'll need to build your own. So, if you are "comfortable with a soldering iron and have a solid understanding of electronics and programming," as the team explains in its tutorial post, you could be one project away from a true "Netflix and chill" button.

Specifically, Netflix provides a system diagram so you can visualize all of the various components, as well as a zip file (.zip) and a materials list (.pdf) with all of the details for getting started. Of course, if you have the know-how, you can stray from the template and do whatever you want, but Netflix used the Wi-Fi-enabled Particle Core microcontroller, a TV with a Netflix button on the remote, a custom-made cover for all of the circuitry (you can check out a 3D model of it here [.zip]) and even code that's tailor-made for integration with Philips Hue LEDs .

This isn't the first DIY device we've come across, but it is fun to see big names like Netflix joining in on the maker movement. The $80 Belkin WeMo Maker Kit lets more-experienced DIY-ers turn low-voltage devices like garage door openers into smart versions and FirstBuild's $20 Green Bean Maker Module gives you the opportunity to retrofit smart functionality into a variety of non-smart GE fridges, dishwashers, ranges, washers, dryers, wall ovens and water heaters.

What do you think about the Netflix Switch? Weigh in below and let us know if we should build one of our own for the CNET Smart Home.