Netflix Linear Direct apes old-school cable to save you from decisions

For years now, Netflix has been eating away at the number of cable subscribers out there, but now it's looking to emulate the cable experience – at least a little bit. The company has announced a new feature called "Netflix Direct," which is available to a small number of users in testing right now. With Direct, users will be able to kick back and let Netflix take the reins when it comes to the content they watch.

How do you get in on this test? Well, first, you have to live in France, because that's the only place where this test is available at the moment. Netflix didn't just choose France at random though – in a blog post that's available in both French and English, Netflix explains that "watching traditional TV remains hugely popular with people who just want a 'lean back' experience where they don't have to choose shows."

Thus, Netflix Direct was born. The feature, which is only available to Netflix subscribers, works in real-time and serves up "some of the best French and European content on the service." Just like with cable TV, users don't have any control over what the Direct channel is showing, but then again, on cable there are multiple channels to pick from while here you're stuck with just one if you're looking for randomized content.

Still, this could be good for those who suffer from choice paralysis from time to time – that is, having so many options that you have a difficult time picking something and just spend your time looking through a sea of options instead. Perhaps when that happens, being able to turn on Netflix Direct and let it choose for you will be a welcome option.

In any case, Netflix says that this is first rolling out to a small number of French users before launching for all members in France at the beginning of December. It's only available on the browser-based version of Netflix, so you won't find it in the mobile or Smart TV Netflix apps (for now at least). We'll keep an ear open for more from Netflix about Direct, so stay tuned for that.