LG adding YouTube and CinemaNow to upcoming Blu-ray players

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LG will be unveiling its new line of Blu-ray players at CES next week, but has announced today that its upcoming network-enabled models will feature Netflix streaming (already available on current models) along with additional streaming content from CinemaNow and YouTube.

That’s a smart move because it effectively takes the gun out of the hands of those who question why they’d buy a Blu-ray player when everything’s slowly-but-surely moving online. In this case, you get the option to play Blu-ray discs, plus HD content from Netflix, more HD content from CinemaNow, and YouTube content, which appears to be shifting to HD sooner or later.

All this, plus a ten-foot interface navigated by a familiar remote control — no Media Center PC, no Xbox 360 Extender, etc. It might just catch on with "regular" people. The question now comes down to price. If companies can aggressively price these Blu-ray players in 2009, we might see more and more of them turning up in people’s homes. I haven’t upgraded my DVD player yet because I don’t care all that much about the difference in visual quality but, hey, my DVD player doesn’t stream Netflix, CinemaNow, and YouTube.

Full press release:

LG Electronics Announces New Streaming Content Partners for Its Network Blu-ray Disc Players

LG to Offer Consumers Unparalleled Access to Streaming Entertainment from CinemaNow, YouTube and Netflix

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ — LG Electronics today announced the expansion of network entertainment options for its Network Blu-ray Disc players through new alliances with CinemaNow and YouTube(TM).

Available on new LG Network Blu-ray Disc Players in the first half of 2009, these new services complement LG’s instant streaming from Netflix and advanced Blu-ray capabilities to deliver consumers an exceptional entertainment experience. (In 2008, LG was the world’s first manufacturer to stream movies instantly from Netflix on a Network Blu-ray Disc Player.)

CinemaNow – an innovator in digital entertainment technology, delivering high-quality movies, TV shows and videos to users through online connectivity – and YouTube – a leading online video community for people to discover, watch, and share originally created videos – will be available in LG’s 2009 line of Network Blu-ray Disc players to be unveiled next week at the 2009 International CES(R).

"As millions of U.S. consumers view and download movies or TV shows through the Internet, they are demanding easier ways to access content and more home entertainment options," said Tim Alessi, director of product development, LG Electronics USA.

"From Blu-ray to instant streaming from Netflix to CinemaNow and YouTube, LG is bridging the gap between packaged media and video-on-demand services to provide entertainment solutions for consumers’ demand for content," he said. "With these new alliances, LG continues its innovation leadership by allowing consumers easy access to multiple entertainment options in one device."

CinemaNow: Instant Streaming of Hollywood‘s Latest Hits

CinemaNow has pushed the envelope of digital video distribution, becoming the first Web site to offer Pay-Per-View movies from major studios and the first broadband distributor of high definition (HD) content. Collaborating with CinemaNow will enable LG Electronics to offer consumers access to more than 14,000 titles from the major movie studios, broadcast and cable television shows, more than 250 independent film titles and music videos from all major labels. Key benefits include the capability to:

  • Browse the entire CinemaNow premium content catalog, including latest Hollywood hits, Instantly stream content to enjoy on compatible devices, and Access and watch movies purchased from other CinemaNow-powered stores.

"We are extremely pleased to be providing CinemaNow premium content services to these innovative new products from LG Electronics that are helping to drive convenient consumer access to digital entertainment at home," saidMark Ely, executive vice president of strategy, Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq: SNIC), parent company of CinemaNow.

YouTube: Original Streaming Video Content

Leading the way in providing unlimited access to online content, LG’s alliance with a prolific online video community, YouTube, will allow consumers to instantly stream millions of Web videos directly from the Internet to an LG Network Blu-ray Player for viewing on their television (without a personal computer). Key benefits include:

  • Unlimited access to millions of videos on topics such as current events, instructional videos for hobbies and interests, comedic and viral videos and Easy searching, thumbnail previews and multiple screen size viewing options.

Netflix: High Definition Instant Streaming

Now available to consumers as a free on-line upgrade, LG’s first Network Blu-ray Disc Player (BD300) now delivers a growing number of Netflix titles in high-definition (HD). This new access to high-definition streaming content enhances the existing standard-definition streaming service that LG and Netflix first brought to consumers in 2008.

Future LG Network Blu-ray Disc Players will also offer consumers a variety of ways to enjoy more than 12,000 choices of movies and TV episodes from Netflix. Netflix members owning these devices pay one low monthly subscription for unlimited DVD rental and unlimited streaming.

LG’s full line of Network Blu-ray Disc Players, additional new content alliances and other new products will be revealed at the LG Electronics CES press conference on Jan. 7, 2009 at the Venetian/Sands and will be on display at the 2009 International CES – Booth #8214, Central Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center.

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