Netflix streaming comes to LG TV this spring: Instant movies, no messy set-top box required

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Just a few weeks ago we were all excited to see Netflix streaming makes its way to the Xbox 360 and Series 3 TiVos. Ha, that’s already obsolete, as LG plans to release a TV with the service built-in. And yes, this is the first deal of its kind.

The TVs, which are scheduled to ship this spring, and can tap directly into the Netflix service, which you can grab for $9 per month. “Directly” is key, as it means you don’t need any external set-top boxes or anything to watch movies. Another nail in Blu-ray’s coffin, then. Why pay for archaic discs for a movie you’ll watch once when you can simply stream it to your HDTV?

Streaming, Netflix or otherwise, already looks to be the biggest thing to come out of CES, so expect to hear more and more about it this week.

This is LG’s carefully worded press about this situation, should it interest you.

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. and LOS GATOS, Calif., Jan. 5, 2009 – LG Electronics today extended its groundbreaking partnership with Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), as the two companies announced the first broadband-enabled HDTVs with Netflix streaming software embedded directly in the TV, requiring no external device. LG’s new LCD and plasma “Broadband HDTVs” will display the growing library of movies, TV episodes and high-definition (HD) content that Netflix members can watch instantly directly on the TV with Ethernet connectivity.

Available this spring, the new LCD and plasma HDTVs will join the LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player, the first Blu-ray disc player to stream movies instantly from Netflix. These products – and five new models of Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems planned for 2009 – will offer consumers a variety of ways to enjoy more than 12,000 choices of movies and TV episodes instantly from Netflix. Netflix members owning one or more of the devices pay as little as $8.99 per month for unlimited instant streaming and unlimited DVDs from a catalog of more than 100,000 DVD titles in more than 200 genres.

LG Electronics and Netflix will demonstrate these broadband HDTVs this week at the 2009 CES®, Booth #8214, Central Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center.

“Embedding the Netflix streaming software in the television is a natural progression of our partnership with Netflix and our innovative product line,” said LG Electronics USA President Teddy Hwang. “This is an LG industry-first, which provides another flexible option for consumers seeking to access exciting content directly through their HDTV.”

“LG Electronics was first to embrace Netflix as a streaming partner a year ago, and was first in 2008 to introduce a Blu-ray disc player that streams movies from Netflix,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. “So it’s fitting that LG is the first to introduce Netflix instant streaming directly to the TV with these next-generation HDTVs.”

Netflix began offering its instant streaming functionality on the PC in January 2007 and made the leap to the TV last year via Netflix ready devices such as the LG BD300 Blu-ray disc player. With today’s announcement, Netflix will be streaming, for the first time, directly to the TV with no external device required.

Instantly streaming content from Netflix to the LG HDTVs will rely on a broadband connection and Queue-based user interface. Netflix members will use the Netflix Web site to add movies and TV episodes to their individual instant Queues. Those choices will automatically be displayed on members’ TVs and available to watch instantly through the HDTV. Once selected, movies will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. With the accompanying remote control, Netflix members will be able to browse and make selections right on the TV screen and also have the ability to read synopses and rate movies. In addition, they will have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream.

“The partnership between Netflix and LG Electronics continues to give consumers more and better options for home entertainment,” said Hastings.

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