Netflix & LG Partner To Bring Netflix to the TV

H/T to (and a tip from a customer service agent on the phone last night while trouble shooting the JESS3 PC Netflix viewing system… always with the inside scoop 😉

Netflix & LG (“Life is Good”) are teaming up to provide a set-top box that will stream movies to TV sets in the second quarter of 2008. LG has not released technical details about the box, such as ports (HDMI? Component? Both?), hard drive, resolution, or other features.

The only available image at this time is a screenshot of the user interface:


What we know so far:

  • The set-top box will have the same set of movies that are available through Watch Instantly, currently around 6,000 titles. Movies will be streamed to the box, not stored on the device.
  • LG does not have an exclusive deal with Netflix, so we can expect to see other companies to include this feature (Microsoft’s Xbox? PS3?). No other partners have been announced at this time, but Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that he wants to see a wide variety of partners using the technology.
  • The pricing for the box has not been set, but I would expect it to cost less than $200 ($99 might be a good introductory price).
  • The box will be sold by LG, but the streaming service is expected to be included in the Netflix subscription price (no additional fee).
  • Netflix is testing unlimited Watch Instantly with a small set of users, so we don’t know if the service will be capped or unlimited viewing (my guess is a limited number of movies, since Netflix has to pay the studios for each viewing).
  • We have very little information at this time about the technical specifications of the box, but I wonder if they will include HDMI and component interfaces (the 2 HDMI ports on my LCD TV are already full).
  • My bet is that the box will include a wired ethernet port and 802.11g. Very few people have 802.11n at this time, and Watch Instantly works well over “G.”
  • Additional coverage by Reuters, the Associated Press, and The New York Times.

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