Yup, it's official. LG will be showcasing the world's first Netflix-enabled HDTVs at CES this week. The so-called Broadband HDTVs will arrive in plasma and LCD flavors, though exact screen sizes and model names have yet to be disclosed. They'll arrive with Netflix streaming software baked right in, meaning that no external set-top-box will be required to suck down Watch Instantly material. Best of all, it sounds like HD Netflix content will also be supported, and with the accompanying remote, viewers will be able to "read synopses, rate movies and fast-forward / rewind the video stream." No word on pricing, but the family of sets should be shipping this Spring. Hop on past the break for a look at the full release.
LG ELECTRONICS FIRST TO UNVEIL 'BROADBAND HDTVs' THAT INSTANTLY STREAM MOVIES FROM NETFLIX
Netflix Members Can Instantly Watch Movies Directly On New LG Plasma and LCD HDTVs
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.
About LG Electronics USA
LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a global force and technology leader consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications. In the United States, LG Electronics sells a range of stylish and innovative home entertainment products, mobile phones, home appliances and business solutions, all under LG's "Life's Good" marketing theme. For more information, please visit www.LGusa.com.
About Netflix, Inc.
Netflix, Inc. (Nadsaq: NFLX) is the world's largest online movie rental service, with more than eight million subscribers. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can get DVDs delivered to their homes and can instantly watch movies and TV episodes streamed to their TVs and PCs, all in unlimited amounts. Members can choose from over 100,000 DVD titles and a growing library of more than 12,000 choices that can be watched instantly. There are never any due dates or late fees. DVDs are delivered free to members by first class mail, with a postage-paid return envelope, from over 100 U.S. shipping points. More than 95 percent of Netflix members live in areas that generally receive shipments in one business day. Netflix is also partnering with leading consumer electronics companies to offer a range of devices that can instantly stream movies and TV episodes to members' TVs from Netflix. For more information, visit http://www.netflix.com/.