Netflix Coming to TV This Year

Netflix is developing a set-top box in partnership with LG, according to various reports. It is to be released in the second half of this year.

This could be a big deal, depending on whether the pricing is attractive. Apple TV, whose customers may be getting access to movie rentals in addition to downloads this month, goes for $299, and Vudu sells for $399. Amazon Unbox currently streams on existing TiVo boxes. Multiple reports mentioned a $799 price for the Netflix-LG box — that’s what LG’s HD DVD/Blu-Ray DVD player currently goes for. $799 sounds way too high, especially considering Netflix doesn’t yet stream in high definition.

Netflix has moved carefully in its rollout of digital movies, launching a Windows-only streaming product for existing DVD-by-mail subscribers at the beginning of this year. It has recently been experimenting with unlimited streaming plans. The company offers 6,000 titles in its streaming library, significantly more than the competition. With competitor Blockbuster on the down and out, Netflix is sounding more ambitious. CEO Reed Hastings told the New York Times:

“We want to be integrated on every Internet-connected device, game system, high-definition DVD player and dedicated Internet set-top box,” he said. “Eventually, as TVs have wireless connectivity built into them, we’ll integrate right into the television.”

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