LG Introduces Streaming/Blu-Ray Box


We have one more piece of Netflix‘s set-top box strategy today. LG announced its Blu-Ray and streaming hybrid player. The LG BD300 will play high definition discs as well as stream content (not in HD) from Netflix and other sources directly to your television set.

The new Netflix/LG device is basically like training pants for the consumer. It keeps the familiarity of physical DVDs (a business Netflix predicts it will max out on in five years), transitions people to the high-def Blu-Ray format, and eases them into the streaming on-demand world.

This is Netflix’s third set-top box relationship (it sill has one more TBA). Here are the current options for Netflix subscribers to stream content to their TV:

Roku $99 Small set-top box that streams Netflix content.
Xbox $279 – $299 + $49.99 Xbox Gold Membership Game console streams movies through its Xbox Live service.
LG BD300 sub-$500 Plays Blu-Ray and streams Netflix content.

One can’t accuse Netflix of resting on its laurels when it comes to preparing for an all-digital future. But the company’s Achilles heel remains the amount of content it offers for streaming. Though its initial offering has bumped from 10,000 to 12,000 titles in recent weeks, a perusal through the library shows that figure includes such gripping titles as Garmin GPS Map 376C.

And while Netflix is forging all these relationships, its partners have the option to stream content from other sources. Roku has said its box will offer other content, movies are already available to download through Xbox and even LG notes that it will get content from other sources. This opens up a big opportunity for a company like Amazon, which is rolling out its own streaming on-demand service and currently offers 40,000 titles.

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