Netflix and LG - On Demand!
What can make Netflix even more convenient? How about a little instant gratification? Yes, that's right... Today, Netflix has announced a partnership with LG to release a set top box later this year that will let you watch movies directly over the Internet. Just browse to a movie or TV show you want to see, click the button on your remote control, and enjoy!
This feature is already a reality for Netflix subscribers with about 6000 movies and shows currently available. The only drawback is that it must be watched from a computer which may or may not be hooked up to your home theater. The new networked LG device would allow you to hook directly to Netflix via your broadband Internet connection and watch anything available in their online library. This shouldn't cost anything more than your existing monthly fee (we hope). Of course, they'll have to sell the LG box, and with other network video devices currently in the $200 to $400 range, they'll need to be priced accordingly. No details have been released about the box, or whether it will be a multi-purpose device or simply exist to deliver Netflix movies to your television. In either case, this is a HUGE move towards IPTV and one that goes well with our prediction that eventually physical media won't matter much to Joe Consumer.
Many local cable companies offer free on-demand services. The satellite providers are jumping on the bandwagon, as well. Personally, I use DirecTV and there are many movies and TV shows currently available for free download to my DVR box. There are even a few HD offerings, but they seem to have a rental fee associated with them. Also, Microsoft offers TV shows and Movies in HD (up to 720p) via the Xbox Live service with nominal fees for movie rentals or TV show purchases.
Netflix and LG may give HDTV owners some good news this year and offer a killer service with DVD and HD quality video on-demand. They have some stiff competition ahead of them, but the future of video downloads awaits!
Also you only get stereo and it isn't great quality, I'd say lower quality than broadcast. Not even close to DVD.
Unless they improve it this isn't going to overtake DVD and especially not Hi Def. I only watch documentaries and non-action movies since you don't get surround sound.
For the BR/HD available titles will the STB's have HDMI outputs?
I have no idea on that front.
Unfortunately, that is often times the mystery surprize @ the bottom of the box these days with new concept devices.