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LG Launches Netflix Enabled HDTV

by June 16, 2009

Look ma, no boxes! You won’t you need a set-top-box or computer to stream web-enabled movies to your Home Theater system anymore. The shelf-space and connection conscious mages over at LG have seen to it that you don’t need a box to get streaming content like Netflix into your living room. LG has just introduced two Ethernet-HDTVs with more on the way this summer.

The consumer electronics struggle between streaming media set-top-boxes and so-called HTPCs as they battle for attention in your living room, now have an unexpected rival. Some manufacturers see the HDTV as more than just a display device. LG has just released two new displays that want to turn the HDTV into a web-enabled content streamer.

The new web-enabled sets just hit the market last week. The 47LH50 (LCD) and the 50PS80 (Plasma) are 47 and 50-inch HDTVs. They’re the first HDTVs to ship with built-in Netflix support. This’ll give users access to Netflix library of over 12,000 movies and TV episodes, streamed directly to the TV from your household high-speed Internet connection.

LG’s web-movie feature is part of its NetCast suite of features that will be built into many upcoming models of LG HDTV this year. NetCast offers web-enabled, interactive features with Netflix as its content-crow jewel. NetCast also provides access to content from YouTube and CinemaNow – we’ve already seen the feature in other LG devices like its wireless BD390 Blu-ray player. Currently LG’s NetCast HDTVs connect online via Ethernet only but wireless HDTV can’t be far down the line.

The prices for LGs new web-connected HDTVs can be found between 1,599 and 1,999 online. This puts the added features well within range of comparable HD-panels.

Toshiba Streaming Into The Mix

LG isn’t the only TV manufacturer making HDTV connect directly to the web. Toshiba is another major player working on the feature with its Regza line. When Toshiba Web-enabled TVs launch later this year they’ll provide even more web-content features including news, sports scores, stock tickers and your local weather forecasts.

The web-features built directly into HDTVs this year are far cry from a true web experience offered from many popular set-top-boxes - but they’re off to a good start. Parks Associates has determined that 2.5 million North American households are interested in web-enabled HDTV, provided it’s priced nor more than $100 higher than a regular HDTV.

This is probably why the number of web-connected features will evolve into streaming TV at a trickle. Manufacturers are liable to stay cost-conscious as they build new connected-features into HDTV. But LG scoring Netflix is definitely a winner! The marriage of a big-screen HDTV and movies is combination made in couch potato heaven. No need to buy an extra box that’ll occupy more connections not to mention more shelf-space.

Robust set-top-boxes will probably continue to provide a superior web-experience for some time. Home Theater companions like Xbox 360, PS3, Roku and TiVo have become essentials for the wired household - and why not? Household networks are on the rise according to the research of the Yankee Group.

Yankee Group says over 60% of American households will be up and running with high-speed household wi-fi networks. This is going to result in increased demand for all manner of connected devices - including HDTVs.

About the author:

Wayde is a tech-writer and content marketing consultant in Canada s tech hub Waterloo, Ontario and Editorialist for Audioholics.com. He's a big hockey fan as you'd expect from a Canadian. Wayde is also US Army veteran, but his favorite title is just "Dad".

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Recent Forum Posts:

LAB3 posts on January 17, 2011 17:03
Substance-P, post: 603632
I thought I would give an update. I used the Netflix option through the TV a total of 3-4 times. When it was running of a gaming adapter and picking up a wireless signal it was initially strong enoug to stream movies at a decent speed; however, audio is only in two channel.

After switching internet providers and going back to a standard N Router as opposed to the AT&T router, the signal strentgh dropped enough that the picture quality of the streaming movies was not worth watching. I have an HTPC that I finally got setup next to the TV, so I am just streaming off of that on the LG and the picture looks great and I am able to get 5.1

Having said that, I really like the TV picture a lot. In retrospect, I would have gotten the LG 50PS60 instead of the PS80 as the built in streaming was the only real difference and not worth it considering the additional cost, the two channel only audio support, and the inability on my part to get a strong enough wireless signal to the TV compared to what I was able to get to my HTPC.

So far ( I though) Netflix was only sending 1080i and 5.1 to the PS3. From what I have been looking at so far none of the Blu-ray players receive the 1080i and 5.1 signal yet from Netflix. I have Verizon FIOS wireless 30 down 10 up for my PC and a HD Fiber Optic converter box(it plays HD 1080i 5.1 Dolby Digital GREAT).I also have a HD Blu-ray player that goes on line and have it audio streaming to my HD A/V Receiver and none of these play 5.1 or show 1080i from Netflix. My Wii only does 720 and sterio so I was waiting on Netlix to start sending the 1080 5.1 to other devices.

Are you sure you are Really receiving 5.1 from Netflix?? I called them today and they said only a PS3 is getting 1080i 5.1????
alterseekers posts on January 17, 2011 16:13
This is really a great news considering most homes today already have internet-readyHDTVs in them. But what if you want to enjoy streaming from Netflix but your devices and wireless router are in separate rooms in the house? Don't worry, you can still enjoy this with the help of Netgear's Universal WiFi Internet Adapter. This WiFi adapter is compatible with most internet-ready devices such as TVs, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, and more. You can also use it to connect notebooks, wireless printers, and other networked home theater devices. For more information about the Netgear Universal WiFi Internet Adapter, visit bit.ly/bByST7 and discover this wonderful device from Netgear. Enjoy!.
Substance-P posts on July 30, 2009 16:08
I thought I would give an update. I used the Netflix option through the TV a total of 3-4 times. When it was running of a gaming adapter and picking up a wireless signal it was initially strong enoug to stream movies at a decent speed; however, audio is only in two channel.

After switching internet providers and going back to a standard N Router as opposed to the AT&T router, the signal strentgh dropped enough that the picture quality of the streaming movies was not worth watching. I have an HTPC that I finally got setup next to the TV, so I am just streaming off of that on the LG and the picture looks great and I am able to get 5.1

Having said that, I really like the TV picture a lot. In retrospect, I would have gotten the LG 50PS60 instead of the PS80 as the built in streaming was the only real difference and not worth it considering the additional cost, the two channel only audio support, and the inability on my part to get a strong enough wireless signal to the TV compared to what I was able to get to my HTPC.
Substance-P posts on July 10, 2009 10:05
Tv arrived and is installed in the home theater. I am still finalizing hooking up the receiver and blu-ray hd dvd player.

So far I have used it to watch UVerse and to use the netflix streaming device (streaming Braveheart right now as I finish the other setup).

Tv looks great and has a really nice picture. Will post more once I have it fully integreated in the system
Substance-P posts on June 25, 2009 20:43
I just ordered one of these (Lg 50PS80) this AM. I was going to get the LG PS60; however, I got a good deal on the PS80 and I figured it was worth a shot.

I'll be sure to post my experience once it comes.
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