By Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 05 Jan 2009
LG Electronics Jan. 5 expanded its distribution deal with Netflix with the announcement of a new line of Internet-enabled high-definition plasma and LCD televisions capable for the first time of receiving streams without requiring an external device or set-top box.
The broadband HDTVs, available this spring, will be showcased this week at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Web-connected HDTVs will be a common theme among CE manufacturers at CES.
LG and Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix last year ushered in the online DVD rental pioneer’s aim to offer its instant streaming service to third-party set-top boxes, beginning with LG’s BD300 Network Blu-ray player.
Subsequent streaming deals have included Microsoft’s Xbox 360, TiVo and select Samsung BD players, in addition to a proprietary box manufactured by Roku.
“Embedding the Netflix streaming software in the television is a natural progression of our partnership with Netflix,” said Teddy Hwang, president of LG Electronics USA.
The Korean manufacturer late last year forged additional content deals for the BD300 with CinemaNow and YouTube.
LG will also unveil eight new BD players and home theatre systems at the show.
Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, said the new HDTVs give consumers better options for home entertainment.
“LG 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,” Hastings said. “So it’s fitting that LG is the first to introduce Netflix instant streaming directly to the TV with these next-generation HDTVs.”