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Netflix to Stream HD Content

By Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 01 Dec 2008

A Netflix spokesperson Dec. 1 confirmed the Los Gatos, Calif.-based online DVD rental pioneer later this month will quietly offer high-definition streamed content to consumers of Profile 2.0 Blu-ray players from LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, in addition to the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the proprietary set-top box from Roku.

The free enhancement will be available to Netflix subscribers through a firmware upgrade.

Although Netflix offers more than 12,000 titles for streaming, HD selections will be limited to about 300, largely TV shows and documentaries available in 720p resolution and standard-definition audio only, according to spokesperson Steven Swasey.

Titles include multiple seasons of “Heroes,” “30 Rock,” “The Office,” “CSI: New York” and “CSI: Miami.” Movies and docs feature John Carpenter’s The Thing, Romanian Golden Globe nominee Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days, comedy 2 Days in Paris, The Devil Came on Horseback (about genocide in Darfur, Sudan), Colour Me Kubrick with John Malkovich, Saint of 9/11 and Running with Arnold (about Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign), among other eclectic fare.

“The HD offering on our streaming functionality is decidedly underwhelming,” Swasey said. “We’re not making a big push on this. It is more of a stake in the ground for future development.”

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