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Best Buy and Netflix Partner to Stream Movies Through Insignia Blu-ray Disc Players

20 Oct, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix’s burgeoning Watch Instantly movie streaming service received a boost when Best Buy Co. Oct. 20 said it would include the feature in two of its Insignia brand Blu-ray Disc players.


The technology enables Netflix members to watch movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix over the Internet to their digital televisions.

The Insignia Advanced Series Blu-ray player (NS-WBRDVD) and the Insignia Connected Blu-ray player (NS-BRDVD3) are priced at $249.99 and $179.99, respectively. The Insignia Advanced Series model uses built-in Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet while the Insignia Connected player uses an Ethernet connection.

"The ability to instantly watch movies streaming from Netflix via the Insignia line of Blu-ray Disc Players will appeal to Best Buy shoppers who seek unsurpassed convenience, selection and value in a Blu-ray disc player,” said Nigel Waites, CTO of Best Buy's Exclusive Brands.

"Best Buy is a terrific place to shop for TVs, Blu-ray disc players, computers and other technology products that entertain and suit the lifestyle needs of millions of consumers," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. "We're proud to see Insignia models that instantly stream movies from Netflix on Best Buy shelves. Or, better yet, seeing customers buy them off the shelves."

Netflix has similar deals with Samsung, Roku, TiVo and Microsoft Xbox 360, in addition to Sony, Vizio and LG Electronics Web-enabled TVs.

Independent analyst Rob Enderle said the association with Best Buy represented an insurance of sorts against rival the online movie streaming service from Amazon, which he considered Netflix’s biggest long-term competitive risk.

“By getting Best Buy, they hedge well against this future competitor and continue to showcase why they are the leader in the movie subscription space (and intend to remain that way),” Enderle said. 

Edward Woo, analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles, which covers Netflix, said the Best Buy deal is another positive step for the online DVD rental pioneer’s stated goal to incorporate the streaming technology in 100 CE devices.

While Woo applauded the Best Buy association, he said the CE retailer’s house brands are not as popular as other brands, and typically cater to a more price conscience crowd that may not want to subscribe to Netflix.

“A much bigger deal would be to get Watch Instantly on another video game platform,” he said.

Analysts expect Netflix in the near future to sign a streaming deal with either the Sony PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii.

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