Saturday, March 29, 2008

Netflix/LG set-top box announced

Original Post is located here

After the long-rumored (from 2004) Netflix/TiVo deal fell through (in 2005), it looks like Netflix and LG are going to create their own set-top box to facilitate downloads of Netflix movies. Even better is a mention that they might just bake it into existing dual format HD-DVD/Blu-ray players.

It’s interesting that Netflix found a new partner and a way to get studios on board to allow them to do it — I suspect TiVo was seen as a hostile force for the studios a couple years ago when the Netflix/TiVo deals were first discussed. Also it’s obvious that the landscape has changed since 2004. People have broadband and are willing to buy downloadable movies, and the companies that offer them aren’t huge sources of problems or piracy.

Another interesting aspect is that LG is already thinking of how to add it as an added feature to their existing product line. That’s a great approach because I have to admit that I’ve played with a Vudu box and it’s incredibly dumb to think people will pay $400 for a box that only plays $2-5 rentals and holds a limited number of $10-20 movies permanently. It’s good to see LG recognize this from the outset and not strive to build dedicated PPV boxes you have to pay for.

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