updated 01:45 am EST, Thu January 3, 2008
Netflix, LG set-top box
Online DVD rental service Netflix and Korean electronics-giant LG have announced that they are working on a set-top box designed to stream movie content directly over the internet to a television. Netflix has long said it wishes to branch out its internet movie delivery feature, which allows members to play content on their PC from a library of over 6000 movies and TV shows. Reuters reports that the device will function in a similar fashion to the PC internet streaming, where users that subscribe to Netflix’ DVD rental service would also get access to the TV streaming service. LG says that the Netflix set-top box will be available at some point during the second half of 2008.
The LG-Netflix player will be the newcomer to the already-overflowing market of digital video distribution. From TiVo’s partnership with Amazon to bring its Unbox service to the popular set-top, to Vudu’s Bittorrent-like behavior, there is plenty of competition for the new device. Apple is even rumored to be entering the ring, and is said to be in talks with 20th Century Fox about offering new-release rentals; Fox would also include FairPlay-encoded versions of a movie when the DVD is purchased.