updated 08:10 am EST, Mon January 5, 2009
LG Netflix TVs
LG on Monday marked a first for TVs by saying that it will unveil a line of TVs at CES this week that have built-in support for Netflix viewing. The feature will let anyone with a $9 or higher Netflix subscription stream an unlimited number of movies from their Watch Instantly queue, including HD; while creating the queue is dependent on web use outside the TV, the set can rate movies and otherwise has full control over playback. Each of the relevant sets will have an Ethernet jack built-in to make the connection.
The Korean firm hasn't outlined the details of the sets themselves other than to note they will come in both LCD and plasma variants; more details are expected with the start of CES on Thursday.
Adding movie and TV show streaming to HDTVs is both an advantage for Netflix as well as a blow against dedicated set-top boxes such as Apple TV or the VUDU Box, many of which offer more features but add a premium to the cost of the HDTV itself and often require users to buy or rent movies individually rather than embrace a flat-rate subscription model.
LG has previously offered Netflix playback but so far has done so only through its BD300 Blu-ray player.