LG to offer HDTVs that download movies direct from Netflix

LG Electronics has announced a range of Internet-enabled televisions that can stream movies from the Netflix rental service.

LG Electronics announced a range of Internet-enabled televisions on Monday that can stream movies from the Netflix rental service. The companies will show the televisions at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, a year after they first announced their plans to work together on a set-top box for downloading movies.

The new televisions will have Ethernet connections allowing Netflix members to stream high-definition content over the Internet, LG said. It plans to release plasma and LCD (liquid crystal display) models in the first half of this year.

These are not the first high-definition devices on which the companies have collaborated: LG recently announced an Internet-enabled Blu-ray disc player, the BD300, which can also download movies from Netflix. That company's customers pay upwards of $8.99 a month to rent DVDs from a catalog or to stream unlimited movies to compatible devices. Netflix boasts a catalog of 100,000 DVD titles and 12,000 titles available through its streaming service.

LG recently announced plans to allow its Internet-enabled Blu-ray players to stream content from YouTube and from CinemaNow, another online movie rental service.

Users of the new Netflix-enabled televisions will be able to choose movies directly on screen using the television remote control. Streaming a movie through the Blu-ray player involves using a PC to add it to a queue of movies to watch.

Netflix is also working with other consumer electronics manufacturers to incorporate support for its movie streaming service in their devices. Samsung released a Blu-ray player, the BD-P2500, in December with similar functionality to the LG BD300. And with Roku, it developed a set-top box that streams standard-definition movies from a queue created using a PC to access the Netflix Web site.

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Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
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