LG Electronics and Netflix Incorporated, the world's largest online movie rental service, plan to develop (by the second half of 2008) a set-top box which will allow the streaming of movies and other programming from the Internet directly to HDTVs. The new online home entertainment service will replace the need of a personal computer with technology embedded in an LG networked player. Once the LG product becomes available, more than 7 million Netflix subscribers will be able to watch movies streamed from the Netflix Web site on their large-screen home theatre HDTVs, in addition to the current capability of watching movies instantly on their PCs. That’s all for one monthly fee, although it remains unclear how much the set-top box will cost.
Netflix pioneered online movie rentals in 1997, and now offers a catalogue of more than 90,000 titles on DVD delivered fast through the mail and a growing selection of more than 6,000 familiar movies and TV episodes available instantly over the Internet to members' personal computers or TVs. "Internet to the TV is a huge opportunity. Netflix explored also offering its own Netflix-branded set-top boxes but we concluded that familiar consumer electronics devices from industry leaders like LG Electronics are a better consumer solution for getting the Internet to the TV," said Netflix Founder, Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings.