The last time LG and Netflix got together, the companies birthed a combo Blu-Ray player and Netflix movie-streaming machine. This time, they're taking it one step further by introducing a line of movie-streaming HDTVs. The broadband plasma and LCDs will come out this spring, and will allow for instant streaming of Netflix movies to anyone with an Internet connection and a couple hours to spare. No need for any outside hardware.
"Embedding the Netflix streaming software in the television is a natural progression of our partnership with Netflix and our innovative product line," said LG Electronics USA President Teddy Hwang in a statement. "This is an LG industry-first, which provides another flexible option for consumers seeking to access exciting content directly through their HDTV."
LG is competing with Sony, who already allows streaming of movies to their Bravia line of TVs, and Apple, whose Apple TV is the most popular media extender right now. It's a crowded field; All these big companies (and a host of others) want to be the provider of Internet content on your TV. It's like the Holy Grail.
While the announcement was only that Netflix was available on these new televisions, I hope the TVs will feature an easy way to watch other Internet streams. I'll get one if I can check out re-runs of Fantasy Island on Hulu, then switch over to Netflix and catch Stupid Teenagers Must Die, and chase it all down with a laughing baby from YouTube... oh, wait, I can already do that on my Xbox 360.
No price has been announced yet, but LG expects the Netflix addition will make your HDTV about $200-300 more expensive. That sounds like a lot, but if you could stop paying for cable or satellite TV altogether, it might be worth it... but would you? Does Internet streaming video provide enough enjoyment to 86 "regular" television forever, or is that a few years off?
For more exciting CES news, check out our CES 2009 coverage!