New details on LG’s movie-streaming tie-up with Netflix, courtesy the Wall Street Journal: In September, LG will start shipping a Blu-ray player that also supports Netflix Internet movie streams, for “well under $500.” More good news: Buyers won’t just be locked in to Netflix’s (NFLX) limited streaming content — the device will also be able to access “other forms of programming from other sources.”
The companies announced their deal in early January, but didn’t offer many details on the device they’d offer. Now that Blu-ray has won the next-gen movie format war, it makes sense that a Blu-ray player would be the basis for LG’s Netflix box. This is, so far, the only non-PC device that’ll be able to play all three types of Netflix content — DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and Internet streams.
How well will it do? That depends on pricing, of course. If “well under $500” means $199, we think it’ll fly off shelves, and put big pressure on Apple’s (AAPL) Apple TV. If it’s more like $400, it’ll still be a niche, high-end gadget.
Don’t want to spend that much? Netflix streams are also available via a $99 set-top box from Roku, which will also play non-Netflix content later this year; Microsoft will offer Netflix streams to its Xbox 360 video game console owners who also subscribe to one of its Xbox Live packages. And Netflix promises a fourth deal, soon, too — we expect it will be for an Internet-connected TV.
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