As Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings promised Monday during the company’s earnings call, more deals are coming to bring his on-demand movie streaming service to more gadgets. The latest: Two $399 Samsung Blu-ray players, which will soon be able to stream Netflix’s smallish selection of “watch instantly” movies. (With an Internet connection and Netflix subscription.)
This is good news for Netflix as it goes up against Apple (AAPL), the cable industry, and others in the race to connect your living room TV to the Internet — more distribution is better. But neither this deal nor Netflix’s similar LG Blu-ray distribution deal should move the needle much for Netflix this year. At $400, Blu-ray players are still too expensive for most budgets. Check back when they’re half as much.
Potentially more promising: “The companies also plan to work on integrating Netflix’s Internet service into other electronics products they didn’t name,” the WSJ notes. If those are HDTVs — which consumers are buying — that’s smart.
In addition to Samsung and LG Blu-ray players, Netflix subscribers can stream movies to their TVs via a $99 box from Roku, and soon, via Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360, assuming they subscribe to a premium ($50/year) Xbox Live service.