January 9th, 2009 -- by Tom Martin
Not all of this is news from CES, but the trend to integrated video-on-demand continued at CES. LG, Panasonic and others all showed products with this feature.
As reported earlier, LG announced built-in Netflix streaming. This should further the adoption of movie downloads.
Here is the full release:
LG ELECTRONICS FIRST TO UNVEIL ‘BROADBAND HDTVs’ THAT INSTANTLY STREAM MOVIES FROM NETFLIX
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. and LOS GATOS, Calif., Jan. 5, 2009 – LG Electronics today extended its groundbreaking partnership with Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), as the two companies announced the first broadband-enabled HDTVs with Netflix streaming software embedded directly in the TV, requiring no external device. LG’s new LCD and plasma “Broadband HDTVs” will display the growing library of movies, TV episodes and high-definition (HD) content that Netflix members can watch instantly directly on the TV with Ethernet connectivity.
Available this spring, the new LCD and plasma HDTVs will join the LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player, the first Blu-ray disc player to stream movies instantly from Netflix. These products – and five new models of Blu-ray Disc players and home theater systems planned for 2009 – will offer consumers a variety of ways to enjoy more than 12,000 choices of movies and TV episodes instantly from Netflix. Netflix members owning one or more of the devices pay as little as $8.99 per month for unlimited instant streaming and unlimited DVDs from a catalog of more than 100,000 DVD titles in more than 200 genres.
LG Electronics and Netflix will demonstrate these broadband HDTVs this week at the 2009 CES®, Booth #8214, Central Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center.
“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. “This is an LG industry-first, which provides another flexible option for consumers seeking to access exciting content directly through their HDTV.”
“LG Electronics was first to embrace Netflix as a streaming partner a year ago, and was first in 2008 to introduce a Blu-ray disc player that streams movies from Netflix,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. “So it’s fitting that LG is the first to introduce Netflix instant streaming directly to the TV with these next-generation HDTVs.”
Netflix began offering its instant streaming functionality on the PC in January 2007 and made the leap to the TV last year via Netflix ready devices such as the LG BD300 Blu-ray disc player. With today’s announcement, Netflix will be streaming, for the first time, directly to the TV with no external device required.
Instantly streaming content from Netflix to the LG HDTVs will rely on a broadband connection and Queue-based user interface. Netflix members will use the Netflix Web site to add movies and TV episodes to their individual instant Queues. Those choices will automatically be displayed on members’ TVs and available to watch instantly through the HDTV. Once selected, movies will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. With the accompanying remote control, Netflix members will be able to browse and make selections right on the TV screen and also have the ability to read synopses and rate movies. In addition, they will have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream.
“The partnership between Netflix and LG Electronics continues to give consumers more and better options for home entertainment,” said Hastings.
Panasonic showed displays supporting Amazon's service:
PANASONIC EXPANDS ITS AWARD WINNING LINE OF VIERA® HDTVs
Enhanced Features and Screen Sizes, Brighter Panels, Deeper Blacks
And Full-Time 1080 TV Lines of Motion Picture Resolution
Highlight 2009 VIERA Plasma and LCD HDTV Product Lines
Las Vegas, NV (January 7, 2009) – Panasonic Corporation of North America (NYSE: PC), the industry leader in high definition Plasma and LCD televisions, introduced its expanded line of VIERA HDTVs at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. Building upon its award winning portfolio of high definition televisions, Panasonic will broaden its offering in 2009 by introducing new screen sizes in both Plasma and LCD lines with a new 54-inch class plasma and 19-inch class LCD. In addition, VIERA will extend its unique technology features, such as the acclaimed VIERA CAST™ web menu, to additional model lines.
VIERA CAST, originally launched in 2008, will broaden its entertainment offering with the addition of Amazon’s VOD streaming video service. Panasonic also extended the prestigious THX® Certified Display to three product lines. With a continuing emphasis on improving the television’s performance and reducing the impact on the planet’s carbon footprint, Panasonic’s 2009 line of VIERA HDTVs have improved their energy efficiency vs. last year’s models, while also improving the overall picture performance of the HDTVs.
Year after year, Panasonic has been dedicated to bringing new picture improving technologies to HDTVs and 2009’s line-up continues that trend. With the digital transition on the horizon and an increased awareness among consumers of high definition, consumers now demand blacker blacks, faster response times and the billions of colors that Panasonic VIERA HDTVs deliver.
In 2008, Panasonic offered one VIERA HDTV series that had innovative internet enabled VIERA CAST feature. In 2009, it will be extended to three series – The Z1 series, the V10 series and the G10 series. In addition to the continuation of such favorite entertainment sites as Google’s YouTube™, Picasa™ Web Album, Bloomberg and weather service; a consumer will now have an access to HD movie rental via Amazon Video-on-Demand. Panasonic has also improved VIERA CAST interface by implementing quick keyword input (like a cell phone) to help retrieve favorite content faster and easier. Panasonic HDTVs VIERA Link - a technology that utilizes HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) and allows a consumer to operate all VIERA Link™ compatible A/V components using only the TV’s remote control and helpful on-screen menus. In addition to operating a VIERA HDTV, video source (Blu-ray and DVD player) and home theater receiver; VIERA Link permits operation of a network camera, ideal for monitoring of a home/nursery*. A VIERA Link capable Network Camera BL-C210A can be connected to a VIERA HDTV and controlled via VIERA Link remote. Users can then watch their child, pet and/or property by installing the camera and networking to the VIERA HDTV via Ethernet cable. The BL-C210A will be available in the United States in the summer of 2009.