Netflix has made yet another move in the changing distribution game to make sure it stays relevant and useful to customer desires. The company announced that beginning in 2008, customers will be able to view movies available through their “Watch Now” service on select LG Electronics TV sets, but using a set-top box. The deal transforms Netflix from a DVD rental company more fully into a movie distribution platform, which is the goal everyone in the space should have.
While I love this idea, TechCrunch is right in saying the appeal of this service will be limited until more hardware manufacturers jump on board. It’s also right that this feature will likely not be the deciding factor in buying an LG set, just a nice feature that happens to be there. Silicon Alley Insider has a good list of questions about the partnership and that attending service. Andrew and ReelPop is a bit more bullish on the service, acknowledging the shortcomings but also calling it a gamechanger in the industry.
Interestingly, download service CinemaNow has struck a deal with Macrovision that aims for just the sort of multi-device interoperability people find lacking in Netflix’s announcement. The deal would make downloads viewable on a range of devices, from TVs to portable units and more.
The game keeps changing as we move into the new year.