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July 31, 2008

LG Announces Combined Blu-Ray, Streaming Video Player

One of the reasons pundits thought that Sony's victory in the HD media war was Pyhrric had to do with streaming video.  There are options out there, such as Apple TV, the Xbox Extender, Amazon's Unbox, the Media PC, and probably others of which I'm not thinking.  So, instead of competing with Sony's Blu-Ray, why not combine a competing service with a Blu-Ray player?  That's what LG is doing with a new model of Blu-Ray player.  They offer streaming video from Netflix as a feature of the player, though as of now, the stream is not hi-def.  Sony can't be thrilled about this.  It's one thing to put a box in someone's home, but using that box to offer an alternative to the hi-def media experience will cannibalize sales of discs.  Is someone really going to pay $20 on up for media that they may watch twice, if that?  Preview on Netflix, and then decide if the content is worth owning.  It's great marketing if you're in the streaming video business, not so great if you're in the disc artifact business.  It also means one less device in the consumer living room for the same functionality.

The service uses a broadband connection for the stream.  The only thing that can put a crimp in this model is for the service providers to start metering Internet access, as Time Warner and other providers (AT&T?) are starting to examine as an option.  Interesting to see how this plays out, what with IP networks serving up their own media offerings.  Look for LG's new Blu-Ray player later on this year.

More from Information Week.  [MG]

July 31, 2008 | Permalink

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Comments

Honestly, I think we'll see many more manufacturers following suit and adding a streaming service to their blu-ray players. If they can't keep people from using it, after all, then they have no choice but to try and take some of that market for themselves.

Posted by: Blu-ray Disc Player | Sep 22, 2008 9:39:54 PM

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