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Television Media Technology

LG High-Def TVs To Stream Netflix Videos 190

DJAdapt writes to tell us that LG has launched a new line of high definition TVs that will be capable of streaming Netflix videos with no additional hardware. This is just another in a long line of expansions from the once DVD rental service, which has expanded to the Roku set top box, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, and Linux platforms recently. "Piping movies directly to TV sets is the natural evolution of the video streaming service, said Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix. "The TV symbolizes the ultimate destination," he said. That idea -- shared by Sony Corp., which already streams feature films and TV shows directly to its Bravia televisions -- is still in its early stages. Netflix's streaming service taps a library of 12,000 titles, while the company's DVD menu numbers more than 100,000 titles. Hastings expects that gap will "definitely narrow" over time, but he noted that DVDs maintain an advantage over streaming, which is that "they are very profitable" for film studios."
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LG High-Def TVs To Stream Netflix Videos

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  • ...and TiVo HD (Score:5, Informative)

    by HaeMaker ( 221642 ) on Monday January 05, 2009 @01:30PM (#26331839) Homepage

    don't forget TiVo HD and Series 3.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hansamurai ( 907719 )

      or the Xbox 360. My wife and I have using Blockbuster the last two years for our movies and our switching to Netflix because of the streaming service (just got a 360 for Christmas). The only thing we're losing is the ability to trade our mailed DVDs in at the store for real rentals. Though we didn't do that often, what's the point of going to the store when they're mailed to us anyway?

      Soon it will be what's the point of going to the mailbox when I can stream it. Though the current selection is not that

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        what's the point of going to the store when they're mailed to us anyway?

        You don't want to wait for the mail.

        I have netflix, and I've been known to fo to Blockbuster and rent a movie from time to time because I require instant gratification. I have to know what happens next in the series. I've also watched my movies and then had a friend that wanted to come over and watch a movie. In this situation, I've gone to rent a movie. Waiting for the mail was not a valid option to solve my wants.

        • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Monday January 05, 2009 @04:07PM (#26334185)

          I found that switching to decaf is an alternative solution.

          • Maybe, But I still don't think it's going to solve my desire to watch the next episode when I just finished disk 4 of 5 on Friday night and I know I wont get another disk until Tuesday.

            (Happens more often then I'd like)
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by mattack2 ( 1165421 )

              Seems like using a few of your DVD slots for the next couple DVDs of the series would help alleviate that.

              • I still prefer to get DVD's from Netflix.

                Sure, it might not solve the 'instant gratification' thing...but, since I can "back up" copies of the dvd's for Netflix (you know, in case they have an emergency and lose much of their inventory)...I can enjoy the shows much longer, while still having new ones come in.


    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MBCook ( 132727 )

      I've been using it quite a bit on my S3 lately (most recently I've been watching Amazing Stories season 1) and I must say I really like it. It's capable of very high quality video (I get almost full quality according to their little display, it looks like HD to me).

      I only have two complaints about it. The first is it seems a little buggy. At times when I finish watching something instead of going back to the Netflix menu I'll be booted back to the main TiVo menu. Most of the bugs seem to be something like

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by HaeMaker ( 221642 )

        About 'Instant Queue', it's a security feature. They want you to queue your movies by logging into your account, because they assume you might attach your neighbor's TiVo to the service, but not share your NetFlix account details with them.

        • About 'Instant Queue', it's a security feature. They want you to queue your movies by logging into your account, because they assume you might attach your neighbor's TiVo to the service, but not share your NetFlix account details with them.

          Sounds quite logical.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by causality ( 777677 )

          About 'Instant Queue', it's a security feature. They want you to queue your movies by logging into your account, because they assume you might attach your neighbor's TiVo to the service, but not share your NetFlix account details with them.

          This makes me think of security in general (not just this example of how NetFlix protects their own interests) and how it will apply to this arrangement.

          This is the second paragraph of the fine article:

          In a partnership to be announced Monday, LG Electronics will start selling high-definition TV sets that stream Netflix videos directly from the Internet, without an additional device. The deal marks the first time Netflix's streaming service will be embedded in a television.

          A TV that has a network connect

          • A TV that has a network connection and can use TCP/IP to stream video from NetFlix can also be attacked over the network.

            Not very easily, as it doesn't require the TV to have a public IP address. In addition, it doesn't require the TV to have any TCP ports listening at all.

            So, the only way to attack it would be to spoof a packet from the steaming server. Getting the right sequence number plus the right port for a given source IP address (probably a firewall/router) so that you even have a chance to inject something is pretty tough. Then, there has to be a useful vulnerability in the software on the TV.

        • by Specter ( 11099 )

          I doubt that's the reason: you've already got an account with TiVo, so it would be trivial to compare the account ownership data between the two services and spot fraud.

          On top of that I don't believe your Watch Instantly queue is per device; you've only got one as far as I can tell and so from a practical aspect your selections would be intermixed with your neighbor's. I'm sure a lot of folks would find that annoying enough to not share the service.

      • by ivan256 ( 17499 )

        I've been using it on my S3 a lot lately too..

        I'll probably cancel my Netflix subscription after the second month.

        The two big problems.... Selection... There's not a lot of good stuff that is streamable. When there is good stuff, it's only available for a limited time.

        Quality... The quality blows. I get full quality based on the little meter that comes up on the screen. I would liken the quality to VHS, except that instead of analog noise you get digital compression and motion artifacts. I know that these d

        • by Specter ( 11099 )

          We've had good luck with our quality. If it's available in HD we usually are able to display it as such. (40 in. Samsung 1080p.) It's very dependent on the network though so evenings are not always the best time to get great quality due to network congestion.

          Older TV shows and movies not recorded in HD have displayed artifacts or 'upconverted' SD quality, but I pretty much expected that given the source material. I only rarely get the motion artifacts and so far I've not see any motion artifacts when the

    • Also don't forget that PC streaming isn't new. I've been using it for over a year. I suppose the other things in that list are, but PC streaming isn't.
  • Linux? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smartin ( 942 ) on Monday January 05, 2009 @01:31PM (#26331851)
    Is this available or does the poster mean Tivo?
    • In Linux I've been running a Windows VM via Sun's VirtualBox to stream netflix. Unfortunately it's not HD yet (even in native Windows), but it gets the job done. It's a bit overkill to need a VM to stream netflix, but I have to admit VirtualBox is pretty sweet.

      • Same here. Its the only thing I use VirtualBox or Windows for. What a huge waste of disk space. I'd be happy if my PS3 would stream it or my Linux laptop.
    • Re:Linux? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <atd7&cornell,edu> on Monday January 05, 2009 @02:23PM (#26332597) Homepage

      Many news articles about Netflix moving to Silverlight were titled, with "Mac and Linux" in the article title, but at that point (and still), the Silverlight version of the Watch Instantly service supports only Windows and MacOS, not Linux. Linux support was planned but no news on that yet - in theory Monolight provides Silverlight support under Linux but I wouldn't be surprised if the DRM component were missing.

      Interestingly enough the Flash-based system used by CBS and Hulu has no DRM (other than some rudimentary anti-ripping features) but the studios still seem to be OK. As a result they work in Linux... Sort of. Flash under Linux has insanely high system requirements for video playback. My old desktop (which is now my HTPC) can't playback directly via the site (incredibly choppy), but if I rip the video on another machine (as I said, rudimentary anti-rip), it plays back happily in mplayer on the aforementioned Athlon XP 2800 machine.

      Ripping is a pain in the butt, I wish I could just playback directly on that machine. Hulu's commercials are minimally intrusive.

      • by Nurgled ( 63197 )
        Novell's build of Moonlight ships with licenced Windows Media support in the form of binary blobs, which was intended to allow DRMed video content to be used on Linux via Silverlight. I don't know whether it does in practice because I've never actually encountered a site that uses Silverlight for streaming video other than the handful of demos on the Silverlight site.
  • I wish Netflix would make their video streaming be integrated into Windows Media Center (and MythTV while they're at it). They already have in-browser working so it should be relatively trivial to make a plugin app. They're already spending so much money and attention on the set top boxes and now this.

    • I wish they'd make the XBox360 streaming option much more robust.

      Currently you're limited to one Watch It Now Queue and can only view movies on the Queue. So you can't even browse their selection for something on the XBox.

      There is also no "Favorites" Section to save movies to in case you want to watch again another time.

      It might be nice to have random or suggested movies displayed and ratable for you as well, right on your TV.

      The Quality of video is however much better than I can get any of my other comput

    • I wish Sony would abandon their silly roll-their-own video service and offer this via the PS3.
      • I wish Sony would abandon their silly roll-their-own video service and offer this via the PS3.

        After winning the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD format war, Sony will probably be worse than ever now.

        Which reminds me, over the holidays I was unable to copy the pictures off a relative's camera because she has a Sony, which uses their Memory Stick instead of the nearly ubiquitous SD card. Domo arigato, Sony.

  • A good idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dadamh ( 1441475 )
    Though it seems a bit silly to integrate this feature into the TV itself, streaming movies is a good idea. Even aside from the ease of use and general appeal to a fairly large portion of the populace, it's a step towards abolishing some of the older business models that exist.

    Integrating into the TV also helps sign on those folks who just aren't savvy enough to hook up DVD players or other external devices.

    • The TV supports the DRM scheme used. It's going to be *that much harder* to put some box in between the TV and the servers in order to capture, rip, and copy the movie.

      That's why this is important. Before, TVs were just dumb display devices. Now that most have firmware instead of just solid state circuits (hell my parents TV has a bootup sound) this sort of thing is possible.

      The push to having every little device do everything is that these days devices start out obeying their creators instead of their owners. Eventually many devices end up being Freed or at least placed more under consumer control, but it'll be a harder effort for consumers to hack everything all at once.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dadamh ( 1441475 )
        While I can see where you are coming from, in a reactionist YRO sorta way, there is something odd about complaining about inability to copy a rented film. You aren't even talking about making a legal backup of a movie you own, you are talking about outright theft (duplication not being theft aside). I don't think having some DRM on a movie that is inherently rented is exactly a bad idea. I agree that purchased hard copies (CDs, DVDs, Games) should be copyable, but whining because you can't copy a rented
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by deraj123 ( 1225722 )

          That didn't look to me like an argument that he wanted to copy a rented film - it looked like an explanation of why it better suited the providers to do it that way.

          Personally, I want my TV to be a dumb display device because I want to be able to control the "experience". I would prefer to have my own "set top box" that runs my own software, consumes services that I pay for, and outputs to whatever sort of viewing device I choose (whether this is a TV, or my stereo, or my computer screen, or a projector

        • I kinda got the same impression. Then I was thinking, if you had a netflix subscription what would the point of copying be? You could stream the same movie over and over and not pay a cent more.
      • That's why this is important. Before, TVs were just dumb display devices. Now that most have firmware instead of just solid state circuits (hell my parents TV has a bootup sound) this sort of thing is possible.

        And since just about every DRM system to date has been broken, we'll expect the TV will be doing Internet-based firmware upgrades. Until LG loses interest in the model, and then it'll just stop being supported by Netflix.

        This is the most dangerous part: the TV you buy today, expecting it might last 1

  • DVDs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Monday January 05, 2009 @01:40PM (#26331969)

    but he noted that DVDs maintain an advantage over streaming, which is that "they are very profitable" for film studios

    And you can hold them and touch them, resell them, and duplicate them for safekeeping, and you can play them a thousand times without having to engage a "service." They are property. How is this latest innovation any different from the old Divx?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by badasscat ( 563442 )

      And you can hold them and touch them, resell them, and duplicate them for safekeeping, and you can play them a thousand times without having to engage a "service." They are property. How is this latest innovation any different from the old Divx?

      Uh, what? You realize we're talking about a rental service here, right? And one that's been fairly successful? (And by that I mean actually profitable?)

      • I'm comparing netflix to DVDs, not Netflix Instant Queue to Netflix by mail.
        • by fm6 ( 162816 )

          For a lot of people (including me), "DVDs" means "DVD rentals". We're the people who don't watch the same movies over and over, so it makes no sense for us to buy DVDs.

          For us non-buyers, watching online is a lot more convenient than waiting for Netflix to deliver a DVD or searching for the DVD in video stores. If all the movies I wanted to watch were available online, I probably wouldn't even own a DVD player. Or it would be unplugged most of the time, the way my VCR is.

          If owning DVDs is what you want, fine

          • If owning DVDs is what you want, fine. But not everybody wants what you want.

            Not everyone does, but a majority of people who own a DVD player own at least some DVD's. Most people rent some too, but they still buy at least some movies.

            So while your point is true, it hardly invalidates his argument.

          • I never said I wanted it or represented as much, though I do, because I think if you hold the work of filmmakers in such low regard that you never make an effort to possess a copy of their work, you can expect the Netflix jukebox to eternally hand you a rotating collection of mildly-satisfying trash, essentially completing the transition of high entertainment to the pr0n business model. Making movies inexpensive and un-ownable is just a way for the distributors to ease you into paying for bad movies, becau

          • "For us non-buyers, watching online is a lot more convenient than waiting for Netflix to deliver a DVD or searching for the DVD in video stores. If all the movies I wanted to watch were available online, I probably wouldn't even own a DVD player. Or it would be unplugged most of the time, the way my VCR is."

            Ok...just curious, why would you unplug your VCR or DVD player???

    • by MBCook ( 132727 )
      I think they meant that comparison for people who are interested in renting a movie, not purchasing a movie.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hodar ( 105577 )

      I use this service, and I love it.

      I subscribe to the cheapest program they have, I get 1 DVD at a time - which with several Redbox units nearby, is really not that big of a deal.

      However, I can que up 50 or so movies from my account that I 'might' want to watch on my XBox. Like, seasons 1-4 of The Office. I watch each episode when I want, no rental, no return, no hassles. The quality was about the same as watching a VHS tape player when I had 4 Mbps internet service, and improved remarkabaly when I upgrad

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      This replaces renting. Legally you can not copy or resell NetFlix disks.
      Of course I wonder if anybody has studies just how many NetFlix DVDs are copied?

    • Re:DVDs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mr_matticus ( 928346 ) on Monday January 05, 2009 @02:07PM (#26332369)

      How is this latest innovation any different from the old Divx?

      Because there is no waste--no physical medium, no risk of damage before being able to watch. There is also no time limit. You can stream any title as long as it is available.

      And you can hold them and touch them, resell them, and duplicate them for safekeeping, and you can play them a thousand times without having to engage a "service."

      There are drawbacks to everything. Yes, you can hold and touch DVDs, which means you can lose and break them (and even with backups, you still have to be able to prove legitimate possession). You can resell them, yes, but you also have to pay a one-time fixed amount for production and higher distribution cost, as well as wait for them to arrive (or leave your home to acquire them), and buy them individually at the same price, whether you want to watch it twice or two hundred times. You can play them until you damage, sell, or lose them--but you also need a player that will break down or become obsolete.

      On the other hand, with digital subscription services, you can watch a huge library of titles at any time on any compatible player (which Netflix is expanding). Sure, they also save quite a bit of money and the enjoyment of the service is dependent on the existence of both the service and Internet connectivity. Connections are insufficient to match BD quality. The library of tiles kind of sucks (much like BD!). But many of the big drawbacks are a result of newness.

      Yes, streaming systems will likely always have some kind of DRM to prevent reproduction, and will require an ongoing account. But if you can play any one of tens of thousands of films on screens small and large, there's no actual need to "own" any slice of the content.

      Selling limited-rights copies was a compromise to get people to pay for productions that cost more than theater sales could recoup, and where customers wanted to see films after the theater run. The studios need to run a business, the artists need money to produce their works, and consumers want to be entertained. In the 20th century, there was no real way for consumers to get value except by owning a limited-rights copy (essentially derived from a regular shareholder investment scheme, where the profit is entertainment instead of monetary profit). In the 21st century, there's no longer a need for a physical object to achieve this, and since consumers never owned any of the intellectual rights to begin with, there's no longer anything left worth "owning" for the consumer.

      You're paying to bring the theater home. For the price of a DVD a month, you get access to thousands of films. You get quite a bit more, but there's no free lunch. Something's gotta give, and in this case, that's persistence of ownership. Some other system has to be created for true fair use (e.g. an online service available at public libraries that allows you to export clips of films to DRM-free digital files) and personal use (e.g. iTunes-style CD burning for mixes and syncing to portable devices).

    • And you can hold them and touch them, resell them, and duplicate them for safekeeping, and you can play them a thousand times without having to engage a "service." They are property. How is this latest innovation any different from the old Divx?

      It has nothing to do with the kind of morons who believe people want to buy the movies they'd rather rent.

  • No thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday January 05, 2009 @01:41PM (#26331983) Journal

    These integrated devices are never a good idea. Go all the way back to VCR/TV combos. What do you do when the VCR breaks? Throw the whole thing out and get a new one. What do you do with this thing when you cancel netflix and get service from another provider? At the very least you'll have to get a new set top box, which you should have done at first anyway. This is just one more complex and expensive component on an already expensive and complex piece of technology.

    AV components should be like UNIX tools. Do one thing and do it well. My TV should display video and that's it. If I want to stream video to it, I'll get a device that can do so. XBMC, AppleTV, whatever PVR my cable company has, etc.

    • Re:No thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Monday January 05, 2009 @01:49PM (#26332107) Homepage

      On the surface I agree. I think we've all used those combo devices where one part of the combo was failed.

      However if my TV already has all the necessary power to do the job and all it needs is a little software, I'm all for it.

      Take my TiVo Series 3. It does Amazon Unbox and Netflix streaming. It already has all the hardware it needs due to it's other purpose (DVR). There is no reason not to include the feature if people want it and the device is capable of it. If it's only an extra $50 on this TV, I'd be in (if I didn't already have my S3).

      Also, don't forget, that the problem with the devices you mentioned is usually hardware going bad (like the tape mechanism). In these cases where it's all CPU and RAM they shouldn't have much of a failure rate at all, and it's not effected by use (where VCRs are more likely to fail the more they are used).

      • They won't break like moving-part devices, but on the other hand, I highly doubt these beefy, net-connected TVs will have much in the way of software security. TV botnets, anyone?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If the VCR breaks and you throw the whole thing out then you're an idiot. Whats stopping you from buying an extra external VCR? Similarly here, you could buy an extra set top box, there's nothing stopping you from doing that. Personally I think this is neat. This is for people like me who want stuff integrated. We'll pay the extra for doohickies with these features and you can pay less for those without.
      I really don't get what you're bitching about.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tgd ( 2822 )

      Some people like to live in houses with better design sense than a 80's-chic man-cave black entertainment center tower with 12 big black ugly devices all blinking lights into the room.

      While this seems a little extreme since the odds are very low that someone using this wouldn't have a DVR box (which is a better place for it), the desire to get rid of components is something I completely understand now that I have tried to live in a house that isn't decorated in "college bachelor pad chic".

  • How much data can the TV buffer? I already have a problem with the occaisional pauses while streaming HD video to my PC 'cause my network connection sucks... I suspect it would be even more annoying while having friends over to watch on the big screen. Does the TV have a hard drive, so that it can buffer the entire movie ahead of time?
    • Netflix never buffers the whole movie ahead of time - not even on the PC. On the PC you can usually at least move forward or back about +/- 10 minutes. On xbox 360 if you FF or rewind at all it has to re-buffer. I'm guessing the experience on the LG will be similar to the 360.
    • I hope they don't use a hard drive - too complex, expensive, noisy, power-hogging, and prone to failure. Consider that an 8GB flash - more than enough to buffer an entire DVD - is under $20.
  • Boxee (as I finally garnered an invite) does not stream netflix movies on linux. It relies on Silverlight 2.0 support which is not in Moonlight. The previous stories about this were based on badly worded blogs.

  • do you get the videos into the TV in the first place to allow it to then stream them.
  • (this is based on using it on my 360...)

    at least in terms of "name" movies.

    There is a wealth of stuff like old tv shows, documentaries, etc, but in terms of recent movies that you missed in theaters, forget it. Its not going to be there 95% of the time. You'd have better luck selecting their instant movies as a search item and hope there's something there you want to see.

    In terms of video quality... its not great. I have a pretty good connection (okay, the fastest that is offered in my area in terms of D

    • by dangerz ( 540904 )
      I stream it on the 360 and I've gotten HD. The OP is right in that the selection is skimpy, but I'm on the $9 a month plan so I'm not complaining. I don't have cable or anything so I usually just throw a random movie on that I've never seen. I hope that they start porting more and more movies over. I rarely even use the dvd option of netflix.
  • by Hodar ( 105577 ) on Monday January 05, 2009 @02:05PM (#26332345)

    So many comments, so many people who have not tried this feature.

    When the XBox 360 update came out, I was one of the first to download it. After the download, I saw the Netflix feature and decided to try the free 30 day offer. I opened my account on my PC, selected a host of movies to stream (Heros seasons 1-3, The Office seasons 1-4, Logans Run, Kelly's Heroes, ect.) and finished the setup with my XBox.

    There is some buffering done, I don't know how much is buffered whether it's 3 seconds or 10 minutes - don't know. I do know that my cable ISP had my limit set at 4 Mbps, so almost every time I would watch 2 minutes, then be alerted that my cable speed had 'slowed' so the download was changing to support my lower cable speed. Usually, this wasn't really visually obvious (I have a 120" HD 1080p projector) - the picture quality was what one would expect on an over-the-air antenna. Not great, but certainly watchable.

    I later upgraded to a 6 Mbps internet package, and the picture improvement did improve. Sometimes I'd say that it was comparable to a DVD, other times more like a good VHS tape. All in all, viewable by any person who doesn't want to whine about non-Blu-Ray quality.

    On my screen, the picture was perfectly acceptable. I wouldn't keep Netflix around if it weren't for the streaming video. I get UNLIMITED streaming with the lowest package they offer (~$8/month). The movie selection on streaming is extensive enough that when there isn't anything to watch on my Dish - I keep myself perfectly content watching something from the 10,000 movie selection. The contents do change every couple of months - so there is always a variety of stuff to stream.

    Is it better than owning the DVD? yes and no. No, the quality isn't always as good as a DVD. But, yes in that a great deal of what I watch are movies I wouldn't be interested in buying and storing. Some movies are watched simply because they are 'classics' and you need not own them. Like "Logan's Run", "Clockwork Orange", the original "Omega Man" - for me, watching them once every 'x' years is often enough.

    • Is it better than owning the DVD?

      Obviously the answer is no, because you don't own the movie. This is not an attempt at replacing the home dvd market. It's and attempt at improving the home dvd rental market.

      • As things go digital the concept of ownership begins to slip away because it requires something to be physical in representation and not easily duplicated (DVDs are easily ripped, so they truly are not just a physical representation), so maybe replacing your at home DVD collection is precisely what may occur at some point in the future.
        • I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see DVD/Physical Media ownership as we know it disappear.

          *insert buggy whip comment*
      • The answer isn't OBVIOUSLY no. Owning the DVD can be worse because you pay a higher rate and aren't guaranteed that it will work forever (if it breaks or gets stolen when you've only watched it once or twice, you are actually worse off than renting). Likewise, if you only watch it once in the first year or two, you might be better off renting it at first and then picking up the DVD if it moves down to a discounted price.

        So there are just a couple examples where owning isn't obviously better. That's the prob

      • by tzhuge ( 1031302 )

        err... if they're apples and oranges, and you want to know if the orange is better than the apple...

        Obviously the answer is no, because the orange is not an apple, and the orange is really an orange?

  • From the article (Score:4, Insightful)

    by internerdj ( 1319281 ) on Monday January 05, 2009 @02:10PM (#26332411)
    "Tim Alessi, director of product development for LG Electronics USA, said the broadband TVs will sell for roughly $200 to $300 more than a regular HDTV set."
    So let me get this straight. I can get a Roku for $99 that I can move between TV sets, offers more than just netflix for $100-200 less than this? I guess not having another box on my entertainment center would make my wife happy, but really what is having another box, especially as small as the Roku?
  • It woulg be cool if they could stream video with no additional hardware... Does the TV contain its own satellite aerial? Or does it use IP over power lines?

  • What I don't understand is why no TV manufacturer has put in a video buffer. Ram is cheap and you could pause/FF/RW live tv rather easily. Especially with HD sets.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dangerz ( 540904 )
      Someone probably owns a patent for it and they dont want to pay.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      HUH? My old RCA scenium HD set has had this for 4 years.

      Install the Firewire HD10 add on and now I can pause any digital TV channel I am watching. I can easily extract the video from the hard drive if I want it.

      I'm guessing that most dont because they hate their customers and love DRM.

  • that the movie selection is mostly crummy. A few diamonds in the rough ("No Country for Old Men" is in there), but the selection is nowhere near as broad as the DVD service. I guess that the licensing fees are to high for them to stream just the good movies.

    To me, that makes the LG-Netflix-o-box not nearly as desirable.

  • Awesome (Score:2, Interesting)

    by man_ls ( 248470 )

    I was concerned for a while about how Netflix would handle the transition from media being consumed primarily on disc, to being consumed over a network. It looks like they're handling the change extremely well.

    What I'd absolutely love to see would be the protocol used to do the streaming to be released, and for there to be some sort of option in the TV's set up to specify your own server if you're so inclined. Then, the TV could stream movies from your computer by itself.

  • XBox 360 streaming requires a monthly "Gold" subscription fee from Microsoft, who provides nothing in this situation but the hardware I've already paid for. Great. Looks like I won't be subscribing to Netflix this year, either.
  • Meh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Monday January 05, 2009 @02:38PM (#26332839) Journal

    I just got a Roku for Xmas, and I'm quite pleased with it.

    Frankly, I prefer my hardware modular. I understand the appeal of having "all in one" boxes, but if I have a DVD player, and a monitor, I'd rather they be SEPARATE (at least insofar as the separation doesn't impair quality) so I can upgrade/replace parts as needed.

    And FWIW: "...Netflix's streaming service taps a library of 12,000 titles..." of which about 11,900 are truly SUCKY MOVIES.

    Most of the good ones are STARZ-licensed, meaning they are only available for as long as they are up on the STARZ network, meaning a handful of months at most.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my Netflix, and I really like Roku (lots of good TV stuff there), but don't for a minute think 12,000 movies means anything close to 12,000 GOOD movies you want to watch.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Personally I rarely use the Netflix streaming service. Even though I have a 5/30mbps internet service, the movies often stutter or drop frames, the playback often stops to rebuffer (usually at a lower quality level) or just simply quits, and Netflix doesn't offer 5.1 surround sound in the download stream. The movies quality is also not nearly as good as what I get from my upconverting DVD player.

      Couple that with a sucky selection of titles and there just isn't any attraction. If this is the world of online

      • I have the 5/20mbit FiOS service and I have not seen a single glitch. I have a bridge between my network and the ONT and it can see that the "HD" movies burst up to 10-11mbit/s. The stream seems to go in bursts. I'm guessing that it fills up the buffer in the Ruko and requests another block when it frees up space. I never see this stop and go streaming in the playback.

        This wasn't the case when I was running on my 1.5mbit DSL connection. It appeared to be a continuous stream -- at much lower quality. A

  • the first company to interface AppleTV directly into a TV system. As nice as NetFlix is for rental, I think the first TV manufacturer to team up with AppleTV might be able to make quite the profit here. I mean, renting is nice, but for those that love their TV series, having the option to purchase a tv series and watch it whenever you like, without going through a rental tpye of device, well, that would just be neat.

    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

      I'm waiting for the opposite: I usually watch a TV show only once, and I'm not gonna pay 1.99$ per episode for that. Even with season passes, it's way more expensive than a satellite dish or cable.

    • Took me a second, but I get your question, and it's a good one.

      Personally, if the entire TV-iverse were to go to the model, I'd be pretty happy. I have occasions where I want to watch something, like an old ST:TOS or Bab5 or whatever - and I don't want - nor see the sense - in either renting it or buying the DVD set, because it will eventually come around again on broadcast TV.

      When a good show comes around via broadcast, I buffer it and skip commercials. They're too many of them, and they're just

  • Dumb Devices (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ohio Calvinist ( 895750 ) on Monday January 05, 2009 @03:01PM (#26333219)
    TVs have always been one of the most reliable appliances in ones homes specifically because they don't have updatable components and had "better be right" out the door. Firmware upgrading has allowed companies selling hardware to control what users do with their devices, prohibit legal modification, introduce poorly developed products with a promise that 1.1 will be better, and introduce planned obselescence when 2.0 requires hardware rev. 2.0. HDTV has already had a hard enough time gaining widespread adoption in the US; the single most TV obsessed nation with a high per-capita income in the world. One of the few things that inspire consumer confidence is that TVs are built-to-last and they are a zero-maintainence piece of equipment. Even a stove requires more maintainence.

    Most folks I know have the ugly wooden console set that is almost 25 years old, and won't replace it until it breaks or bit the bullet on a 27"-32" when their console died. They aren't going to go out and drop $2,000 for a set that has feature X,Y,Z to have features suddenly drop because Sony or Universal decide to take their ball and go home; or have it bricked by a hack programmer trying to patch a DRM flaw before his boss fires him because Big Content is going to walk if they don't fix it.

    They should work with cable/sat providers to include the software in their boxes because most folks have digital cable or satellite and need some kind of reciever box anyway, and other than the TiVo loyal; the market has proven folks would much rather rent than buy these boxes, and if bricked they can take it back to their Cable Co for a new one and let them worry about getting it fixed. I would think this would only drive acceptance of PPV purchases for those not on NetFix yet if people can be swayed from the physical media and/or physical video store habit of entertainment. This way no TVs are harmed or depreciated while those displays still work, and I can let the provider worry about getting the content to my screen... whatever that form takes or changes in the 10-20 I've got this display.
  • When I bought my ROKU, I was just about to purchase HBO from Time Warner because I couldn't find anything good to watch on TV. Granted, ROKU/Netflix has a limited selection, but its enough to get by. As content gets better and the masses start going to steaming video, the cable companies get positioned as bit slingers and cut out of the middle of the content cash flow. I'm all for that after the high subscription fees I've paid for crap, but Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon and others are not going to stand
  • No, people's brains are the ultimate destination. I doubt anyone would want to stream a movie to a TV when no one, not even a dog, is at home.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972