Getting a jump on CES, Blu-ray player maker LG said it has reached content deals with CinemaNow and YouTube.
The online video sources will join Netflix movies on LG disc players to be released in the first half of the year. Netflix already provides movies through LG’s network BD300 player (pictured).
CinemaNow brings premium (pay per view) content from most major studios and TV networks. YouTube, of course, offers a sea of user-generated content, how-to vids, vintage clips and curios. Netflix’s streaming content includes a lot of catalog fare at no additional cost to subscribers.
Netflix and CinemaNow already provide high-definition movies and TV shows; YouTube has been experimenting with HD for almost a year and recently went to wider screen sizes to accommodate the content.
LG’s move makes sense, as consumers continue to seek good reasons to upgrade to Blu-rays over DVDs. The high-definition format pleases videophiles and others who don’t mind sinking bucks into home entertainment, but the lower-cost DVDs continue to meet the needs of most consumers, market research shows.
The added functionality also would lower consumer resistance to yet another black box in the viewing room.
Samsung also has bundled the Netflix streaming video channel with a pair of Blu-ray units.
Similar moves by, say, Sony or Panasonic would open a new front in the home electronics wars, although many Blu-ray manufacturers seem to have their hands full trying to ensure the format’s discs work in their players.
Consumer confusion would be another sticking point for the combo Blu-ray and streaming video players.
“With these new alliances, LG continues its innovation leadership by allowing consumers easy access to multiple entertainment options in one device,” said Tim Alessi of LG Electronics USA, faithfully delivering your canned quote of the day.
CinemaNow recently was bought by Sonic Solutions. It has focused on delivering content via consumer electronics via deals with TiVo, DivX, ARCHOS, Dell, EchoStar Communications, Hewlett-Packard, Macrovision, Microsoft, Samsung and Technicolor.