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LG High-Def TVs To Stream Netflix Videos

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the moving-closer-to-real-on-demand dept.

Television 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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...and TiVo HD (4, Informative)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26331839)

don't forget TiVo HD and Series 3.

Re:...and TiVo HD (3, Informative)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26331941)

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 great, I will admit.

Reading is your friend, you should try it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332141)

You said:

"or the Xbox 360."

The summary clearly said

"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,"

Are you stupid or just oblivious to the article you pretend to be interested in?

Re:...and TiVo HD (2, Informative)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332663)

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.

Re:...and TiVo HD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332797)

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 great, I will admit.

Blockbuster also has a streaming dabba(box )

Re:...and TiVo HD (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332011)

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 this. They don't effect viewing at all, which works perfectly.

The other is the "instant queue". You get your movies from your instant queue. That's all fine and dandy, but I don't care. I want to be able to search for a movie and watch it then. I want to be able to browse the instant selections. I don't want to have to use my laptop to find a movie and add it to my queue to be able to watch it. I understand some devices may be limited in their ability to do something like this, but TiVo clearly has the interface for it. Amazon doesn't need an "instant queue" for UnBox, I can search the whole collection.

Either way, it's an amazing feature. I'm really glad they added it. I just with it had more selection (will come with time) and they had added it earlier (like last year).

All that said, having it in the TV would worry me. It would prevent it from being updated easily (such as on the TiVo). The fact it sounds like it costs extra and requires extra hardware makes me wonder if this is just like the special DVD player some Sony TVs can take that just shows up in their crossbar menu and it's not really a feature of the TV at all.

Re:...and TiVo HD (2, Informative)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332065)

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.

Re:...and TiVo HD (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332325)

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:...and TiVo HD (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332969)

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 connection and can use TCP/IP to stream video from NetFlix can also be attacked over the network. The article is extremely light on any sort of technical details. That makes me wonder how "smart" these TVs will be, how much processing power they have, whether they will make use of an embedded general-purpose OS like Windows CE that could be made to do many things (like participating in a botnet) once a compromise has occurred.

Maybe right now that's not a likely scenario, but wait until this becomes cheaper and more widespread. When everyone or nearly everyone has network-connected appliances we're going to start seeing attacks against them. Those attacks will be largely successful, enough to ensure that malware actively thrives "in the wild", if security is an afterthought. Virus scanners and other removal tools are after-the-compromise damage control only and so they cannot decisively prevent this scenario, no matter how well implemented. This is a chance to learn from the mistakes made with both the culture and implementation of Windows security (I was going to say "PC security" and reconsidered) and avoid the endless "malware vs. antimalware" arms race and the cottage industry that perpetuates it. The only way to do that is to start thinking about this now, from the beginning, and design it that way from the start. That's why it bothers me a bit that I'm not hearing anything about this from the vendors. Anyone who thinks this is absurd or unlikely needs only to look at how quickly digital picture frames were compromised [engadget.com] and used to attack other systems.

I'm not saying that the goal is to have perfectly secure systems. I'm aware that this is a fantasy. What I believe is attainable, though, is to make compromise difficult enough that automated malware cannot thrive in the wild. Building a real security model from the ground up, not as an afterthought now that something's happened, is a good way to do this. Avoiding a monoculture where a single exploit can target tens of millions of machines is another. I think it really would be inexcusable to repeat the mistakes of the past and cause that much grief for that many people when these are no longer new problems that we are facing.

You can count on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26333263)

I'm sure the cracker who infects high def, large screen TV's all over the world with goatse will get mucho cred in that community.

Re:...and TiVo HD (1)

david@ecsd.com (45841) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332433)

I've only monkeyd around with it a little, deciding whether or not it's worth it. So far, it's only sending stuff to me in letterboxed 4:3, and I'm not liking it. It's easier to find a torrent and get the movie that way.

I much prefer Unbox's method of distribution (download it watch it and 24 hours later it deletes itself), but they don't send stuff in hi-def either.

Grumblings aside, I am pretty certain that these companies are coming up with a blue-ray killer, and online distribution for rentals is the way it's going to be in the future.

I feel like a pioneer.

Bad summary, bad! (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332155)

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? (2, Interesting)

smartin (942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26331851)

Is this available or does the poster mean Tivo?

Re:Linux? (1)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332051)

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.

Re:Linux? (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332471)

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? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26333221)

There is software available called PlayOn (http://www.themediamall.com/playon) the will run on Windows and stream Netflix or Hulu.com to a PS3 or Xbox 360

Re:Linux? (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332597)

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.

MCE app please! (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 5 years ago | (#26331917)

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.

Re:MCE app please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26331993)

Where have you been? Check out http://myweb.cableone.net/eluttmann04/projects/vmcNetFlix/default.htm

There are several other projects out there, but this is the most mature.

Re:MCE app please! (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332025)

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 computers connected to my TV and well worth the $50 I spent on Live that I might not have otherwise (already had the Netflix account and the Xbox360).

Re:MCE app please! (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332509)

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

Re:MCE app please! (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333369)

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 (2, Insightful)

Dadamh (1441475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26331947)

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 reason it's integrated into the TV (4, Interesting)

Benanov (583592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332031)

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:The reason it's integrated into the TV (3, Interesting)

Dadamh (1441475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332151)

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 DVD is a bit of a stretch.

Re:The reason it's integrated into the TV (2, Interesting)

deraj123 (1225722) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332377)

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, or some newfangled intercranial content delivery system).

Re:The reason it's integrated into the TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26333025)

If you're going to be a sanctimonious asshole about it, at least call it by the proper name. It's not "theft", it's copyright infringement.

Oh no, not again. (0)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26331951)

Yet another bad idea in the long, sad history of bad ideas.

Why not add in a DivX player too while you're at it?

Now...if the $300 bought me a built in open source DVR and the Netflix gateway was included, I'd be interested.

Re:Oh no, not again. (4, Insightful)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332255)

Yet another bad idea in the long, sad history of bad ideas.

Why not add in a DivX player too while you're at it?

Now...if the $300 bought me a built in open source DVR and the Netflix gateway was included, I'd be interested.

Explain to me why this is a bad idea.

Netflix is about RENTING movies.

They (currently) offer their OnDemand service for as a free bonus to your rental subscription. It's better than the free OnDemand services your cable provider offers.

Until recently, their OnDemand service was only available on PCs using Silverlight. Little-by-little set-top boxes are being released to allow viewing on the TV.

Re:Oh no, not again. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332483)

Because the extra cost becomes a complete waste when Netflix shuts down or changes their site or DRM scheme in a way that's incompatible with the TV?

Re:Oh no, not again. (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332977)

Hopefully DVD streaming services will standardise and any TV will work with any streaming service.

Hopefully that $200-300 extra on the price tag comes with other benefits like a built in hard disk.

Re:Oh no, not again. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332931)

How do I upgrade that little thing inside the TV? I can throw out a roku box and replace it with ultimate roku super HD happy fun time version next year without issues, if I buy LG, I gotta throw out a TV or have it with a useless out of date system in it.

Re:Oh no, not again. (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333195)

You mean like all the TVs that have analog tuners in them?

Don't be a cry baby, I'm pretty sure having it in there isn't going to hurt your future video watching ability, and it's not like it's taking up space.

Re:Oh no, not again. (1)

crabbz (986605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332305)

Why not add in a DivX player too while you're at it?

already announced from samsung! http://www.twice.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA6605719&rssid=84 [twice.com]

Re:Oh no, not again. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332983)

Actually he meant DIVX (all capitals) which is short for DIgital Video Xpress service.

It's a disc like DVD but you rent it rather than own it. When you pull the DIVX disc off your shelf, you can't just play it. Instead you (or your player) call into a central phone number and pay $3 which unlocks the DIVX disc.

They still use the mail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26331967)

They still use the postal service to send you a specialized "on" button for each movie.

They don't charge any late fees on button returns, so it is pretty cool.

DVDs (4, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:DVDs (2, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332015)

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?)

Re:DVDs (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332431)

I'm comparing netflix to DVDs, not Netflix Instant Queue to Netflix by mail.

Re:DVDs (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332949)

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. But not everybody wants what you want.

Re:DVDs (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333337)

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.

Re:DVDs (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332059)

I think they meant that comparison for people who are interested in renting a movie, not purchasing a movie.

Re:DVDs (3, Insightful)

Hodar (105577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332097)

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 upgraded to 6Mbsp cable.

Is it blue ray? Nope. Is it as good as DVD? Depends - some yes, most no. Typically, it's about the same quality as over the air programming - but it's a listing of what I care to watch, when I care to watch it.

If it weren't for this feature, I'd drop Netflix. Streaming movies is so much more convenient than adding movies to my already obscene collection. Some movies you may want to watch 1 or 2x and are not worth buying - this fits this niche perfectly.

Re:DVDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332159)

I believe they're possessions to you and property to the studios

Re:DVDs (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332249)

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 (5, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 5 years ago | (#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).

Re:DVDs (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332403)

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.

Re:DVDs (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332703)

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

It isn't. DivX Discs were about renting, and Netflix is also about renting. There's nothing wrong with that, so long as you still have the option to BUY the movie on DVD or Bluray. If they stopped customers from buying movies, then I'd happily join you in protesting, but that's not the case here.

Re:DVDs (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332779)

It isn't wasteful and insanely misleading (people are dumb). Also, it is probably cheaper.

As someone who doesn't watch many films more than once, I really don't want to pay $10-20 per movie just because you insist that a tangible, owned product is better.

No thank you (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26331983)

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 (1)

Dadamh (1441475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332063)

Your comment would be a bit more relevant if a streaming video codec was anything like a VHS deck. The VHS decks tended to break due to lots of moving parts and little kids jamming toy cars into them. They were a physical aspect and required physical fixes that generally weren't worth the money it would cost to repair. A streaming video codec has no moving parts to speak of, though being similarly susceptible to toy cars, I suppose. Regardless, I see them being a lot less likely to break, and probably a great deal more able to be repaired.

Re:No thank you (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332419)

Software has bugs in it. The more software, the more bugs. Personally, I don't want to have to worry about security updates on my TV. It should be a dumb device, period. If a bug happens in software/firmware, or someone releases a virus, I'd rather replace a bricked $50 set top box than a $500 TV.

Re:No thank you (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332587)

What about his point about tying it to one particular service?

He is right - LG should instead make a TV that speaks a standard streaming protocol, and let various vendors implement it. Of course, then when a new protocol comes out and the TV doesn't support it, you buy a new TV. ugh.

Re:No thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332853)

TV: "W-w-w-what?!"

Jules: "RTSP/RTP, motherfucker! Do you speak it?!?"

TV: "W-what?!?"

Jules: [click] "Say 'what' again!"

Re:No thank you (2, Insightful)

redxxx (1194349) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333357)

Of course, then when a new protocol comes out and the TV doesn't support it, you buy a new TV. ugh.

Codex packaging is already standardized, unless i'm totally mistaken, so there isn't anything preventing them from allowing users from installing their own. They can host some signed ones themselves, and allow users(probably after checking a 'I'm not a clueless retarded' box) to install their own. If they made it simple to reset back to only signed ones, tech support wouldn't be too rough.

Of course, there's a risk of getting malware on your TV, I suppose. Unfriendly codexs exist to some extent, and with each tv being set up identically(and holding sensitive info, eg netflix login) it could make an attractive target.

I wouldn't want it if I was locked into netflix and particular codexs. Of course, i don't really want a locked down media center with security and such I don't control either, so I can't imagine any form of this that would be for me.

Re:No thank you (1)

timiscool999 (596491) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332815)

The more software the more potential for bugs. I've had to run a software update on my Sony Bravia because there was a software bug that after 1200 hours of use it wouldn't get out of sleep mode. In the end they sent me a USB drive with a firmware update and when I tell people what happened I explain it as "I had to do a Windows Update for my TV". Funny enough, people understand perfectly :).

Re:No thank you (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332107)

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).

Re:No thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332195)

Different people value different things. Personally, I like my integrated TV/DVD player. I don't want another ugly box sitting around my living room. I'm already surrounded by too many glow in the dark clocks.

If the DVD player breaks in a few years, I can either buy an external player at that time or buy a new TV with DVD player. What I want in my living room tends to change over the years and I end up buying different gear anyway.

Re:No thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332559)

My Samsung Blu-Ray player has an Ethernet port and in addition to being able to do automatic updates of its firmware it is able stream both Netflix movies and Pandora music over that connection.

As for your concern that the streaming feature might break, the player was not able to stream either service out of the box, those features were added in the firmware update that it downloaded the first time I connected it to the Internet. I'm sure they can add/swap/remove those features just as easily with future firmware changes and I expect that the TV in the article offers the same functionality.

Re:No thank you (3, Insightful)

Ross D Anderson (1020653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332561)

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:No thank you (2, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332615)

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".

Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26331985)

As of the time I read this post, I am unable to view Watch Instantly content from my Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Linux) installation. Have I missed something?

Buffer space? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332035)

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?

Re:Buffer space? (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332123)

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.

Re:Buffer space? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333333)

>>>I already have a problem with the occasional 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.

I think it's funny how technology seems to be moving towards WORSE performance instead of better. Yes it's convenient to stream a movie, but my old VHS deck never suffered from random pauses. Or macroblocking. You pressed play and it continued playing all the way through - even if the video had suffered some damage because the kid got his sticky fingers on the tape, the deck would just plow straight through it as if nothing was wrong. I have some ancient VHS-C home movies that got rained on when the roof leaked, but they still play and preserve the family memories from the 1980s. I doubt a modern DVD-R would still work (most self-erase after just five years).

(shrug). Well you young'uns can embrace your new, barely-working technologies that randomly freeze or devolve into macroblocking. I'm quite happy with my VHS players and camcorders, thank ye very much.


And get off my lawn! ;-)

Commodore 64 - Where the songs are only 0.03 megabytes in size, and we like it that way.

moD down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332119)

revel in our g4Y

No streaming yet on Linux (1)

shoegoo (674914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332121)

I am pretty sure the summary is incorrect in stating that Netflix supports streaming on Linux. There was some confusion recently about that when boxee announced Netflix support, but their announcement clearly states that it is only for their Windows version.

paranoia, paranoia everybodys coming to get me! (1)

rev_g33k_101 (886348) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332213)

[hat substance="tinfoil"]
Before this the T.V. was an isolated appliance only physically attached to anything else by the power outlet.

Meaning that they had to transmit the video and audio monitoring signal over the airwaves on the secret gov frequency.

Now with the ability to interlace CCD sensors between the pixels of the LCD T.V. and hook the T.V. up to the internet. Now they will transmit those images back to the gov with out fear of the frequency being jammed or discovered.

!linux (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332227)

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.

closer to the one box system (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332297)

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their streaming selection is somewhat skimpy... (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332303)

(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 DSL), I usually get 4 or 5 bars (out of 5) in rating quality. It is definitely watchable, but no one's going to confuse it with high-def. Maybe if you had an older non-hd tv.

There is an option to view it in "original size", and when you do you get a small box, less than a quarter of your screen, so you see the resolution you're actually streaming at.

That being said, its a pretty good deal if you're someone like me, who already had a 360 and a netflix membership.

I wouldn't pay a ton extra to get a TV just because they offered this, even if I didn't have a 360. But I'd use it if it were there.

Re:their streaming selection is somewhat skimpy... (1)

dangerz (540904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333065)

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.

mo money (1)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332317)

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.

hmmmm sounds steep to me.

I actually use this service ... (5, Informative)

Hodar (105577) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:I actually use this service ... (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332987)

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.

From the article (3, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:From the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332837)

and anyone with a HD Tivo gets it for free, with NO additional hardware (also the xbox, etc).

Tim Alessi strikes me as a clueless jackass that needs to be fired immediately. The idea that you can jam hardware that has a value of no more than $100 (arguably $0) into a TV set, then charge $300 more for it is what is currently driving companies out of business. And this is their director of product development.

They have to learn a hard lesson, features like this are a loss leader. You have to EAT the cost of it, not pass it on to the consumer because you want your TV's to have added value, not added cost.

with no additional hardware.? (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332507)

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?

Video buffer anyone? (1)

cat_jesus (525334) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332519)

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:Video buffer anyone? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333119)

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.

Re:Video buffer anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26333257)

Because it is expensive. Uncompressed/Low compressed video takes up alot of space and it's not like most tv have the proc to handle h.264 compression unless you were willing to spend even more. It would be alot of extra cost for a limited feature some may or maynot use. Also, rewinding in terms of streaming is limited as you can not pause the streams itself (meaning if you pause or rewind long enough, you would missing some of the stream anyways). pause/rewind/fastforward doesn't work on streams in which you can't re-adjust the timeframe to stream from.

The problem with Netflix streaming service (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332525)

...is 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 (2, Interesting)

man_ls (248470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332535)

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.

bob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332569)

problem is netflix on demand still sucks selection wise at they force you to get discs snailmailed for new releases and shows that do not suck. lol.

XBox 360 Support (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332683)

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.

working towards the day when tv watches you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332719)

like in those sci-fi movies. what a 'job', watching people watching their tv. yikes

Meh. (4, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332839)

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.

So who will be... (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333121)

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.

No Closed Captions, and use PlayOn for $30. (1)

mishikal (787729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333161)

Another missed issue with streaming netflix programs is there is no support for closed captions, which some people rely on, and other like. I personally like captions when watching British programs, since they often use phrases I'm not familiar with. Also, why pay $300 for a netflix TV when you can purchase PlayOn for $30, and stream a whole lot more, including netflix?

why is Netflix Instant so lacking? (1)

ACAx1985 (989265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333183)

What is the technical/financial/business reason that Instant Stream on Netflix isn't up to par with their DVD collection?

Dumb Devices (3, Interesting)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.
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