Monday, LG announced the first TVs with built-in Netflix streaming, due to arrive in the U.S. this spring. The models will go by the generic name "Broadband HDTVs," but we have a feeling they'll be known as "Netflix TVs" soon enough. The plasmas and LCDs are equipped with Ethernet jacks that allow them to stream movies and TV shows from Netflix, including HD content when available.
Netflix currently offers online streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows, dubbed "Watch Instantly," to its customers who pay $8.99 per month and up. But you need to connect an external device, like the Roku Netflix player, an Xbox 360, a TiVo DVR, a specially equipped Blu-ray player like the Samsung BD-P2550 or LG BD300, or even a PC, to enjoy it on your TV.
The LG TVs eliminate the need for an external device. They will cost around $300 more than similar LG models that lack the streaming capability--a pretty steep premium considering that you can get a Roku for $99 or an Xbox 360 for $199, but a premium typical of any technology "first."
"It's hugely symbolic," said Netflix's chief executive, Reed Hastings. "The holy grail has always been to give the TV an Internet jack in addition to the cable jack. It's an early glimpse of the long-term future."… Read more