Remote controls to get a Netflix button

The company's video-streaming service will become more prominent through a button appearing on remote controls from Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Boxee, and others.

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Stephen Shankland
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Netflix expects remote controls to speed up connections to its video-streaming service.
Netflix expects remote controls to speed up connections to its video-streaming service. Netflix

Netflix will become more prominent and easier to use with the arrival of a button this spring on remote controls that connects directly to the company's widely used video-streaming service.

A big, red button with the company name will appear on multiple remote controls for Blu-ray players, TVs, and set-top boxes, the company announced today just before the Consumer Electronics Show gets under way in Las Vegas.

The announced partners are notable, though it's not immediately clear yet how broadly the button will propagate through product lines.

Netflix said its buttons will appear on remote controls for "certain new Blu-ray disc players from a variety of companies including Best Buy's in-house Dynex brand, Haier, Memorex, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba. Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba also will place the Netflix one-click button on remote controls for select new Internet-connected TVs. Remote controls for the Boxee, Iomega, and Roku set-top boxes also will feature the Netflix one-click remote."

Netflix got its start renting DVDs by mail, but it is becoming primarily an online video streaming, according to Chief Executive Reed Hastings. In November, Netflix added a streaming-only subscription option for $8 a month. The Netflix streaming-video service is built into 250 devices already, the company said.

The Netflix button will link Net-connected devices directly to the company's online streaming site.

"With the Netflix one-click remote, it's simply a matter of pushing the Netflix button to instantly watch any of the vast selection of TV shows and movies available to stream from Netflix," Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt said in a statement.