Manufacturing giant LG Electronics is teaming up with rental service Netflix to a launch a new line of internet enabled LCD and plasma TVs that are capable of streaming movies and shows directly from the web without the need for an external box. The new devices will be displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week and are expected to retail for about $200 to $300 more than a regular HD set.
The Netflix-enabled televisions will be available in four models: LCDs with 42-inch and 47-inch screens, and plasma TVs with 50-inch and 60-inch screens. They will hit retail shelves this spring and should be joined by a total of eight Blu-ray disc players and home theater systems with Netflix streaming capability planned for 2009. It's not clear whether the new TVs can be used to stream other content from the Internet, such as from video sites like YouTube or Hulu, but it is certainly an interesting possibility.
In any case, the deal marks the first time Netflix’s video-streaming service has come standard with a TV set and follows recent partnerships that have seen it made available through Microsoft’s Xbox Live service and Tivo's set-top box offering.