Netflix to Sell Set-Top Box for Streaming

May 20, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Netflix today will start selling a set-top box that will allow subscribers to stream movies directly to their television sets from Netflix’s Web site.
Netflix Player by Roku, which was co-developed by digital-media technology company Roku Inc., will be available on Roku’s Web site for $99.99, the companies said today in a statement.
The box, about the size of a paperback book, will provide access to more than 10,000 movie and television titles, or about 10% of Netflix’s total, and will allow unlimited viewing.
The partnership is Netflix’s first foray into streaming media directly to televisions. The largest movie-rental service via mail, which said in January that it would develop a set-top streaming box with LG Electronics, competes with a growing number of movie-streaming or download services, including Apple TV and Amazon.com’s Unbox. Netflix last year started a streaming service for personal computers.
Last week, Blockbuster, the largest U.S. movie-rental store chain, said it planned to relaunch its Movielink download service, which it bought last year from a studio group led by Time Warner’s Warner Bros. and General Electric’s NBC Universal.
The Netflix box represents “a major improvement versus the clutter of trying to choose from 10,000 films on the TV,” Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said in the statement. “It allows consumers to use the full power of the Netflix Web site.”
Last month, Netflix said first-quarter profit surged 35% to $13.4 million as it boosted its subscriber base to 8.24 million, up 21% from a year earlier.

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