Netflix is a company on the move. They've already become the world’s largest online movie rental service, and they're fast sewing up their leadership in online streaming.Hard on the heels of their announcement that LG will offer Netflix compatible Blu-ray players, now Netflix has partnered with Samsung.
The Samsung BD-P2500 and the BD-P2550 Blu-ray players ($400 apiece) will be the first that allow streaming from Netflix.
After downloading a free firmware update, and signing up with Netflix, you’ll be able to watch content streaming from the Netflix website. At least from a functionality standpoint (if not a picture quality standpoint) it’s almost like viewing a disc. For example, you can fast forward and rewind.
Netflix offers more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes. The hook-up is done through a wired broadband connection and a Netflix queue-based user interface. Netflix members visit its site to add movies and TV episodes to their individual instant queues. Those choices will automatically be displayed on members' TVs and available to watch instantly through the Samsung players. Once selected, movies will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. With the players' accompanying remote control, Netflix members will be able to browse and make selections right on the TV screen and also have the ability to read synopses and rate movies.
Interestingly, this may be the first step in an ongoing product development deal. The companies said they are “collaborating to enable Samsung to integrate instant streaming from Netflix into a range of home entertainment products.” I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my washer-dryer combo gets hooked up. That spin cycle is sooo boring. —Ken C. Pohlmann