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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Future of TV is TV....but what's on?

LOS GATOS, Calif. – Netflix fans will soon be able to use a remote controller to flick through their flicks available for streaming over the Internet on devices such as TV sets, Blu-ray players and others.

Netflix Inc. said Tuesday that consumer electronics companies will begin selling remotes with "Netflix" buttons in the spring. The buttons will bring up the Netflix screen on users' TV sets, providing easier access to TV shows and movies. Though the button will likely only save couch potatoes a few seconds of time, its appearance is another sign that Netflix has become a household name.

Netflix says the list of companies that will make the remotes for some new Blu-ray players include Best Buy's in-house Dynex brand, Memorex, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba. Some Blu-ray devices can connect to the Internet, which lets users stream movies.

Sharp, Sony and Toshiba will also place the Netflix button on some new Internet-connected TVs.

Netflix, based in Los Gatos, Calif., has been spending heavily to obtain the streaming rights to movies and TV shows to help lure more customers and shift existing subscribers away from DVDs, which cost more to distribute.

Shares of Netflix rose 18 cents to $181.55 in after-hours trading, having closed up $2.96 at $181.37.

Stealing Mark Cuban's line in my title gave me a chance to add a little caveat. Basically I agree with Mark. At least over the next 3-5 years TV will basically be TV as we know it today. Most people will continue to pay cable or satellite providers to get their programming. Internet-enabled TV's (selling well) will not lead to a mass cutting of the cord...at least in the short-term. But this latest news leads me to my greatest concern for local TV....it's not the loss of connected cords we have to worry about in the new few years, it's the loss of eyeballs.

TV households are going to add 8 bucks a month to their monthly video entertainment cost. But what do you think will happen to viewing when Netflix is one press of the remote button away? To think traditional viewing patterns will not be affected is nonsensical to me.

Posted via email from Randy's Stuff

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