LG Electronics announced they’d be bringing Netflix to their Blu-ray players just in time for CES 2008. That support shipped in the form of the BD300, announced in July and shipped in the fall. Now, just in time for CES 2009, LG is announcing their next additions – CinemaNow and YouTube. YouTube seems like an obvious move, it is showing up on just about every connected device out there. Pretty soon I think YouTube will just be a default feature on any networked device, which should make Google happy.
But the real interesting addition here is CinemaNow, and not so much that it is being added but how it is being added. CinemaNow will be streaming to the Blu-ray players. That’s very interesting – as far as I’m aware this is the first indication we’ve had that CinemaNow was adding streaming support to their content. To date CinemaNow has been all download-based, not streaming, including on TiVo. Right now on TiVo only Disney content is available from CinemaNow, but it has been stated that additional content would be added. Since TiVo supports streaming, as used by YouTube and Netflix, I have to wonder if CinemaNow content will also be available via streaming on TiVo.
In general we’re certainly going to be seeing more of this kind of thing, adding content sources to devices to make them multi-function. Just to support Blu-ray content and to comply with the BD-Live specification a Blu-ray player has to be capable of decoding MPEG-2, H.264, and VC-1 video in high definition, as well as handing a number of audio formats. The hardware used to do this is more than capable of handling most online video formats. BD-Live requires an Ethernet connection and 1GB of local storage, which is plenty to handle streaming buffers. And the BD-J programming environment allows for complex applications. It makes a lot of sense for Blu-ray players to pick up additional features like streaming video to make them more competitive and appealing to consumers.
Dec 30, 2008 09:00 ET
LG Electronics Announces New Streaming Content Partners for Its Network Blu-ray Disc Players
LG to Offer Consumers Unparalleled Access to Streaming Entertainment from CinemaNow, YouTube and Netflix
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ — LG Electronics today announced the expansion of network entertainment options for its Network Blu-ray Disc players through new alliances with CinemaNow and YouTube™.
Available on new LG Network Blu-ray Disc Players in the first half of 2009, these new services complement LG’s instant streaming from Netflix and advanced Blu-ray capabilities to deliver consumers an exceptional entertainment experience. (In 2008, LG was the world’s first manufacturer to stream movies instantly from Netflix on a Network Blu-ray Disc Player.)
CinemaNow – an innovator in digital entertainment technology, delivering high-quality movies, TV shows and videos to users through online connectivity – and YouTube – a leading online video community for people to discover, watch, and share originally created videos – will be available in LG’s 2009 line of Network Blu-ray Disc players to be unveiled next week at the 2009 International CES®.
“As millions of U.S. consumers view and download movies or TV shows through the Internet, they are demanding easier ways to access content and more home entertainment options,” said Tim Alessi, director of product development, LG Electronics USA.
“From Blu-ray to instant streaming from Netflix to CinemaNow and YouTube, LG is bridging the gap between packaged media and video-on-demand services to provide entertainment solutions for consumers’ demand for content,” he said. “With these new alliances, LG continues its innovation leadership by allowing consumers easy access to multiple entertainment options in one device.”
CinemaNow: Instant Streaming of Hollywood’s Latest Hits
CinemaNow has pushed the envelope of digital video distribution, becoming the first Web site to offer Pay-Per-View movies from major studios and the first broadband distributor of high definition (HD) content. Collaborating with CinemaNow will enable LG Electronics to offer consumers access to more than 14,000 titles from the major movie studios, broadcast and cable television shows, more than 250 independent film titles and music videos from all major labels. Key benefits include the capability to:
— Browse the entire CinemaNow premium content catalog, including latest Hollywood hits,
— Instantly stream content to enjoy on compatible devices, and
— Access and watch movies purchased from other CinemaNow-powered stores.
“We are extremely pleased to be providing CinemaNow premium content services to these innovative new products from LG Electronics that are helping to drive convenient consumer access to digital entertainment at home,” said Mark Ely, executive vice president of strategy, Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC) , parent company of CinemaNow.
YouTube: Original Streaming Video Content
Leading the way in providing unlimited access to online content, LG’s alliance with a prolific online video community, YouTube, will allow consumers to instantly stream millions of Web videos directly from the Internet to an LG Network Blu-ray Player for viewing on their television (without a personal computer). Key benefits include:
— Unlimited access to millions of videos on topics such as current events, instructional videos for hobbies and interests, comedic and viral videos and
— Easy searching, thumbnail previews and multiple screen size viewing options.
Netflix: High Definition Instant Streaming
Now available to consumers as a free on-line upgrade, LG’s first Network Blu-ray Disc Player (BD300) now delivers a growing number of Netflix titles in high-definition (HD). This new access to high-definition streaming content enhances the existing standard-definition streaming service that LG and Netflix first brought to consumers in 2008.
Future LG Network Blu-ray Disc Players will also offer consumers a variety of ways to enjoy more than 12,000 choices of movies and TV episodes from Netflix. Netflix members owning these devices pay one low monthly subscription for unlimited DVD rental and unlimited streaming.
LG’s full line of Network Blu-ray Disc Players, additional new content alliances and other new products will be revealed at the LG Electronics CES press conference on Jan. 7, 2009 at the Venetian/Sands and will be on display at the 2009 International CES – Booth #8214, Central Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center.
About LG Electronics USA
LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a global force and technology leader in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications. In the United States, LG Electronics sells a wide range of consumer electronics (digital display and digital media) products, digital appliances and mobile phones under LG’s “Life’s Good” marketing theme. For more information, please visit www.LGusa.com.
CinemaNow, part of Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ:SNIC) , delivers high-quality Hollywood movies, TV shows and music videos to users across multiple platforms. CinemaNow is partnered with some of the biggest brands in consumer electronics and digital entertainment including ARCHOS, Dell, EchoStar Communications, Hewlett-Packard, Macrovision, Microsoft, Pioneer, Samsung, Technicolor and TiVo to deliver thousands of video titles directly to consumers. CinemaNow works with more than 250 licensors including 20th Century Fox, Disney, EMI, HDNet, IFC, Lionsgate, MGM, Miramax, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Sundance Channel, Vivendi Entertainment and Warner Bros. For more information: www.CinemaNow.com.
Headquartered in Marin County, Calif, Sonic Solutions (www.sonic.com) enables the creation, management, and enjoyment of premium and personal digital media content through its Hollywood to Home™ products, services, and technologies.
YouTube is the world’s most popular online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube, LLC is based in San Bruno, Calif., and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.
* Specifications are subject to change without notice.
Source: LG Electronics
CONTACT: John I. Taylor, +1-847-828-2777, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Ojas Naik,
+1-312-397-6008, email@example.com, both for LG Electronics; or Chris
Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org, for CinemaNow