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Thursday, October 23, 2008
Samsung Blu-ray Players to Stream Netflix Movies, Pandora Music

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The BD-P2550 and BD-P2500 are currently available at $399.99. Consumers who already own one of these Samsung players can upgrade their device at no additional cost to enable instant stream of content from the library of more than 12,000 movies and television episodes from Netflix. The upgrade is available at Future Samsung BD models, carrying a suggested price of $400, will have the Netflix feature built in.

Instantly streaming movies and TV episodes from Netflix on the BD-P2550 and BD-P2500 is done through a wired broadband connection and a Netflix Queue-based user interface. Netflix members visit the Netflix Web 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. In addition, they will have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream.

The function requires a minimum subscription of $8.99 per month that also includes DVD rentals delivered through the mail.

The deal could set the stage for Netflix to embed software connecting to its streaming service directly into television sets made by Samsung.

In addition, the BD-P2550 can now stream music though the popular Pandora music service, Samsung siad.

"Samsung has been at the forefront of innovation in consumer electronics and has established a market leadership position in Blu-ray and digital television," said Netflix Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings. "We're excited about the upgraded Blu-ray disc players. Moreover, we look forward to working with Samsung in the years to come to deliver a variety of outstanding products on which consumers can watch movies delivered over the Internet from Netflix."

"In its new form, Samsung Blu-ray players become the ultimate content delivery box, combining on-demand access to movies and jaw-dropping Full HD viewing," said Reid Sullivan, Vice President of Marketing, Audio/Video & Imaging at Samsung Electronics America. "Samsung presents a new value proposition for Blu-ray players by positioning it as a portal to a world of engaging digital content, be it Blu-ray discs, movies from Netflix or other online content."

In addition to the content services, Samsung will provide a BD-Live update for the company?s BD-P2550. To heighten audio format options, a DTS-HD High Resolution firmware upgrade will also be available for both the BD-P2500 and BD-P2550 on October 30.

This won't be the first time that Netflix has piped its online content through Blu-ray DVD player devices built to show movies in high-definition quality that outshines traditional DVD players.

LG began selling a $350 Blu-ray player with Netflix streaming earlier this month.

Netflix currently has nearly 8.7 million subscribers, most of whom still go online to request DVD rentals that are mailed to them a day or two later. But the company has been trying to provide more instant gratification with a 21-month-old service that beams movies and TV shows over high-speed Internet connections in less than a minute.

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