LG Unveils Streaming Blu-ray Player
LG Electronics Thursday unveiled the BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc player, billed as the world’s first with the ability to stream movies directly to a TV.
The player is slated to ship in the fall at what LG vice president of sales and marketing for Digital Media and New Products Allan Jason says will be “somewhere under $500.” It is Netflix Instant Streaming-ready, meaning it can access and play 12,000 near-DVD-quality movie titles by virtue of a partnership between Netflix and LG. The player will come with a free two-week trial subscription to Netflix, and buyers can continue the subscription by choosing from eight pricing plans that begin at $8.99 monthly for the base plan. The Netflix system also permits the storage of up to 500 streamable titles in a “personal queue” to be accessed at will by the movie viewer.
Jason described the Full 1080p BD300 as a “premium deck” that can upscale standard DVDs and also carries the BD-Live and Bonus View features of the latest Blu-ray technology incarnation.
He quoted research showing that three million Blu-ray players would be sold this year, and that number, he added, is expected to triple over the next three years, with almost half of all U.S. households able to play a Blu-ray disc within five years.
“What’s driving this Blu-ray growth is 1080p,” he said. “Sixty-eight percent of all 40-inch-and-over flat-panel HDTVs sold in 2008 will be 1080p.” He also cited statistics that show 27 million households with DVR devices and 80 million with access to some level of pay-per-view.
At the same time the BD300 bowed, LG took the wraps off two new 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV models in the LGX series. Tim Alessi, director of product development for Digital Displays, said the 42- and 47-inch sets (at $2,699 and $2,999, respectively) are the thinnest integrated LCDs on the market today, at just 1.8 inches deep. They also carry LG’s Invisible Speaker technology and are ISFcc-certified.