The fight for the TV consumer is being played out at several levels with video in the post provider Netflix abandoning its own set-top box ambitions and announcing it would go with a box to be built by Korean CE giant, LG Electronics.
The box will enable Netflix to migrate its 7 million DVD subscribers to a networked HD streaming service beginning mid this year. No pricing was released ad the move follows Netflix tentative step into the internet download game with its Watch now service that streams a limited number of movies to customer PCs.
The move suggests the DVD business has definitely seen its best days as video on demand services inevitably take over from physical media, although the history of pure play video on demand businesses has not been brilliant to date. Retail giant Wal-mart lasted less than a year with its download service, closing it in the run up to the holiday season. Another start up, Akimbo also decided the market was not ready when it abandoned its proprietary box last year and the Cisco/Intel backed MovieBeam also quietly withdrew from the market last month with less than 1,800 subscribers.