Best Buy's Blu-ray players now stream Netflix

In the last year, Netflix on-demand video streaming has made its way into connected optical media players by LG, Samsung, and Sony, and at the beginning of the last quarter, CEO Reed Hastings said the public could expect new Netflix-enabled consumer electronics products every quarter. Today, Best Buy's Insignia brand became the latest to support Netflix streaming with a firmware update to two of the brand's connected Blu-ray players.

This is another important partnership to differentiate Best Buy's exclusive store brand from lower-quality department store brands, which often have more in common with Chinese knock-offs than with products by major manufacturers. In July, for example, Best Buy announced a partnership with TiVo that would improve the interface and search in Insignia and Dynex televisions.

The firmware update allows the $179 Insignia Connected Blu-ray Player (Ethernet) and the $249 Insignia Advanced Series (Wi-Fi) will let Netflix subscribers browse titles, build queues, and instantly watch movies or TV episodes, similar to the way Xbox 360 and TiVo users do.

To install the 35 MB firmware update, users must download the files from Insignia and burn an installation CD/DVD. The brand's support site includes instructions for how to burn the installation disc in Cyberlink Power2Go, Roxio Easy Media Creator, Nero 9, and Sonic RecordNow! 7.

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