Netflix buttons coming to your Blu-ray, TV remote controls
Streaming entertainment service Netflix announced ahead of CES 2011 Tuesday that it had partnered with select manufacturers to include a Netflix "button" on remote controls. So far Blu-ray players from Dynex brand, Haier, Memorex, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba will include the button, as well as Internet connected TVs from Sharp, Sony and Toshiba.
Netflix buttons would provide one-click access to the built-in application, which the company hopes will increase usage of what has become an increasingly larger percentage of its business. The first enabled devices would appear in the spring, the company said.
"It's simply a matter of pushing the Netflix button to instantly watch any of the vast selection of TV shows and movies available to stream from Netflix," chief product officer Neil Hunt said in a statement.
Already some 250 devices are Netflix-enabled, the company says. It's a somewhat cumbersome process however, where the user must search through the devices list of applications.
It also indicates the company has built enough trust among manufacturers to partner with them in such a prominent way -- in some cases, the button would feature Netflix's recognizable red, black, and white logo.
Netflix has done a lot to build its business outside of the traditional mail-order DVD. It has extended its streaming services to a host of electronic devices including smart phones, PCs, and tablets, and has repeatedly said streaming media is its future. Making it easier to access this functionality should help the company reach those aforementioned goals.
One of Netflix's chief competitors in streaming media -- Hulu -- has also begun to move into device licensing. However, Hulu does not have the reach that Netflix has which may make its path towards wider adoption much more difficult.