Another small step towards convergence with Netflix
DVD delivery service Netflix is taking yet another step towards home ubiquity, by announcing another Blu-ray player/streaming integration deal, this time with Samsung. Owners of the two latest Samsung players, the BD-P2550 and BD-P2500, can upgrade their player at no cost (the boxes already have ethernet connectivity).
The bottom line is this: single function boxes are on their way out. In fact, only two boxes, the Slingbox and the Nintendo Wii, actually serve value as standalones due to their unique functionality. The new Tivos replace your cable box by using cable cards, the Playstation 3 is a game platform, a Blu-ray player and a streaming device. Oh, and hard drive equipped Wii’s are beginning to circulate as retail demonstration devices, and Sling/set top box integration is an inevitability given last year’s acquisition by The Dish Network.
The short end of the stick? That would go to second tier movie channels, such as Cinemax, Starz, The Movie Channel and Encore, who are seeing their value proposition to the consumer deteriorate rapidly. Whereas HBO and Showtime have high quality original programming (in HD), the only thing the others have going for them to warrant $5-$7 per month is the customer too busy or lazy to call their cable/satellite provider and cancel, especially with Starz and Encore streaming free on Netflix.
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