Netflix, ahead of pay-TV providers, continues extending its own “TV Everywhere” strategy to more devices.
Next up: The company will soon offer the Watch Instantly video-streaming feature on Apple iPhones and iPod Touch devices and the Nintendo Wii gaming console, according to an industry executive familiar with Netflix’s plans. (Netflix wouldn’t confirm the info, with a rep saying it declines to comment on “rumors or speculation.”)
Netflix already lets subscribers access 12,000-plus TV shows and movies on a laundry list of devices, including: PCs, Macs, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, TiVo DVRs, Internet-connected Blu-ray players from LG Electronics and Samsung, the Roku set-top, and TVs from Sony and LG. Content partners for the Internet service include Starz, Disney, CBS and MTV Networks.
Several iPhone apps already let Netflix customers manage their queues and search for movies. The Netflix streaming-video app would let users watch the actual content on an iPhone or iPod touch.
However, Netflix’s streaming-video feature would probably be restricted to access over local Wi-Fi connections only — not over AT&T’s 3G data network — in the same the way other bandwidth-heavy video apps for the iPhone are limited.
For example, EchoStar’s SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone is Wi-Fi-only, because AT&T says “slinging” TV would chew up too much bandwidth over its 3G network (and would violate its terms of service, anyway). Similarly, CBS’s March Madness iPhone app offering live coverage of games was limited to Wi-Fi.