Netflix dropped plans to sell its own Internet TV set-top, and instead will work with LG Electronics to develop a device to let subscribers of the DVD-by-mail service watch movies and other programming delivered via the Internet on their TVs.
The companies said an LG set-top box with the Netflix software is expected to be available in the second half of 2008. No pricing was given for the LG player, but access to movies and TV shows from Netflix will be included as part of standard subscription packages.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, in announcing the partnership, said the company “explored also offering its own Netflix-branded set-top boxes, but we concluded that familiar consumer-electronics devices from industry leaders like LG Electronics are a better consumer solution for getting the Internet to the TV.”
With Netflix dropping its own set-top development, vice president of Internet TV Anthony Wood —the founder and CEO of digital video recorder startup ReplayTV, whom Netflix hired last year — will leave the company. Wood will return to Roku, the Internet-connected music-device company he founded, as chairman, Netflix vice president of communications Steve Swasey said.