Netflix Grabs The Remote


Netflix has landed some primo couch-front property, inking deals with 11 manufacturers to add a one-click button on remote controls for their Internet-connected devices to access Netflix's video-streaming service.

The "Netflix" buttons, including some featuring the company's logo, are expected to be on products that ship starting this spring.

The deals cover select models of new Internet-connected TVs from Sharp, Sony and Toshiba as well as certain new Blu-ray Disc players from Best Buy's Dynex house brand, Haier, Memorex, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba.

Netflix remote

In addition, remote controls for the Roku, Boxee and Iomega Internet set-top boxes will feature the Netflix one-click remote.

"For members who want even more convenience when instantly watching TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix, the answer is about to be right in their hands," Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt said in announcing the program. "No more turning on the TV, going to a home screen and searching for the Netflix icon. With the Netflix one-click remote, 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."

At the end of September 2010, Netflix had 16.9 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. Currently there are more than 250 Netflix-ready devices on the market, including Microsoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PS3 consoles; Apple's iPhone, iPad and Apple TV; Google TV-based devices; and an array of Blu-ray Disc players, HDTVs, DVRs and Internet set-tops.

Netflix -- which offers more than 20,000 movies and TV shows available for streaming over the Internet -- is among the most popular features of Internet-connected TVs. Among those who have hooked up their TVs to the Net, 57% are using it to access Netflix while 47% have viewed videos on YouTube, according to a recent survey by research firm NPD Group.

The video streamed by Netflix users accounts for more than 20% of bandwidth consumption during peak hours, according to a widely cited report from bandwidth-management vendor Sandvine.