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Further signals that the Internet and television will soon become one
Ever since Netflix launched its “Watch Instantly,” streaming feature – its online library has been growing steadily. Today it’s announced a partnership with Disney to stream some of ABC’s most popular shows including Lost, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy. Although it isn’t the entire catalog of episodes – it is quite a few seasons for each of the titles, and another step towards the merging of the Internet and television. As of today, the company now offers video streams from the largest networks including, ABC, NBC and CBS.
Netflix, which once started as an alternative to traditional video rentals like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, originally provided its subscribers with DVDs delivered to their doors. In the past year, the company has integrated on-demand video streaming in an attempt to keep up with advancing video streaming services on the Web. Although Netflix does not stream these videos for free, like Hulu or even the ABC.com website, Netflix offers its subscribers ad-free, high definition video. Hulu’s videos are offered free of charged, but require users to sit through commercials.
In terms of the agreement between Netflix and Disney-ABC, this is further extending an existing online relationship between the two companies. Back in September of 2008, Netflix began streaming popular Disney shows including Hannah Montana. The deal mentioned will allow users to stream videos the day after they broadcast on television.
Aside from offering high definition online video streams, Netflix is also bringing Web video to our television sets as it advances the technology to achieve this. The company is working on bringing to market devices that can instantly stream its libraries directly to TV’s. Some of these partnerships include new Internet TV’s coming out from LG Electronics, Sony and Vizio, the Roku digital video player and the Xbox 360 gaming console. Also, users with Boxee accounts, a desktop application optimized for people who hook up their computers to their televisions, has a Netflix app which can access users accounts to stream content from the site.
Netflix’s online catalog has grown to around 12,000 movies and television episodes. The company also says it has more than 10 million subscribers.
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Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is the world's largest online movie rental service, providing more than seven million subscribers access to more than 90,000 DVD titles plus a growing library of more than 5,000 choices that can be watched instantly on their PCs. The company offers nine subscription plans, starting at only $4.99 per month. There are no due dates and no late fees – ever. All Netflix plans include both DVDs delivered to subscribers' homes and, for no additional fee, movies and TV series that can be started in as little as 30 seconds on subscribers' PCs. DVDs are delivered free to members by first class mail, with a postage-paid return envelope, from over 100 U.S. shipping points. Nearly 95 percent of Netflix subscribers live in areas that can be reached with generally one business day delivery. Netflix offers personalized movie recommendations and has two billion movie ratings.