TV Over Internet on LG LCD TV.. It’s getting real

TV over web is getting easier thanks to LG

LG is going one direction, adding broadband connectivity and Netflix software to a new line of its LCD- and plasma-screen TVs.

Amazon is going another, adding its library of 40,000 pay-per-view movies and TV shows to an inexpensive settop box manufactured by a California company.

Digital gurus have been telling us for years that “this is the year of the connected home.”

They may finally be right.

Two announcements that preceed the opening of the International Consumer Electronics Show later this week hit consumers right in the family room.

Amazon today announced a deal with Saratoga, Calif.-based Roku to offer its library of pay-per-view entertainment through the Roku Digital Video Player.

The Roku player is a small $100 box that connects to a TV with component or HDMI cables and to the Internet either wirelessly or through an Ethernet cable.

Roku already has a deal with Netflix that allows Netflix subscribers to stream movies and other entertainment through their TVs.

The deal today adds Amazon’s library of pay-per-view movies and TV shows, which are expected to cost 99 cents and up, to the Roku player. The service will launch “early this year,” Amazon said.

“The move should make the Roku player much more valuable,” proclaimed Wired magazine’s blog.

Amazon is sweetening the deal a bit, saying it will offer pay-per-view movies through the Roku player the same day they are released on DVD.

It’s a sweet deal for Roku, because Amazon and Netflix aren’t direct competitors. Netflix is a subscription service, while Amazon soon will begin offering movies and TV shows on a pay-per-view basis.

Wired noted that Roku already has competition from Blockbuster’s settop box and Apple TV.

And soon that competition will get a bit broader.

LG’s new connected TVs will have Netflix software built in.

LG already offers a networked Blu-ray disc player that streams video to a TV from Netflix.

“Embedding the Netflix streaming software in the television is a natural progression of our partnership with Netflix and our innovative product line,” said LG Electronics USA President Teddy Hwang. “This is an LG industry-first, which provides another flexible option for consumers seeking to access exciting content directly through their HDTV.”

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