Netflix to Get Remote Control Button

Instant streaming

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Netflix users rejoice: streaming movies and TV shows is about to become a little bit easier. Netflix has joined forces with several electronic companies to put Netflix buttons on Internet-connected TV remotes. According to P.R. Newswire, there are currently more than 250 Netflix ready devices available for sale, making the new Netflix remote just another way the company is advancing to make movie and TV watching over the internet easier for its customers.

Most tech bloggers are excited by the news of the coming Netflix button. Some, though, wonder how the switch to Internet-connected television will affect regular TV.

  • 'A Threat to Regular TV?' Gigaom blogger Ryan Lawler wonders what the increased convenience created by the Netflix remote button will mean for regular TV, "as consumers will now be just a click away from alternative online content." He explains:
For broadcasters that fight for preferred placement in cable program guides, and for cable companies themselves, the ability for consumers to click away to an online video source, without having to navigate additional menus, could be troubling. Netflix has been cited as one reason that consumers choose not to pay for cable. And the presence of a Netflix button underscores just how much of a threat online video in general, and Netflix streaming in particular, has become to regular TV.
  • A Leg Up for Netflix  Jay Yarow at Business Insider points out that the red Netflix remote button will eventually make the brand ubiquitous with instant streaming, putting it a step ahead of the competition. "We don't know how many TV's will be getting this, but it's pretty huge for Netflix," Yarow writes. "Every time someone uses the remote for their new TV they'll see a little advertisement for Netflix. And every time they want to watch Netflix instant streaming, it's just one click away. That's something nobody else has (as far as we know.)"
  • The Button is a 'No Brainer'  Robert Nelson at TFTS agrees that the Netflix button will create invaluable advertising for the company, but also points out the benefits the button will provide for its current Netflix users.
And coming as a no-brainer moment, I can say for sure that a Netflix button would be a wonderful thing to have. We have a Vizio television with the Internet Apps, one of which is Netflix and it takes several steps just to reach the service, which sadly is the primary use of the television. In other words, they need to make getting to and watching Netflix as easy as it is for everyone to turn on the television and begin watching.
  • Watch Out Cable TV  Marketplace's John Moe predicts as Netflix makes its product more accessible to customers, "this news must be terrifying for the cable companies."
  • 'Way to Think Big, Netflix!'  Atmasphere blogger Jonathan Greene predicts the eventual switch from regular televisions to Internet-connected sets noting that, when this happens, Netflix's streaming button will be "quite a big deal. Way to think big, Netflix! This could make earning default status quite a bit more challenging for anyone else ... "
  • The Next Big Thing  Blogging at the Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Valentino-DeVries also notices Netflix's big move "ahead of the curve, securing its position as the go-to program for streaming movies as Internet TV menus grow more cluttered and competitors like Amazon, Apple and cable companies offer more downloadable or streaming movies. And device makers have an incentive to make must-have applications easy to find." Valentino-Devires predicts, "a deal for space on a TV remote control could be the 2011 version of deals that placed default software on PCs."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.